Chinese Reproductions Identification & Marks
Chinese antiques have perhaps been reproduced more than any other type, and the trade continues today with pieces readily available on websites such as Alibaba and eBay. Most items are made simply as decorative reproductions without intent to deceive, although there are of course also deliberate forgeries. One of the big problems is that Chinese items have been reproduced for around 150 years or more, so many reproductions are antiques in their own right, and these can be harder to distinguish from the originals. Using older marks to honour previous generations is also common and can also cause confusion.
The most common reproductions or modern representations of older items you are likely to see include porcelain, pottery, bronze and cloisonne. At any one time you will find that most such items offered as antiques on online sales venues are actually relatively modern, so do take care when purchasing.
Buyers should also note that Chinese items commonly use older reign marks in honour of past Emperors, so the presence of such a mark or seal should not be taken as an indication of age. Indeed the vast majority of items with reign marks on online marketplaces are not of the original period.
Common generic marks :
手工製作 : Shǒugōng zhìzuò - Hand crafted or Hand Made
中国制造 : Made in China - seen on 20th century items, mostly post WW2
玉 : Yu (jade) - Sometimes seen on Kangxi items, more common on reproductions
|中国制造 Made in China (Zhōngguó zhìzào). Old style of 'Made in China' on a Satsuma style fish bowl, probably 3rd quarter of the 20th century.|
|大清乾隆年制 - Dà qīng qiánlóng nián zhì - Great Qing Qianlong Emperor Reign Period (1736-95). The imperial reign mark for the Emperor Qianlong in script form. Mark from a blue and white dish in the Qianlong style, but later, likely early 20th century production. Note there are errors in how the script is formed for Qianlong.|
|制嶺特注 - Special Note (Chinese) - Custom Order (Japanese). Mark on a porcelain vase painted in the Satsuma style. Probably Chinese made, 1980's period. Intended for export decorative market, not meant as a deceptive fake.|