Green glazed vase

Last year I visited Qingdao in China and purchased the attached vase.

I would appreciate it if you could provide me any information on this piece and it's approximate value.

The antique dealer indicated to me that it was of the Ming Dynasty vintage, however I have not been able to locate any similar pieces.

Our vase stands approximately 8 inches tall. I have attached 2 photos: one is the scanned copy of "authenticity" from the dealer and the second photo is one taken of the bottom of the vase.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Fahua vase generally accepted as Ming

Thank you for sending me the pictures of your vase.

As a collector I can only say there is a certain amount of uncertainty about ceramic pieces of this specific type.

In the trade they are generally accepted as "Ming" due to its technically old type of potting, its old looking clay and its lead based glaze. The panels around the base are also very much in Ming style, as is the general style of the vase.

The receipt reads:

Relics Export Special Approval Certificate.


Description: Fahua double dragon vase
Material: earthen ware
Quantity: 1
Period: Ming
Remarks: damaged at mouth

If this vase still in fact dates from Ming or the late 19th century is another question. Similar pieces seem to have been made in two main locations. One belongs to the "tile makers" tradition, connected to Beijing and the second connected to the Canton area. From the former comes most of the "Ming" roof tiles, with horses and other figures, with the same uncertainty about their actual age.

From the second southern location come all kinds of pottery pieces, also covered with lead glazes. The reason I bring this up is that the "Ming" looking panels around the base on this vase also occurs on a special type of green glazed jars, which is also called "Ming" for the same reason. This is all well if it had not been for the fact that one of these jars I have seen recently came with a neat "Made in Hong Kong" mark impressed in the clay.

Still this is not conclusive regarding the date of your vase, I am just telling it to explain the uncertainty that surrounds these wares who still awaits further research. I am quite sure all this will sort itself out in time. For the time being this is the best I can do to help.

Generally the price matches the uncertainty so there are mostly no problem with the dating as reflected in the price. Regarding a value I rarely have any opinion since these are very different on different markets. From one point of view the value is what you paid. From another point of view one could say that vases like this - with their built-in insecurity as to their date - usually sell at US $400 in the west.

I hope this helps some anyway.

Jan-Erik Nilsson

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