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Potters’ Marks

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Chapter Summary

Potters' marks are found only on seventeenth century Safavid wares, and only a small proportion of surviving vessels bear such marks. Most of the dated wares from the first half of the seventeenth century have seal-marks, thus providing a chronological sequence for these marks. Petrographic analysis of both the dated and the undated vessels with seal-marks has allowed to attribute certain variations in the seal-mark to specific workshops. The square seal-mark normally consists of a square formed of single strokes that tend to overlap. Within the outer square there are usually one or more inner squares. The blank space inside the square is normally filled with various characters, remotely based on the Chinese characters found in the reign names or other expressions making up the nianhao on Chinese porcelain. Potters' marks are designated "S" for seal-mark, "T" for tassel-mark, and "C" for character-mark.

Keywords: character-mark; Chinese porcelain; nianhao; Petrographic analysis; Potters' marks; Safavid wares; seal-mark; tassel-mark



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