mudman figurines are beautiful and fun to collect. They have been
produced in China for hundreds of years. The easiest Chinese mudmen
to find are from the Victorian era, when a fascination with all
things oriental swept Europe and America. Mudmen were created to
adorn oriental gardens with miniature trees and plants. These
charming figurines are easy to recognize, if you know what to look
for. Newer made Chinese mudmen do not have the same characteristics,
so read on and learn how to collect true, Antique Chinese Mudman
1. Inspect the glaze. Antique Chinese mudman figurines have lead glazes in bright colors, called majolica. The most common colors are black, yellow, brown, green and blue. The low firing technique often produced crackle in the glaze. Newer kinds of mudmen have matte glazes that are very different. Even if they have a crackle in the glaze, the muted colors will tip you off that it is not an antique.
2. Inspect the face. Most antique Chinese mudman figurines have charming faces of wizened old men. The eyes are usually just a hole poked into the clay. Nearly all of them have white, flowing beards and bushy eyebrows. The more detailed the features of the face, the better. Pieces made by the most skilled artisans will have more detail and the face will look more lifelike.
3. Look for rare accessories. All Chinese mudmen are holding something; a book, a pot, a basket, flute or a fish. The more eclectic or rare the item in the mudman figure's hand, the more desirable and valuable it is. Baskets are common. An open book or a flute are rarer and will be worth more.
4. Look for a back stamp on the underside of the Chinese mudman figure that is impressed into the clay. The oldest mudmen, prior to 1890, will not have a back stamp, but you will be able to see evidence of the artisan's work. Since they were made by hand, you can see fingerprints in the clay, indentations where their fingers pressed the clay into the molds, etc... In the 1890's, the U.S. began requiring all imported goods to be marked with their country of origin. A mark of simply "CHINA" or 'HONG KONG", is from 1890-1919. From 1920-1951 the words "Made in..." are added to the mark. Since 1952, the stamp will also include a number.
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Thanks for looking.
Buyers – Please Note:
Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility.
Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.