Ming Dynasty Cat Figurine… Possibly

This Ming Dynasty Cat Figurine was given to me by my mother when she returned from a recent trip to China.

by Brandi (Florida, USA)

Front of cat Back of cat

Photos showing front and back of cat figure. Phoot below shows Chinese Marks on Base of Ming Dynasty Cat

The cat is a metal figurine about three inches tall. It sits on a flat base, which has raised Chinese characters and according to the internet, says

“Made during the rule of Emperor Xuan’de of the Great Ming dynasty”.

I’m not sure what kind of metal it is made out of. It is black, but I’m not sure if that’s from age or the original decoration.

There are parts of it where you can see a bronze or gold color coming through but I’m afraid to use any cleaner on it since I don’t want to ruin it.

Chinese Marks on Base of Ming Dynasty Cat

The entire body of the Ming Dynasty Cat figure has tiny lines on it as if it was carved or etched into shape. The details, eyes, nose, whiskers, etc; are also etched.

The base appears to be bolted on.

Mainly wondering if it’s a real Ming Dynasty Cat Figurine or a knock off.

Any ideas or comments would be great!