China Chat - Oriental/Far East
Pottery Identification Marks

This is the pottery identification marks - China Chat archive - Oriental/Far East section.  We look to investigate some of the mysteries of the East.

We have ongoing discussions going on about such diverse subjects as the red Qianlong Qing red seal marks of China, Japanese tea sets with the ladies head hidden in the base of the cups, Famille Rose porcelains from China and Japanese dragon tea ware, and lots more.

Below is a quick glimse at some of the things people have brought up in this interesting China Chat section.......

Let's first take a look at the red seal marks you might run across.



Red Seal Marks

One of the most common is the red Qianlong seal marks.  Qianlong was an Emperor hundreds of years ago during the Qing Dynasty.  The pottery identification marks below are 20th century (not Qainlong, despite what they say).


So these two red seal marks say the same thing apart from the one on the left has the additional 3rd column on the right saying "Great Qing" - which is a reference to the lengthy Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) within which the Emperor Qianlong reigned from 1736-1795.

“Da Qing Qianlong Nian Zhi” translates as "Great Qing Qianlong Period Make".  Most of these marks are on 20th century export replicas, and not the real thing.

Variations of Chinese Script & Pottery Identification Marks

You might see some variations of the Qianlong marks as follows (finding a real mark is rare but not impossible):-


The above Qianlong replica marks are the ones you are most likely to see on Oriental looking vases and other Chinese porcelains.  The most common type of vase we have seen on our posts is the typical Chinese Famille Rose decoration. 


Famille Rose and  Famille Vert Decoration

Famille Rose means 'the family of reds', refering to the enamel paints.  A new red palette was developed in the Yongzheng era and became very popular for export in the Qianlong period.  The red/rose enamel palette was developed after much technical development and people in the West seemed to really like it, especially when the decoration was complimentary to the ornate European style fashionable at the time (Rococo). Famille Rose enamels are mixed with white and so are opaque (not see through).  The green tinted style (Familler Vert) has a transluscent see-through effect and pays homage to the paintings of the Kangxi period.

Here are some examples of what you might see out there.  Notice the variation in prices.

famille-vert-bowls-2

Occasionally people have sent into our expert valuation service, some real Imperial Court china, and very valuable it is.

You Can Read Chinese Marks!

A Table of Ming Marks

Perhaps the most alluring of all porcelain is the exquisite and very old masterpieces from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Using the same formula as shown above for phoney 20th century Qianlong marks, we can all become instant armchair experts on how to read Ming marks.

Below is a useful chart showing the Ming marks and dates (Hongwu 1368-1398, Yongle 1403-1424, Xuande 1426-1435, Chenghua 1465-1487, Hongzhi 1488-1505, Zhengde 1506-1521, Jiajing 1522-1566, Longqing 1567-1572, Wanli 1573-1620, Tianqi 1621-1627, Chongzhen 1628-1644 ):-

Here's what real Ming vase looks like:-

Gotheborg is a great site to enhance your research on this subject matter of how to read Chinese and Japanese marks

So now we had a quick glimpse at what the other half have in their living rooms, we can move on.

In our Far East China Chat posts we investigate the Japanese pottery identification marks of the 1950's and 60's and identify marks in this difficult area.  Hardly ever are marks setting out to identify the factory in which they were made.

We discuss Arita, Imari, Kutani, Satsuma and what those words mean.

We look at the the type of dishonest marks Chinese and Japanese makers have been using, and are still using.

Above all the China Chat discussions are about helping us become much more aware of what are likely to have in our homes and stumble across in Garage sales.

Feel free to browse or search these interesting China Chat discussions where visitors from all over the world help each other solve mysterious backstamps.

This is a free to access public record which has been being built since 2007. 


It has helped countless thousands of people know what ceramic items they have on their tables and in their cabinets.

Search ALL the forum threads using this search box or browse by scrolling down to the links....

find out the value of your item

Search for your mystery pottery marks:



4. China Chat - Far East Marks

Below are the China Chat archives for Far East marks.

