How to Tell Whether a Satsuma Vase Is Real

Updated April 17, 2017

Authentic Satsuma pieces are very valuable. They began being made in Japan during the early 1900s and continued until the 1920s. As they gained popularity, companies began to mass produce them. The copies are very beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with owning one. They will cost you substantially less than originals. Finding an original piece is rare but easy to spot. You look for the distinctive markings.

Check for markings. An original Satsuma vase will not have any English words on it. The most common marking on an authentic Satsuma is a circle with a cross in the centre.

Look closely at the paint. The glaze should look crackled, revealing cream-coloured pottery underneath.

Examine the images. Authentic pieces will have images of geisha girls, emperors, Japanese immortals, and wildlife. If the vase has a contemporary look, it is a copy.

Things You'll Need

  • Satsuma vase
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About the Author

Amber McGuire has been writing since 1994. Her online instructional articles specialize in crafts, parenting and interior design subjects. She also owns an online jewelry store where she sells her handmade pieces. McGuire studied business administration at St. Petersburg College in Florida.