Very big jar

I recently bought a very large piece of pottery at a yard sale. I have done some research on it, but still don't know really what I have.

Any help would be appreciated. The jar is all brown with two dragons on it. The woman I bought it from said that it was used to store rice and that she purchased it in China herself several years ago, but she is moving and it costs a lot to ship. I would guess it weighs around 50 lbs.

The only mark I can find on it is a "X" with a square around it. The dragons look as if they are above water; the inside is more of a mute yellow, golden color and has very heavy brush marks.

Could you tell me about how old it is and its worth.

Modern Chinese Pi Tang Kong (Container of Preserved Eggs) Jar

Thank you for the pictures of your quite decorative jar.

Big jars have been made all over Asia to store fresh water in; to store live fishes in and to all other kinds of storage purposes since they learnt how to throw clay and, they are still making large jars. Maybe more so today than ever.

When China started to modernize its pottery industry under the Department of Light Industry in the early 1950s all kind of wares that would fit to be sold and exported was revived and the production modernized. Among these where also huge glazed jars like this one.

Stylistically, this jar could very well belong to the late Qing dynasty, and does have a lot in common with roof tiles produced since Ming times up until today. The decoration I would say is "above average", with the traditional Chinese dragon above waves. Unfortunately, there is no way for me today even to guess exactly where this one have been made, nor if it is from northern or southern China, or in fact if it is made in China at all. Several South East Asian countries are making similar pots. The "X" mark, though, I feel are indicating a post 1950s date.

The collectors's value is normally "limited" since they are expensive to ship and do not fit into ordinary western people's bookshelves. It is very decorative though, and might find a new career as a flowerpot.

To find more about big Asian jars, please search my site for "Martaban".

Jan-Erik Nilsson

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