1896 Duck Creamer

This example is yet another of a recently made product that may be assumed to be old based entirely on the fact it seems to bear a year date of '1896' in the maker's mark. But the numbers present in the mark, which is sometimes identified as a 'Wong Lee' mark, do not refer to the year the item was made. This is a contemporary item, newly made. It and its mark are both the creations of a modern day manufacturer based in China. A similar mark is used by the same company for items most generally placed in metal mounts. For those items the numbers '1895' are used in the back stamp.

This mark will often be seen on items on which false aging techniques are used. But because the `aged' items are actually made in a modern factory, modern characteristics will always be present, too. Looking past what the maker wants you to see, what do you really see?

Note first the extremely large size of the maker's back stamp. It is extra large and fancy and made that way with the specific intent of impressing the observer, catching their eye and leading them to the suggested date of `1896.' But doesn't this piece seem a bit thickly potted and, with that rather ill fitting lid, not of proper quality to bear such a prestigious looking mark?

A striped appearance to the 'patina' on the base can be seen due to the fact it was not gained slowly over many years, but instead was wiped on with a rag or brush before the piece left the factory. At top right you can observe the underlying original white color of the body. This is where the hasty worker applying the stain missed that spot. Also note the blobs and drips of white glaze material over the top of the supposedly 'aged' surface beneath. There is also a large, rectangular area above and to the right of the crown in the mark which shows where the paper manufacturer's country of origin sticker was once applied. When that was removed later, it lifted the applied 'age' stain beneath.

Also pay attention to specific types of decorative application on items like this which are trying to appear old. Spray painted coloring effects on beak, comb and the flower petals on the lid are sure indicators of modern manufacturing techniques.

This mark will never appear on an authentically old pottery or porcelain piece.

Item ID: 2007RP00040

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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