My Ornate Teapot With an Exclamation Mark Pottery Marking and Lots of Crazing 
Hi Peter My biggest challenge is solving the mysteries of some of my pieces. I know something of backstamps now and can usually identify it and …

Plate that caught my eye - but is it a real find? Simple Oriental Lettering (4 characters) Impressed in a square pottery mark 
Hi Peter and everyone else in this community . . I love stopping at yard sales. I was travelling through a beautiful part of Maine and saw an interesting …

Novice Needing Help Identifying Mark  
Dear Peter First, I want to thank you for this site. I've learned more here in two days than the last month of researching the web. Over the years …

Vase with scene of Chinese women with little boys 
Dear Peter This vase was from my grandmother in law. She had it in her Milwaukee home until she passed. I do not have any idea where she got this vase …

Pretty Violet Teacups, Possibly Japanese With Eagle or Bird Mark and the letter E 
Hello! I'm a new collector, mostly interested in tea cups. I work in a laboratory setting, with a degree in biology (specialized in botany), and …

MTK Elephant Mark on Porcelain Cup and Saucer 
Hello, We have been schlepping a coffee set all around the world for the past 40 odd years! Thinking about it they have been quite odd! It was given …

Qianlong seal with extra marks beneath it 
Hi, my name is Christine, and thanks for taking a look at my post. I have a few questions about a chinese plate with two geishas looking at a censor. …

Japan Pottery Mark Query - Cherry Blossom Motif in Red with "N" inside 
Japan Pottery Mark Query - Cherry Blossom Motif in Red with "N" inside:- We just found this website and already we love it! We collect small china pieces, …

Set of 4 blue oriental characters on two similar blue Chinese jars 
Set of 4 blue oriental characters on two similar blue Chinese jars:- There has been a lot of disagreement about these two jars and I am hoping someone …

Chinese or not Chinese -- that is the question! (Japanese?) 
Chinese or not Chinese -- that is the question! (Japanese?):- I am Sue, a 58 year old grandmother that enjoys spending her weekends looking for bargains. …

Please help translate this Japanese pottery signature in square red seal mark 
My mother and father-in-law were "Collectors". They spent their whole life traveling and collecting treasures. My husband, now 60 remembers his parents …

Thinking Japanese Pottery Mark Maybe? 
Thinking Japanese Pottery Mark Maybe? Hello, can a minor sibling dispute possibly be resolved please? We found this plate in the loft measuring 6 1/4 …

Pottery Mark Query - Lion encircled with leaves with hovering crown 
Pottery Mark Query - Lion encircled with leaves with hovering crown:- I have two large "decorative" plates. My grandmother purchased them from a estate …

Pottery Mark Query - N&C Japan wreath red yellow green 
Pottery Mark Query - N&C Japan wreath red yellow green:- Hello Pottery Marks Forum Members - It was love at first sight. While browsing Etsy for a present …

Chinese Gold Embossed Hand-Painted Urn with Red Diamond 'made in china' pottery mark with tea cup logo 
Chinese Gold Embossed Hand-Painted Urn with Red Diamond 'made in china' pottery mark with tea cup logo:- Hello! My husband and I acquired this gorgeous …

Asian Tea Set (Chinese/Taiwanese) with 'Rabbit' Pottery Mark Stamp 
Asian Tea Set (Chinese/Taiwanese) with 'Rabbit' Pottery Mark Stamp:- This Asian Tea Set appears to be Chinese or Taiwanese to me. It has a distinct 'Rabbit' …

Japanese Porcelain Mark - Can Anyone Translate This Please? 
Japanese Porcelain Mark - Can Anyone Translate This Please?:- Hi, I recently purchased this beautiful piece at a local estate auction, but cannot seem …

Red Stamped Seal Pottery mark Chinese or Japanese ? 
Irecently bought this beautiful dog statue in a resell shop in Hot Springs,Ar. that has a woodlook design with small holes in its nose, mouth & the bell …

Pottery mark Query on Ornate Oriental/Asian Looking Jug Pot and 4 cups and saucers 
Pottery mark Query on Ornate Oriental/Asian Looking Jug Pot and 4 cups and saucers:- Found in my fathers collection. I was wondering what you could tell …

Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar 
Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar:- I have been trying to research this urn or ginger jar with no luck. I did …

Chinese Pottery Mark Mystery - Red Square Stamp with Rounded Corners and Chinese Writing Inside 
Chinese Pottery Mark Mystery - Red Square Stamp with Rounded Corners and Chinese Writing Inside:- I'm trying to find out about this pottery dish that …

Oriental (Chinese or Japanese?) Pottery Mark Query - Impressed symbol on Umbrella Stand 
Oriental (Chinese or Japanese?) Pottery Mark Query - Impressed symbol on Umbrella Stand:- What I have is what appears to be an antique porcelain oriental …

Pottery Mark Query Double T Double Diamond 
About 5 years ago my Mother passed leaving me all this wonderful stuff. Mostly dolls but a lot of glass, pottery, etc. too. I have an antique vanity set …

Antique & Fine China - Vintage Japanese Kaneyama Kiln Ginger Jar 
Antique & Fine China - Vintage Japanese Kaneyama Kiln Ginger Jar:- I bought this at an estate sale and could not find the maker's mark anywhere on the …

Chinese Porcelain Vase from the 1930's 
Chinese Porcelain Vase from the 1930's with a square red seal mark stamp with oriental writing inside it:- I picked up this vase some 25 years ago. It …

Japanese Tea Set 
Japanese Tea Set - H inside of a flower and says hand painted japan:- I am trying to find out all about this Japanese Tea Set. I has a H inside of a flower …

Antique China - Mysterious 'X' Mark On Large Oriental Vase 
Antique China - Mysterious 'X' Mark On Large Oriental Vase:- As a 17 year old unlike most people my age, I'm rather fascinated by antiques. I picked up …

Empress China "Hand Painted Japan" 
We received a set of dishes from family members, the set is a beautiful floral pattern with a gold rim. On the back is a maker's mark that I would describe …

KUTANI CAT BACK STAMP With "L J" Mark 
KUTANI CAT BACK STAMP With "L J" Mark:- I received this newer Kutani Cat Figurine from an Estate that seems to be of some quality but I cannot identify …

Square Red mark of Oriental Looking Letters 
Square Red mark of Oriental Looking Letters:- I acquired this piece from an estate sale of an antique dealer that had been boxed up for 30+ years. There …

Pottery mark query blue circles and Oriental Writing in Red 
Pottery mark query blue circles and Oriental Writing in Red:- Hi Ive been give these ginger pots ( I think ) which I really love and would like to know …

Japanese Bone China - Gold Dragons 21 piece tea set 
Japanese Bone China - Gold Dragons 21 piece tea set:- My grandmother showed me these beautiful cups, saucers, and plates earlier today. There were six …

Pottery mark query - Simple blue crown with 'A A' below 
Pottery mark query - Simple blue crown with 'A A' below:- I have a china Siamese cat figure, playing with a slipper, that has no name or embossed stamped …

Gilded Cup and Saucer Peacock Pattern Unknown Wavy Lines Porcelain Mark 
Hi Peter, I just acquired this lovely cup and saucer pattern with peacocks and gilting. Any help on identifying the mark. I don't know where to begin …

wreath with cloverleaf and japan on reticulated teacup and saucer 
wreath with cloverleaf and japan on reticulated teacup and saucer:- This is a yellow footed teacup with gold handle and gilding on cup and saucer. It …

Period Figurines Crossed Arrows Pottery Mark 
Period Figurines Crossed Arrows Pottery Mark:- I have these two Victorian Bisque Figurines. One woman and one man. They have on clothes with flowers on …

Pottery Mark Query - Japanese/Chinese Number 8 Character On Base 
Pottery Mark Query - Japanese/Chinese Number 8 Character On Base:- Don't know much about this Vase as I am not an expert. It was just given to us by an …

Pottery Mark Query - NPSK above a crown inside wreath or laurel device 
Pottery Mark Query - NPSK above a crown inside wreath or laurel device:- My girlfriend acquired this piece from her grandmother, not much from it is known, …

