These candlesticks are another example of the scores of new porcelain and pottery items exported out of the country of China in the recent past. 'Satsuma' 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, in association 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 the opportunity to order some replicas of same to be made for stock. Once Japanese Satsuma became a good bet for profits in the 1980's, fakes were ordered, made and sold.
Sometimes items bearing the mark shown in this listing will be described as a Japanese mark by a seller. But even if they know better and identify it only as a 'Satsuma Style' Chinese made piece, most will still most generally also go on to suggest their item was created back in the 60's or 70's, to give it the cache of having some age to a potential buyer. But that, too, is incorrect. Items bearing this particular mark were not made prior to the 1980's and so all are by definition contemporary. They are not 'vintage' - they are not 'old.' See also item # 2007RP000119, the Satsuma dish with lid here in this shop to see a similar item with a similar mark, only with the addition of the name of the Chinese factory from which it came.
The quality of these articles is never as good as one should expect to be present on an authentic, aged example of Satsuma pottery. Though the hastily stamped mark on the bottom of this piece says in English, "Royal Satsuma Fine Hand Painted Porcelain" the machine printed decoration on the surface is not representative of the individual expression of a skilled artist. Note the lack of uniformity in the moriage (raised enamel decoration), its slap-dash application over the printed design. No artist carefully and lovingly applied this decoration, so it is not clear which aspect of these pieces can be said to relate to either suggestion in the mark that they are of fine quality and painted by hand.
Satsuma is and always has been entirely Japanese 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 It was never originally made in China or anywhere else, only Japan.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 truly be Satsuma. Printing the word 'Satsuma' on the base of an item cannot make it something it is not. Neither does strategic use of a word make an item old or of high quality, although suggesting these states is the reason many contemporary manufacturer's add words that do not apply to the objects they are selling. Some articles of Japanese make may have the world Satsuma in the mark, too, but always with the identification of the country of manufacture as Japan. If the word 'Satsuma' is included in the mark on a Japanese-made item, that would be an indication of 20th century manufacture.
Remember, Satsuma is always a type of pottery, never porcelain. So if an item is marked both 'Porcelain' and 'Satsuma,' as are these candlesticks, it cannot be true Satsuma, at all. The body of Satsuma ware (the clay) is of a non-translucent pottery type which may be buff or creamy colored. This can be observed on the unglazed area of the foot rim.
All Chinese made 'Satsuma' marked items are contemporary fakes with no current collector value. In addition, if a mark on such an item also includes a statement such as seen on these pieces, "For Decorative Use Only" that would be an indication the glaze used to make them likely contained lead. Items marked in such a way should never see actual use at the table or used in food service.
These candlesticks measure 10 inches in height and they are 4 1/2 inches across the base.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.