How To Read Satsuma Marks. How To Read Satsuma Marks.

Dating satsuma pottery. Is my satsuma pottery genuine?.

Oftentimes, Satsuma markings will have gold Japanese characters on a red background with a gold outline surrounding the red background; the entire marking may be in a square or rectangular shape.

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Satsuma vases generally depict Japanese themes including scenes of court life, legends and artistic values. This mark was used during a time in Japan where they were becoming very proud of their country and efforts were being made to establish some sort of pride in where the makers of pottery such as Satsumaware lived and came from.

If the marking is rectangular in shape with a separate circular crest above the rectangle, the marking may indicate Gyokuzan, in which case the vase likely dates from to -- the Meiji period.

While it was originally an indication of a link to the Satsuma domain and the Shimazu clan's direct involvement in the items' production, in the age of mass production and export, the crest simply became a marketing convention.

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Check other useful sites. Items for export were often decorated with obscure and unrelated themes chosen for their drama and exoticism.

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You may find that some pieces of pottery have very similar looking marks, which is good for people like us who are looking to find the authenticity.

The decorator's name has just 2 characters, I think best written as Daimyo perhaps, in this sense, meaning "great reputation"with the LH column then reading "Daimyo made".

Zan can also be marked in a more stylised way, such as on this marking by Gyokuzanwhere the "zan" at the bottom looks very different to the normal kanji.

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So how do you tell if a piece you own is a genuine antique Satsuma vase, plate or button? Read more about the service on our Satsuma Valuation Service page.

Check for the Shimazu crest.

The "makers mark" or marking on each Satsuma piece is the key to unlock the value, age and authenticity. Add extra marks, piece by piece until you can build up an image of the kanji you are looking for.

Using the Find Kanji By Radicals siteyou can slowly build up the marking, piece by piece to form the full item. Gosu Blue is distinctive with a very thick glaze that can be either dark blue, green or black depending on the firing. Date second half of the Meiji period Bizan, Taisho period Satsuma pottery is the Western name for very collectable type of Japanese earthenware exported throughout the world since the Japanese Meiji period I do not read Japanese at all, apart from a few simple Kanji that I have become used to.

The resulting export style demonstrated an aesthetic thought to Dating satsuma pottery foreign tastes.

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It is also not Shimizu Bizan of Kutani fame whose work is extraordinary. I can usually spot this one by remembering the design of the marks below the horizontal like at the bottom. There was new interest in producing decorative pieces okimonosuch as figurines of beautiful women bijinanimals, children and religious subjects.

Criticism[ edit ] The response of critics and collectors to mass-produced Satsuma ware was and is overwhelmingly negative. He produced extremely high quality decoration and all his work carries his own Yabu Meizan seal, usually in gold. Satsuma The typical Satsuma ware we most of the time comes into contact with is a yellowish earthenware usually decorated with a minute decoration with Japanese figures, expressive faces or detailed oriental landscapes, or sometimes embellished with vivid dragons in relief.

I guess that it is just a hallmark to show where the item came from or a way of the maker announcing that they were from that place.