Chop, Seal, and Signature Resource

The gallery below represents the sum total of my Signature and chop database. There are over 600 artist marks here, including the lions share of Antique Chinese and Tokoname kilns.
I hope this is useful for all you Bonsai enthusiasts and pottery collectors. I have enjoyed identifying others’ pots on the forums, Facebook, and by email, but its best if we can all do it ourselves.
Many thanks to my friend and fellow pottery expert Francisco Javier Gutierrez, who provided me with many marks I didn’t have and some I’d never seen before.
Note that Chinese kilns are identified with their Japanese pronunciations, they are pronounced entirely differently in Chinese. Chinese kilns, when I know, are identified by age, as so:
Kowatari: Old Crossing, Pre-1800
Nakawatari: Middle Crossing, 1800-1911
Shinwatari:New Crossing, 1911-1940
By decade: given
Contemporary: within the last 35 years
Taisho era(Japanese): 1912-1926

Feel free to email me at Gastrognome at aol dot com about any inaccuracies or other chops you have that should be added, or if you just can’t seem to find your mark. Up to 3 IDs via email are gratis, and the fee for more is nominal.

18 Responses to Chop, Seal, and Signature Resource

  1. tiko says:

    Ryan, thanks for sharing this information is very useful to identify,
    a greeting, Tiko (spain)

  2. adam says:

    can you point out pottery by bushuan

  3. Ged says:

    It great but I couldn`t find the impressed mark that I have

  4. This is beautiful-Thank You for taking the time…

  5. Terrific work. I assume you are aware of this official list from Tokoname (

    • japanesepots says:

      I’m well aware of the Tokoname catalog list. Remember though, that’s only the Tokoname potters present in the “E” catalog. There are many Tokoname potters not represented there.

  6. Rolf Becker says:

    Great work (another one!)! Thank you very much for doing this.
    Could you post the chops and marks of Heian Tofukuji jun. soon?
    Thanks a lot!
    Best regards Rolf

  7. Mer says:

    Hi Ryan,
    Recently I bought 2 little Japanese pots at auction but cannot locate the chops on your excellent list. Each has two marks….a chop and a small raised crab. I’d appreciate any help you can give me.

  8. big DAVE says:

    Sounds like a cool purchase. Crabs seems to be a subject many potters like to use as decoration.

    Maybe you can put a photo up for Ryan some Where to see.

    Dont see a way to attach a photo here.

    Good luck
    big D

  9. Pingback: New bonsai pot – Keizan | Bonsai Tonight

  10. Jason Lewis says:

    Awesome site!!! Thank you for working on this! I cant seem to find my marks. Could I send you pics of stamps? Thanks so much

  11. WOW! This is a pretty big list, nice job. I am bookmarking this page for later use. Thanks for puting all the time and effort into this!

  12. radicedipino says:

    Bravissimo, ottimo lavoro, grazie.

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