This example is a modern decorative fantasy piece from a retail outlet that supplies items for interior embellishment. It was made strictly for ornamentation and not for food service. This bowl exhibits strange design element choices that one would not expect to be present on authentic antique pieces.
The medallions show cameo silhouettes of a lady and gentleman in apparent colonial attire, which suggests the West, while floral decoration in the interior hints at Far East design. While the medallions and floral sprays raise the East or West question, 'simple' country-style elements incongruously joined with heavy application of gold enameling, and geometric shapes further confuse its origins.
Anyone unable to read the maker's mark that looks like a Chinese reign mark could assume it means the item may be old. Those who know better, however, would recognize it as a modern Chinese manufacturer's mark.
Chinese ceramics bearing counterfeit reign marks are nothing new on the collecting scene. They go back almost to the time when clay vessels were first produced in that country. Spurious markings are of course still popular in modern times. Replica items were once carefully made in old styles and given specious reign marks out of respect for original makers. Today they are big business. The demand is so good 'Chinese' articles are even made in other countries. So it is possible to buy a 'Chinese' reproduction today that isn't even Chinese, at all.
As with other types of collected objects, of course, the mark is the last aspect that should be considered. Most especially if one is unable to decipher what it actually says. As this particular mark is fairly easy to recognize visually, just knowing it is an example always found only on non-authentic, solely decorative, fantasy items can be helpful.
Considering the obvious characteristics of this bowl, as should be done for any type of pottery or porcelain object, let's ask, do all elements honestly seem to belong together?
Other than the 'not quite right' nature of the decoration there are other aspects to consider. Contemporary items like this bowl are often given a false 'age-crackle' effect in the glaze. On this piece the places where the design broke at application, too, making it possible to see that the decoration is transfer printed, not painted by hand. The body is thick and heavy and a brownish stain has been applied to the foot-rim to disguise its newness. If you could run your fingers over this area you would be able to feel roughness, which is not consistent with the application of the stain. Presumably if this item were old, both coloration and roughness could be expected to have worn smooth where the bowl met surfaces continuously over many years. Such an unglazed foot rim might be stained, but entirely smooth, or smooth with areas of stain worn completely away, but for both over-staining and roughness to be present is illogical.
The main thing to remember here is if you see the maker's mark illustrated in this listing on an item it cannot actually be as old as it may seem to be.
Measures 10 5/8 inches long, 6 ¾ inches wide and stands 5 inches tall.
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.