So my Chinese at the moment is pretty limited, and I can't seem to figure out the meaning of this four character mark on a bowl that I bought: 藝蘭軒備.

I tried translating the characters individually, and that leads me to believe it might mean that the bowl was made for a specific room in a house, but I'm really not sure.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.

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1 Answer 1


兿蘭軒 seems to be the company's name (House of artful orchid)

備 can mean "prepare" , "equip" or "reserve"

When I search 兿蘭軒 I found a place called 藝軒蘭園 and it is a flower shop. Does your bowl looked like it can be a vast or pot for plants? If it is a vest, then 兿蘭軒備 would mean this vast is prepared for this flower shop's 盆栽 (potted plant)

If the bowl is an actual dinnerware, then 兿蘭軒 might be a restaurant (which I can't find on line), and 兿蘭軒備 could mean "equipment (dinnerware) of House of artful orchid restaurant".


If 兿蘭軒 was the name of a house/ institution, then 兿蘭軒備 would mean this was a decoration item used (equipped for display) by the House of Artful Orchid

  • @Filip Lindberg Look at the ridged edge, I don't think it is a bowl for food (they usually have a smooth edge), I can imagine it being a vast for arranged flowers though
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 8:39
  • Thanks for the swift response. I suppose another possible clue is that it dates from the 19th century, which could (although im not sure) mean that flower shops and restuarants were not common yet. Could it be that someone named their house / palace "House of artful orchird" and maybe commissioned this porcelain for it? imgur.com/a/hdWp8EM Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 8:47
  • @Filip Lindberg See my addition at the bottom
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 9:01
  • That seems to be it, thanks a bunch! Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 23:50

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