These 3 galleries of Japanese, Chinese, and Tokoname Marks represent the sum total of my signature and chop database. There are over 1000 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 forums, Facebook, and by email; but it is 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. Special thanks also to SC Hwang, who has been of invaluable assistance with Chinese marks. Special thanks go to Houston Sanders, whose generous donation to merge his database with mine has been invaluable in increasing how comprehensive and accurate they are.
Note that Chinese kilns are identified with their Japanese pronunciations, they are pronounced entirely differently in Chinese. Chinese kilns, when that knowledge is available, are identified by age, as: Kowatari: Old Crossing, Pre-1800 Nakawatari: Middle Crossing, 1800-1911 Shinwatari: New Crossing, 1911-1940
Cultural Revolution(CR): 1966-1976. Contemporary: Made after 1976 Taisho Era: 1912-1926
Reading artist marks: this order of operations always holds true as long as the mark is in the same form(i. e. vertical 2 character marks are read top to bottom, horizontal 3 character box stamps right to left, horizontal 2 character non box stamps left to right, ect.)
CONTEMPORARY MARKS(POST CR, 1976)
Unlabeled marks are contemporary from unknown kilns or regions, usually production pots.