"Y" with a small "s" inside Laurel Shield Fine Porcelain mark 
"Y" with a small "s" inside Laurel Shield Fine Porcelain mark:- I bought a tea service at an antique shop in Crosby, Tx. The set consists of 12 cups/saucers, …

Identify Beautiful Oriental Asian Porcelain Mark - Looks like a 'Y' 
Identify Beautiful Oriental Asian Porcelain Mark - Looks like a 'Y':- I bought three Japanese plates but I can't identify the mark. There is a G1112 …

Pottery Mark "H" inside a flower - "Hand painted Japan" 
Pottery Mark "H" inside a flower - "Hand painted Japan":- I have a figurine of a dog with a red collar. On the bottom is a stamp that is the letter “H” …

Is This An Japanese Artist Mark? 
Is This An Japanese Artist Mark? Query:- This mark is on a Japanese vase that I've owned for many years.The red ink leads me to think occupied Japan but …

Pottery mark query - Gold crown with no other marks 
My very much beloved Grandmother willed me a tea set. It's tiny and delicate, and has gold all over a lovely iridescent glaze. I've looked all over …

Unknown Pottery mark - made in china 
i bought some china at a thrift store and can't identify the mark. It's green and looks like a tall pagoda surrounded by mountains, rising into the clouds. …

POTTERY MARK QUERY ON BASE OF JAPANESE VASES 
POTTERY MARK QUERY ON BASE OF JAPANESE VASES:- WE HAVE TWO VASES, ALMOST IDENTICAL EXCEPT FOR A SLIGHT VARIATION OF THE FLOWER ON THE FRONT OF VASE, ONE …

Porcelain mark - Appears to be N with a C overtop 
N with a C overtop:- This is a figurine with a N with a C on top. This is followed underneath by a number. Can you identify this mark?

China mark query - S.P.P. underneath a crown between 2 feathered wings 
China mark query - S.P.P. underneath a crown between 2 feathered wings:- I have a bone china tea set with the inscription S.P.P. underneath a crown between …

Unknown Oriental Pottery Mark - bottom pic 
Unknown Oriental Pottery Mark:- Would be grateful of any information. Thank you. clare ============================================= Reply by Peter …

Porcelain Mark Query - Crown over S 
Porcelain Mark Query - Crown over S:- Hello, I have a pair of blue, white and gold porcelain figurines standing about 5 inches tall. She is carrying …

oriental pottery mark query - backstamp image 
Vases from grandparents, hope you can help... I searched for weeks for anything resembling this, and the closest thing i found was the Satsuma mark, …

Exceed bone china by Keito 
Exceed bone china by Keito fine china tableware:- I purchased a large serving plate and a set of cups and saucers in Saudi Arabia. I would like to find …

Is this a Villeroy and Boch? Pottery Mark Photo 
Is this a Villeroy and Boch? Pottery Mark Query:- I received a chocolate set from my father a few years ago. He picked it up at an auction sale, not …

Pottery Mark Query - 'S' Beneath Crown on Bunnykins Type Figurine 
Pottery Mark Query - 'S' Beneath Crown on Bunnykins Type Figurine:- Hi, Peter, I recently bought 4 animal ornaments on ebay, 3 squirrel's and 1 rabbit, …

W.L Pottery Mark - fits the criteria for original..is it?  
Hi I bought this vase in a shop where everything was very very old. It has the blue W.L...the metal looks very old..What is this worth do you think? …

Help Identify This Square Pottery Mark with Lines - Photo 2 
Red Square Pottery Mark with Lines:- THIS IS THE MARK ON BOTTOM OF VASE..COULD BE UPSIDE DOWN?? CAN ANY ONE TELL ME WHAT WHEN WHERE? THANK YOU MOTHER …

Porcelain Mark "M" over "R" and "N" in box 
Porcelain Mark "M" over "R" and "N" in box:- Purchased at yard sale in gold county of California. Stands 3 inches tall. That's all I know, can you help …

Potter mark query - T over C above sea / waves 
Potter mark query - T over C above sea / waves:- This mark appears on two figurines I have, possibly German / Bavarian ? Can anyone help with this mark …

M in Wreath with "Japan" underneath-Noritake Query 
M in Wreath with "Japan" underneath-Noritake Query:- Recently my 92 year old grandmother died and I received a candy dish and bowl from her collection. …

Crown over 'A' pottery mark Query 
Crown over 'A' Pottery Mark Query:- When clearing out my mother-in-law's house (she moved into a residential home) I found a figurine of a young peasant …

'M' With Crown Japan Pottery mark Query 
'M' With Crown Japan Pottery mark Query:- I have a some china. The mark is a crown with 3 panels, and a cross on the top. The letter "M" is underneath …

Mizuno Pottery Mark Query 
Mizuno Pottery Mark Query:- I have a 5pc coffee server set with a blue 4 tier crown and the name Y. Mizuno below that and have had no luck with finding …

Pottery Mark Query - Figurine With Crossed Swords With a Circle 
Pottery Mark Query - Figurine With Crossed Swords With a Circle:- Hi, I purchased this 8" figurine of a woman sitting with a basket of grapes on her lap. …

Pottery Mark - Crown over "P" Query 
Pottery Mark - Crown over "P" Query:- Can you tell me what copy is associated with the attached mark. It is a royal blue P with lines over it resembling …

Pottery Mark Query - 'Imperial Winn' China {ed. read as "Imperial Nippon"} 
Pottery Mark Query - 'Imperial Winn' China {ed. read as "Imperial Nippon"}: Hi there Peter. I saw where you answered a question for someone about the marking …

Oriental Ceramics - Pottery Marks in Chinese Query 
Oriental Ceramics - Pottery Marks in Chinese Query: My parents left me some China when they passed. This is a set of 8 1/2" plates with only Asian words …

Mystery 'Crown' Pottery Mark - {Editor says 'Arnart China' of Japan} 
Mystery 'Crown' Pottery Mark Query - {Editor says 'Arnart China' of Japan}:- I have had a set of Demitasse 6, with creamer, sugar and tea pot for almost …

W.L. Pottery Mark - William Lowe ("Court China") or Wong Lee? 
W.L. Pottery Mark - William Lowe ("Court China") or Wong Lee? Query:- I have a piece of pottery. has nice pale colouring with 4 long legged birds up …

Pottery Marks - Fakery Or ‘Influence’ 
WL 1895 - A Genuine Fake Mark By Wong Lee Not a William Lowe:- China Marks Article - Thank you, Peter, for an interesting pottery marks general information …

Pottery Mark Query - Blue anchor (inc cross, crown and orb) 
Found a pretty blue bird statue in the garden, dug up by the builder along with lots of old bottles, boots and cow teeth! On the base is a blue anchor …

Mark - Oriental house in the clouds, in black, above green oval with white Chinese letters (?), above the words "Made In China," in black. 
Hello, These little gems are something that was discovered in my Grandmas things after she passed away. I suspect, from what I have found so far in …

Old Tea set 
Rising sun mark blue & white tea-set Japan:- This old tea set was left to me by my late mother she had in turn inherited it from my grandmother and grandfather …

Pottery Marking with only the number 233 on a pair of cache pot jardinieres 
Pottery Marking with only the number 233 on a pair of cache pot jardinieres:- I have a pair of vases which I was told were brought out from England around …

Pottery mark on cute vintage flower ceramic - backstamp is flower or a clover, with 2 squares around it (looks a bit like a picture frame) and the word “Japan” under 
Pottery mark on cute vintage flower ceramic - backstamp is flower or a clover, with 2 squares around it (looks a bit like a picture frame) and the word …

Pottery Mark Query - orange/red square stamp with looping around edges 
Pottery Mark Query - orange/red square stamp with looping around edges:- I went to an estate auction down the road from me. I was drawn to a piece of …

Why does the vase have "gold imari" then Foreign underneath 
Why does the vase have "gold imari" then Foreign underneath:- Hi, I'm not sure as to why a vase which I have picked up today has the following stamp on …

W.L Pottery Mark - fits the criteria for original..is it?  
Hi I bought this vase in a shop where everything was very very old. It has the blue W.L...the metal looks very old..What is this worth do you think? …


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