Makuzu Kozan Porcelain Vase, ca. 1898

Value (2012) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

This vase was my grandfather's. He visited China for over a year in the 1920s. And it has just come down through the family. We thought that it was very old, and there is a marking on the bottom that doesn't seem to be a stamp. It seems to be painted on.

I see, yeah.

So we thought maybe it was the real thing. We were under the impression that it was from China.

Well, actually, it's not from China.

It's not from China.

It's Japanese. But I can certainly understand why you might have thought that it was Chinese. The artist who created this, Makuzu Kozan, was one of the most important Meiji period-- that would be 19th century into the 20th century-- artists. And he would do things in Chinese style early on in his career. So you have one of his masterpieces.

Oh, my goodness.

This motif that he used here in the reserve, beautiful underglaze and overglaze plum blossom in a very typical Chinese design. And then this beautiful embossing throughout the ground of the vase is a typical motif that's often found on ancient Chinese bronzes. This is porcelain. Oh, I see. And the mark that you were talking about on the bottom of the vase, Kozan used Chinese characters to express his name. The mark looks like a Ming dynasty mark. Kozan used this on many of his early pieces. It's an underglaze blue painted, and what it says is "Dai Nippon Kozan tsukuru," meaning that it was made by Kozan in Great Japan.


He was well known for his extraordinary techniques that he used. He introduced Japan to more Western techniques for doing ceramics from Europe. And in fact, he was so important that the imperial family of Japan invited him to be their artist in residence.

Oh, my goodness.

This would have been made in the late 19th century. It's in excellent condition for its age. At auction, I would put the reserve of $10,000 to $12,000.

Oh, my goodness. Wow.

Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Marlborough, MA
Appraised value (2012)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Boston, MA (June 09, 2012)
19th Century

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