How to Tell Whether a Satsuma Vase Is Real

Written by amber mcguire
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How to Tell Whether a Satsuma Vase Is Real
Satsuma vases have many small details in the painting. (vase image by musk from Fotolia.com)

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.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Satsuma vase

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Instructions

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    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.

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