Chinese vase with or without signature: what is the difference?

Chinese vase with or without signature: what is the difference?

2022-06-10 Off By Jason

Are you a collector of Asian art? Do you have an interest in objects that date back to ancient civilizations? You have probably already heard of Chinese vases. These relics are of great interest to many people and are a real gold mine. However, some of these objects are intentionally counterfeited in order to deceive the vigilance of potential buyers. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between Chinese vases with signature and those without.

Do ancient Chinese vases have a signature?

The use of vases in Chinese tradition dates back to the 6th century. This period coincides with the discovery of kaolin. A discovery that allowed ancient Chinese craftsmen to produce transparent and very refined vases.

Subsequently, these inventions have known a number of improvements. For example, in the 11th century, Chinese ceramists substituted brown green vases with transparent kaolin ones. This was followed by white and blue vases during the 14th and 15th centuries. The latter are essentially made of porcelain or ceramic. You can discover some examples on the chine à Paris and other sites specialized in Asian art.

From the 17th century onwards, the trends became very significant. Indeed, not only did these Chinese vases become an important part of the goods traded to Europe, but they constitute a real heritage. A rich identity. For this reason, the craftsmen and even the holders of these Chinese vases in porcelain or ceramics did not hesitate to mark them in order to guarantee their ownership. These marks vary according to the period and the place of manufacture. The vases of great value were thus signed by the Chinese emperors and by the sinograms.

Far from being only a mark of ownership, signatures on Chinese vases are today more or less indispensable clues to attest the authenticity of this type of object.

Chinese vases without signatures are not as reliable

Given the importance of signatures in the authentication process of Chinese vases, it is quite impossible to trust vases that do not bear such marks. It is important to remember that these signatures tacitly prove that the object bearing them is original.

Therefore, apart from this clue, the reliability of these objects is considerably doubtful. Since it would be easy for malicious individuals to manufacture counterfeit vases that they will sell on the market. The clear difference between signed and unsigned vases is therefore related to the authenticity of these objects.

The signature is not enough to authenticate a vase from China

To know if a vase is really authentic and if it comes from China, the signature is not a sufficient clue. Indeed, several fraudulent processes allow counterfeiters to create signatures on the back of completely modern and counterfeit vases. This allows them to sell these objects at exorbitant prices on the market. For this reason, one cannot limit oneself to this detail to attest the originality of such an object.

Moreover, it should also be remembered that not all antique vases from China are signed. There are some that are authentic, old and yet do not bear any particular marks or signs. These different realities make authentication by signature an increasingly impartial method to recognize a Chinese vase.

How to recognize then an ancient Chinese vase?

To recognize an authentic ancient Chinese vase, it is advisable to call upon an expert. The latter is the best placed to study the signature written on the back of the object. In case it is a vase that does not bear a signature, there are other means of expertise that can help prove the authenticity of the ancient vase. These include the quality of the object, the finesse of the workmanship and the decorative techniques. These aspects involve a wide range of details that will not escape the watchful eye of an art expert.

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