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Can anyone translate this for me? vase I need a translation for the bottom of this vase.

closed as off-topic by NS.X., Stan, user3306356, songyuanyao, Claw Feb 20 '15 at 0:21

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Well, first we have to recognized what is written as it is not a very good writing...

I think what is written is from right to left (in simplified Chinese): 甲辰 东湖刻于 台湾 It means these words are engraved in the year JiaChen which is a year counting by the Chinese Era, at the East Lake, in Taiwan.

  • Well this is just a translation, I know nothing about the history of the vase of course... – LN_HE Feb 17 '15 at 20:10
  • that's 東??? I took it as a personal name... it doesn't seem to make sense to have a place name before the 於... but I can't figure out what that character is supposed to be. Also I'm seeing maybe 瑚... Ugh I hate Chinese cursive. – Master Sparkles Feb 17 '15 at 20:17
  • Ah maybe it's not. I'm not sure... Yes you are right it's a little strange to put a place before. it's engraved so more difficult to recognize. maybe we need an archaeologist here... =) – LN_HE Feb 17 '15 at 20:55
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    I think Master Sparkles is right. It doesn't even look like 東。 秉瑚 (a person's name) is more like it. – monalisa Feb 17 '15 at 20:57
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Based on some help from mona lisa, the reading seems to be:

甲辰,秉瑚(秉湖?)刻於臺*灣。

Which means

In the Jiachen year, Binghu carved (these words) in Taiwan

"Binghu" is presumably the given name of whoever made the vase. "Jiachen" is a permutation of the sexagenary cycle, so it's hard to say how what exact date that corresponds to. Most likely it refers to 1964 based on this table, but if it's supposed to be older, then keep on subtracting 60 years until the answer makes sense. (yes, that's really how it works)

* The orthography of the 臺 character is strange: is that a hint about when it might have been written, maybe? I'm kind of curious about the odd writing style...

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