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Blemishes such as black specs, glaze gaps and bubbles, and firing cracks are normal in antique Canton.The reasons are that the old kilns used wood which introduced ash specs and created uneven temperatures in the kilns.
Most later Chinese ceramics, even of the finest quality, were made on an industrial scale, thus few names of individual potters were recorded.
The first character reads ‘da’ (great), followed by ‘qing’ (pure), the official name of the alien Manchu dynasty.
This is followed by the two characters giving the reign title of the ruling emperor.
The “eight Buddhist emblems” appear fairly frequently, as do the “eight precious things” and a collection of instruments and implements used in the arts and known as the “hundred antiques.” The “lions of Buddha” (often miscalled dogs) are frequently represented, as is the , which is a grotesque mask of uncertain origin, also appears on early bronzes and on later pottery and porcelain.
Decorations based on Chinese literary sources are usually extremely difficult to trace to their origin.
Chinese decoration is usually , also means “happiness.” Five bats represent the Five Blessings—longevity, wealth, serenity, virtue, and an easy death.