Maker's marks on Qing bows

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By Peter Dekker, April 3, 2014

Everyone get your bows out or dig through your archive of antique Qing bow pictures and send me clear pictures of your maker's marks to:

Also, if anyone can read some of the unidentified marks, let me know.

The idea is to get a database of maker's marks and some examples of the types of bows made by each shop.


Mark on a bow with simple finish in the Young Jip Bows and Arrows museum.

Mark on a beautiful mosaic-patterned bow owned by Mike Richards:

Mark on a large bow, possibly a strength bow, in the Beijing military museum:

Mark on a simple but well-made Manchu bow previously owned by me, now Jaap Koppedrayer:
覀 X 記
(Perhaps 西厢记, thanks Wong Yuen-Ming for the suggestion.)

Mark on a bow owned by Wen Chieh Huang, possibly the same as the previous bow:

Mark on a large Manchu bow photographed by Wen Chieh Huang:

Mark on a large Manchu bow owned by Jaap Koppedrayer:

Mark on a large Manchu bow owned by Stephen Klausner:

Mark on bow 1994-0883 in the Charles Grayson Collection
長禁 "Ever enduring"
This bow further has inlaid in the ears: "Made during the Guangxu period, year Guimao (1903)," & "Supreme Commander Jing of the Plain Yellow Banner." Which is interesting because it is an extremely light target bow. Perhaps it was a joke, or stage prop, or perhaps was a light sports bow for a then perhaps elderly commander.

Mark on a standard bow in the Ingo Simon collection, now in the Manchester archery collection, Manchester:
定先 or 定氕

(I also remember seeing 定德 on a bow. I fail to remember when and where.)

Secret marks of the Changxing workshop in Chengdu: