Large Satsuma China Teapot

This is yet another example of the new fake 'Satsuma' pottery articles being exported from China. Satsuma marked products appeared almost as soon as Internet sales platforms became available to Chinese manufacturers. Chinese ceramics makers have historically preferred to make copies of pottery and porcelain articles resourced from their own country's long and gloried history in that medium. However, with a dramatic rise in prices for authentic Japanese Satsuma and collectors avidly seeking that particular type of item, rest assured American reproduction wholesalers would not miss seeing their opportunity. Once Japanese Satsuma became a good bet for profits in the 1980's, fakes were ordered, made and sold. Search this shop for Satsuma to view other items from China with various marks.

Even though the figures represented in the decorative design appear to be Japanese, the mark on this piece is unmistakably Chinese. But, Satsuma is and always has been an entirely Japanese-made pottery. It was never originally made in China or anywhere else, only Japan. If the mark you see on the bottom of a piece indicates it was made anywhere other than Japan, it cannot be Satsuma. Printing the word 'Satsuma' somewhere on an item cannot make it something it is not.

Chinese-made Satsuma is frequently represented on the secondary market as much older than it really is. Just as frequently it will be advertised as, 'handpainted,' though it is not. This is a factory manufactured product. Nothing about this item suggests the careful hand or individual expression of a skilled artist was involved in its making.

All Chinese made 'Satsuma' marked items are contemporary fakes with no current collector value. In addition, if a mark on such an item also happens to include a statement such as, "For Decorative Use Only" that would be an indication the glaze used to make it likely contained lead or a similar substance no one would want to ingest even in very small amounts. Items marked in such a way should never be used in food service.

Though it has no permanent mark to give warning, the type of glaze used to make this 'decorative' teapot suggests it may contain a high lead content, making this 'teapot' a dubious choice for the service of hot tea. Lead glazed ceramics imported today which should be marked to prevent accidental ingestion of lead may bear a permanent warning on bottom like, “Not for food use. Item may poison the food." or "For Decorative Purpose Only" (as seen on the Royal Satsuma marked candlesticks also listed in this shop). But often items leave the manufacturer with such warnings applied in the form of a paper label stuck on with cheap glue, rather than as part of a permanent marking. While a glued-on paper warning label remains affixed there might be little fear a buyer would use an item so marked to store something edible, or at the dinner table. But though some new items with lead based glazes may be properly represented to a first buyer as ‘only for decoration,’ those who may buy the same item later on the secondary market may not know it originally had a warning label affixed. Becoming familiar with the look and feel of these types of new fakes and reproductions can be an important consideration for that reason alone.

Lead glazed items can pose a health risk to the consumer. Even so, some less than reputable sellers of items bearing such labels on them do actually remove those prior to marketing the pieces, because the labels allow buyers to more easily tell the items are not really antiques.

The primary source reproduction wholesalers who import fakes and other items made with lead-based, potentially hazardous glazes or paints, could easily put a stop to the practice of only sticking on a paper label. They could require manufacturers from whom they order to permanently mark any item which might pose a potential hazard. But apparently many consider it more important to ensure a fake will be able to appeal to wholesale buyers, who want an item to be able to fool collectors. The so-called 'antique' dealers who remove paper warning labels from hazardous fakes they bought brand new are the crowd that keeps the maker's of new fakes and reproductions in business. Somehow it fails to be figured into the equation that all buyers, whether a week from now or a decade from now, should know if the possibility of danger exists. Once a paper warning label has fallen off, or been removed, they may not ever know.

Measures 10 1/2 inches tall, 7 1/4 inches in diameter and 10 inches from handle to tip of spout.

Item ID: 2007RP000212

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


Ruby Lane, Comparisons, CA   

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