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Subject:Ol' Auction Rooms: Doucai Plate
Posted By: JLim Sun, Oct 08, 2017 IP:

Hi all

A new day and new items from the auction of 8 October 2017.

This time, an object I did not bid on deliberately. It set off a flurry of bidding, eventually selling for three or four hundred Australian dollars.

The reason I did not bid was that I could not for the life of me decide whether it was real or not. If real, the object is a most desirable early to mid 18th century doucai dish, in excellent condition and with very thin crisp potting.

However, several features made me pause. First, I was impressed by the fact that the enamels showed heavy signs of iridescence (not visible in the photographs). This has traditionally been seen as a sign of age; however I know from recent experience that a new generation of porcelain makers in China are in fact able to produce a kind of iridescence on brand new objects.

Second, the signature on the foot confounded me. Even staring at it very hard I could not determine whether it was hand written or stamped on. On very close inspection it almost looked like the blue colour was raised above the white porcelain, which would unquestionably make the signature a modern printed fake. However, the effect was so slight that even on close staring I could not be certain.

Finally, something about the footrim itself made me think this object was not 18th century. It looked too white to me; and the glaze circle inside the foot, as you can see, is remarkable flat and glossy, without the imperfections you would expect from a Kangxi/Yongzheng piece.

Does anyone have an opinion? Should I have kept bidding? On reflection I think the shininess of the foot-circle is enough to make me think I did well to refrain. But who knows.

Kind regards
Jonathan | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |