Chinese Antique Vase Tongzhi (1862-1874) Butterflies and Bok Choy
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This striking vase was made in China of hand enameled porcelain. It bears the overglaze iron red reign mark of the Tongzhi Emperor whose rule lasted from 1862 to 1874, during the Qing Dynasty. The mark is on the bottom of the vase; since the mark is not under the glaze, it has faded with age and use. In one of the photographs, the bottom is shown with the actual mark, along with an inset example that shows the mark more clearly, albeit not in red. The marks used in the late 19th century were for the most part rubber stamped rather than hand painted, as is the case here. The six character mark reads: Great Qing Tong Zhi Period Make.
The enamels on the exterior of the vase include two shades of green, black, blue and cranberry. The interior is a beautiful light turquoise. The decorations are, of course, the stalks and leaves of bok choy (aka Chinese cabbage) and two identical butterflies, painted one on each side in what we would think of as an upside down position. The cylinder shaped vase with a deeply scalloped rim stands 6 inches tall and is 4 1/2 inches wide across the mouth. The round base with the dry foot rim is 2 1/4 inches in diameter. It is in wonderful condition with no chips or cracks and some faint, but definitely discernible discolorations on the interior from years of holding flowers. This vase looks spectacular anywhere it's displayed.