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Subject:Kangxi Garniture Base
Posted By: Bokaba Sun, Sep 17, 2017 IP: 2605:e000:af16:3b00:

I saw this garniture vase recently sold on eBay. It looks late Kangxi to me. It probably was made in a set of 5 pieces that went together. Is this dating accurate? If not Kangxi, I would think 19th Century.

Thank you


Subject:Re: Kangxi Garniture Base
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Sep 22, 2017

Maybe those dark spots on the lid are old lacquer repairs; otherwise, they give an impression of Delft ware.

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Kangxi Garniture Base
Posted By: JLim Mon, Sep 25, 2017

Dear Bokaba

I have puzzled over your vase for a while in an attempt to pin it down. I don't think it could possibly be delft ware; yes, there are brown looking chips on the lid, but looking at the foot and interior of the object all seems to be white porcelain.

I am not familiar with the exact design here, but something seems really off. The vase seems to lack the bluish white of genuine Kangxi; but it also has a peculiarity to the line that I have learned to associate with Kangxi Revival of the late 19th century.

It is very difficult to define what I mean by the "line", but it is a peculiarity I have seen in several examples of Kangxi Revival. Although I admire a lot of Kangxi Revival pieces for their spirited attempt to recreate a prior age, it is almost as if the artists were sometimes too creative to stick to the Kangxi formula precisely.

The result was something that often looks too "jagged", thin-lined and sort of "active" for genuine Kangxi porcelain. Sometimes it is almost like the elements of the design are wiggling around. Kangxi design will tend to be forceful and almost sculptural, while the Revivalists often seem to inject a mischievous energy and "bounce" to everything.

I used to have two Kangxi Revival pieces that exemplified this style; one I sold without ever photographing, which is annoying as it was a far better example of what I mean. The other is the Revival dragon carp dish pictured below, which I have also sold but not without pictorial evidence. Compare it to the genuine Kangxi dragon carp dish pictured at the following Forum thread:

(In fact, I also now own a Kangxi dragon carp plate that is I think genuine; but I cannot be bothered photographing it yet. I used to own both at once, which was instructive as a comparison but then I sold the Revival one).

Even better than my example is the following Forum thread discussing two dishes that confused me at the time but which I also now would classify as Kangxi Revival due to the countersunk foot. Compare directly to your vase; the dead white porcelain, the jagged, jumpy white lines, the almost excessive energy compared to genuine Kangxi. They are also very beautiful pieces in their own right.

I would also draw your attention to the following possible Kangxi Revival pieces discussed in prior thread. The first of these is your own dish!

Here the problem is almost one of excessive stodginess rather than excessive energy, but note the excessively thin lines and especially the second Revival piece Bill H depicts below. Again, the sense of urgency and anarchy which I think is quite attractive.

Finally, a similar "stodgy" style Revival piece on another thread; but can you sense the non-Kangxi vibe in the energy of the lines?

Now compare these to your vase. In particular the outcroppings of rock that recur repeatedly; can you see the energy in those zigzags? Also the way the whole image is done in thin chaotic lines. I would suspect this of being a Kangxi Revival piece, especially with the whiteness of the background and the vibrant blue shade, compared to

On the other hand, one factor worries me. This is the fritting that you can see on the lower "waist" of the vase. I think this is characteristic of genuine Kangxi, and I do not know if Revival pieces ever troubled to imitate such fritting. You can see an attempt to imitate the bluish white on my dragon carp plate below, but I don't think I've ever seen imitation fritting.

Maybe your vase is genuine Kangxi after all? There are other possibilities, of course.

I would be interested in further analysis of this vase in particular; maybe I've been going on at length without knowing what I'm talking about.

Kind regards


Subject:Re: Kangxi Garniture Base
Posted By: bokaba Tue, Sep 26, 2017

I believe this vase is likely genuine Kangxi period because it is an export, likely for the Dutch market known as "Kraak" porcelain made during the late Ming and early Qing periods. It is my understanding that 19th Century revival pieces were not made in the export style. Here is a late 17th Century covered vase for the Dutch export market from the Rijkmuseum in the Netherlands. It appears to have similar style and fritting.


Subject:Re: Kangxi Garniture Base
Posted By: JLim Thu, Oct 12, 2017

Dear Bokaba

I have seen Kangxi Revival pieces in various export styles.

I think on reflection that, on your vase, the fritting itself is the best argument in favour of genuine Kangxi. I do not think fritting can be faked convincingly even nowadays, let alone in the 19th century. To my eyes the fritting on your vase looks pretty convincing.

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