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Subject:Chinese enamel plaques - Ming?
Posted By: b_en_d Thu, Jul 06, 2017 IP:

Hello everybody,

does anybody knows this enamel plaques and knows the value?
Ik think it's maybe Ming and 17th century.
The bronze frame is also expensive, but not Chinese of course.
Thanks for your reply.

Subject:What characteristics...
Posted By: beadiste Fri, Jul 07, 2017

...lead you to suspect it might be Ming?

Subject:Re: What characteristics...
Posted By: b_en_d Sun, Jul 09, 2017

I'm sorry, what do you mean exactly?

Kind regards

Subject:Re: What characteristics...
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Jul 10, 2017

I wouldn't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but Beadiste may have had in mind standard cloisonné items like the one pictured below, which is in a pattern dated by the Bonhams's result (link) to the late Qing dynasty. The frontal rendering of the dragon is stylistically similar to your plaque. Actually, the Chinese handicrafts industry got back on its feet after World War II by framing found items in brass and wood as bookends, plaques and other salable art wares. There's a good chance that your plaque's brass frame was stamped out of a used WW-II motor oil can.

Best regards,

Bill H

URL Title :Bonhams Great White Fleet

Subject:Re: What characteristics...
Posted By: beadiste Mon, Jul 10, 2017

What I mean is, what do you see that makes you think it is Ming? The style of enamel? It's hard for me to see why the white enamel was not stabilized by the usual little lines or background motifs, but instead was allowed to crack. A deliberate attempt to convey the aura of antiquity? The style of wiring? The uniformity of the width of the wires seems indicative of drawn wire, which would eliminate Ming, as wires then were cut from a pounded metal sheet. Are the wires brass, or copper that has been gilt? The design of the dragon, and the fact that is has 4-toes, not the imperial 5? Bill cites a c1908 example of this Chinese dragon pose, but it can also be seen on a plate dated to the Qing emperor Kangxi (early 1700s). It is a very formalized pose, and Chinese cloisonne craftsmen did not vary it much over the course of at least two centuries, following the Kangxi model almost exactly - unlike your panel. What about the distinctive way the clouds are rendered? Why are there two flaming pearls of wisdom instead of just one?

Oddly, what I wondered when observing the tiny pinched oval motifs stabilizing the edge, is if this could be a later-19th century Japanese Ming-inspired piece. The nice metal frame could also be Japanese work? Then again, at least one Chinese workshop boasted of making Ming reproductions to "sell to high officials."

I think it's actually a pretty nifty little thing. Just doubtful that it's Ming. As to my numerous questions above, perhaps someone with more expertise than mine can answer them more satisfactorily for you.

Subject:A Japanese dragon
Posted By: beadiste Tue, Jul 11, 2017

Stumbled across this today - a dragon on a Japanese cloisonne piece. Very similar pose and details, albeit as the more typical 3-toed Japanese dragon. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |