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Subject:Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: Arge Wed, Nov 29, 2017 IP:

Hi there

So, I am coming back to you with this gaiwan. I posted the pictures one year ago or so, but not feedback received.
Please feel free and throw your thoughts. I bought it just because I like it. It have been sold to me as an late Qing, early republic. I paid a ridiculous low amount (10-15$ or so), it was an auction house, where I make quite often purchases, closing their doors, moving to a different location, empting their coffers etc From here the deal, it was a last minute auction, no many bidders etc.
I have no stakes in this, other than learning.
As I said, sold as late Qing-early republic. Someone saw this and said it may be a Wanly (personally I doubt) and other person said it looks right for a Xuande and definitely a Ming.

Now, my concerns
- starting with the fact that I can recognize some basics< I have no knowledge about how to discern from an original to a revival piece.
- the glaze is quite good, nice and shiny. Too nice and shiny I may say for an old piece. Yes, there are some old ones is very good glaze, but… it looks to better for me
- on the other side I have these iron spots and even some glaze contractions. But again. there are so many iron spots. Not sure on these. Although, the colors of the iron spots appears to be genuine, are different shapes and nuances. On the plate, have been mentioned to me, and bring this to you, there is a long orange/brown shade, which shows the high iron content of the pasta.
- Please see the red decoration… this was pointed to me as being the right thing and putting weight on it, as being Ming/Xuande

Of course, I would like to get this “confirmed” it is an old piece, but as I said, for the sake of learning I would like know your thoughts about this, to point me different angles.
- What about the floral scroll?
- What about the tint of the porcelain etc

Thank you in advance!

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: JLim Thu, Nov 30, 2017

Dear Arge

Thank you for providing a bit of a brain buster. I definitely think you should wait for the vast knowledge of the other people here, but here are my responses as a beginner.

I don't know enough about form and motifs from various periods of Chinese porcelain yet to be able to comment on these aspects of the object - which would probably be decisive - but I can talk about the physical nature of porcelain and decoration. These are the factors I can see that are relevant.

First, there exists underglaze red on this object. Underglaze red is, generally speaking, a warning sign on any Chinese porcelain. Underglaze red only achieved a modicum of popularity in the early Republic; the technique existed from Hongwu's time, and turns up from time to time in subsequent eras, but remained pretty rare until the 20th century. Other people should definitely comment on this aspect, but I would generally treat underglaze red as a bad sign.

Second, there is such a plague of iron spots on the object that I can hardly believe that the object is Chinese. Perhaps it is non-Chinese; but if it is Chinese then I find it implausible that so much rust is on this object. It makes it look like a deliberate effect.

Third, the cobalt inside the cup has exploded through the surface of the glaze. Some cobalt bursting is common; but again this looks excessive and deliberate.

Fourth, it is true that the footrim on the cup looks rather pink, and that this is diagnostic of Ming porcelain. However, given the above factors, I would suspect that the pink footrim makes the object likely to be a very modern fake; earlier generations of copiers did not trouble to fake a pink footrim.

Fifth, you mention Wanli. Not only would underglaze red be extremely rare on Wanli porcelain, but I would expect fritting on the rims and chatter marks inside the base of Wanli porcelains. Neither is present in your example.

All these factors make the think that this object is either non-Chinese - or else it is very modern.

Kind regards

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: Arge Fri, Dec 01, 2017

Thank you Lim four your input.
As I said, I have some concerns about this piece being old, but my knowledge is quite limited.
Inside of the cup, what you see as cobalt burst, are actually iron spots...
I checked on Internet over and over again, looking for similar caracteristics and barely a handful of pieces I was able to observed with such much iron spots... I guess you may be right, and are deliberately made in this way.
So, appears that even late Qing, early republic may be a bit off...

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: JLim Fri, Dec 01, 2017

Dear Arge

You know, on closer inspection the footrim is not as pink as my initial impression - if the iron spots etc are simply signs of a kiln on a bad day this might be Minyao Republic porcelain of some sort?

Kind regards

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: arge Fri, Dec 01, 2017

never passed through my mind to search by minyao republic.
just found the attached sale, modern piece, a bit thicker, transfer, but bores a very close resemblance

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: m Sat, Dec 02, 2017

A novice. but wondered if the red decoration might be a reproduction of the red decoration at the link below?

I did read that the iron content in the clay used can vary greatly and perhaps might help you learn the area it came from. At the time was reading about Japanese stoneware so doesn't apply, but perhaps also true of Chinese porcelain?

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: Arge Mon, Dec 04, 2017

Very intresting article and thank you for the info
Anyway, on my tea cup, the red decoration is just a bare line, nothing to resemble anything.
Maybe, but a very big maybe, the central decoration, where you have three blue circles, filled in by the red line, to be three red fruits..
But the article says that should not be any other decorations around.

I guess this will be a subject to torment me for the years to come, still a good subject for me to learn

Subject:Re: Blue and White gaiwan. Ming?
Posted By: arge Mon, Dec 04, 2017

@m: a reproduction, as you said, I am inclined too.
And most likely targeting xuande or similar, but also I can note some fantasy adds on (as the border on the lid).
I am trying to figure out if it is a 5 years old repro or, how it was sold to me latw q, early republic | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |