General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Is this vase from Japan possibly valuable (see details)?

Asked by gorillapaws (29617points) 2 weeks ago

In the late 90’s I lived with a Japanese family in Hiroshima one summer in high school. The school hosted a fundraiser where parents donated goods to sell and it was like a school-sized yard sale. My fellow American students were given “first dibs” at the stash since we were guests.

Among the things I picked up was a vase. I think it’s painted porcelain, but it’s VERY lightweight which makes me extremely suspicious that it’s junk. I’m planning on giving it away, but I just wanted a quick sanity-check that I’m not somehow inadvertently tossing an heirloom from the Meiji dynasty era that’s been passed down for generations, or something. If it’s really lightweight, is it possible that it’s porcelain? If it’s really lightweight, does that mean it’s necessarily not valuable? It did come with a special box with decorative paper and red fabric lining.

I can post some pictures and link them below, but I’m hoping there’s enough detail to just know if it even has the potential to be valuable.

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19 Answers

smudges's avatar

I wish I could feel just how light it is. I can’t really think of anything that wo9uld be extremely light except paper, and I’m sure it’s not that. Porcelain isn’t heavy, but as you know, it’s all relative.

You could probably send very close-up pictures in to a website that will give you their educated guess. Some will do it for free, but I can’t remember any offhand. You could also take it to a reputable thrift or antique store in person, or look up antique dealers in your town. Some would charge a minimal fee, others might not. I know…how does one know if it’s reputable, right? Does it have any markings on the bottom? That would help a lot. I’ve spent hours and hours searching the internet for items I have, but it’s been a few years and I’ve deleted the sites from my Favorites.

My best guess is that yes, it has the potential to be valuable. Pictures would help if it’s not too much of a hassle.

RayaHope's avatar

As @smudges you need to look at the bottom of the vase to see if there are any markings. My mom loves that corny show Antiques Roadshow and they always check the bottoms of vases.

smudges's avatar

^^ Yeah, they check everything for a Maker’s Mark…furniture, jewelry, silver, you name it.

gorillapaws's avatar

Thanks for the responses so far.

I’ve always thought porcelain was heavy (e.g. plates, bowls, toilets)?

Yes there’s a maker’s mark on the bottom. Here are the images:

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws It seems to me that it’s worth taking into an antiques shop that specializes in fine china and see if they see it as worth anything. Or look for a site online that does appraisals. Hard to know – at least for me – if it’s junk or not. Porcelain can be quite fine and light.

RayaHope's avatar

You need to have the Japanese translation

smudges's avatar

Wow! That’s beautiful. And you have the box! That gives it even more value, if it has any. I’d definitely take it to an antique store. It looks like it’s in excellent condition (excellent meaning a rating, not an opinion). I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s worth something. Maybe not millions, but…you know.

smudges's avatar

Did you remove the tag on the bottom or did it come that way? If you did, can you remember what was on it?

gorillapaws's avatar

@smudges “Did you remove the tag on the bottom or did it come that way?”

This was a while ago, so I don’t remember. It’s possible it was the price sticker that the school placed on the item.

snowberry's avatar

My daughter and son in law are here from Japan. The vase was made in China. The black words on the box are in Japanese, and say, “Chinese Famous Porcelain”. The red mark on the box is in Chinese, and they don’t know that meaning. The stamp on the bottom of the vase is a maker’s mark.

To find its value, you must get it appraised.

JLoon's avatar

Blue ink mark on the bottom of your vase appears to be Chinese not Japanese.

Box label is Japanese and reads ” Famous Porecelain Hemanto”. Can’t find an exact match online, but it’s probably factory produced, and dates from about 1940 thru 1960’s

Shape is a variation of tradditional “willow leaf” type Chinese vase. Decoration is stencil printed not hand applied, so everything indicates probably not antique – but could still have some value as a collectable.

Have someone knowlegable check it out before you give it away for beer money ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would send the two markers make to a Japanese or Chinese FB page see what they have to say.
It’s beautiful.

gorillapaws's avatar

Update: I found something very similar for sale with the same mark from the mid 80’s that’s selling for $90 on Etsy. A rare treasure from the First Emperor of China this is not. Thanks for everyone’s help.

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws That does look very similar.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Etsy prices on antiques are sky high also.

JLoon's avatar

@gorillapaws – Hold everything – this comes with soup too ?!

Start the bidding!!

smudges's avatar

@gorillapaws You could write to this person, send pics of yours and see if they have any more info. There are many collectibles where one is only worth a little but another one that looks similar or is made by the same artist can be very valuable – like Hummels.

flutherother's avatar

My wife, who is Chinese, thinks the vase was made in China for the export market. The mark on the base of the vase gives the place of manufacture as Jingdezhen and it was probably made relatively recently as in place of the dynasty it simply gives China which was the practise after the establishment of the republic.

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