Maker's marks on Qing bows

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: