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Subject:Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Mon, Aug 06, 2018 IP: 2600:8802:6603:6400:

Among our porcelain collection is a 10 piece desk set with exquisite scenes and with each piece containing the maker's seal on the bottom, shown below. We can make out "green cloud" but little else. Can any one help with the maker's name and approximate date of manufacture?



Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: I.Nagy Tue, Aug 07, 2018

Bottom mark reads,
碧雲軒製 - Biyunxuan-zhi
I hope someone with more knowledge will comment.

With regards,
I.Nagy

Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Aug 07, 2018

The mark says "Made for the Terrace of the Azure Clouds", also translatable as "Made for the Azure Clouds Pavilion". There's nothing else that could be responsibly said concerning your request without the courtesy of seeing what bears the mark.

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Wed, Aug 08, 2018

Bill,
Thank you for the reply. My wife, Chinese, says that it could also be Jade Cloud but not sure if is made for or made by. I have included pictures of the entire 10 piece set. All have the same mark on their bottom and all are in perfect condition. Any help or leads on their maker or age or value would be appreciated.





Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Aug 09, 2018

The term "Biyun" (碧雲) had already been set in print as "Azure Clouds" by 1931, at least in the venerable "Mathews Chinese English Dictionary" from Harvard Press. There also was a mark of "Made for the Hall of Azure Clouds" in use by the Kangxi Period (1662-1722), as well as another of "Made for the Hall of Green Jade" in use at that same time. The character Bi/碧 actually can be used to denote either blue or green jade).

The late German connoisseur of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, Georg Weishaupt, had in his extensive collection a small square brushpot with landscapes on all sides and an iron red mark on the base of "Made for the Terrace of Azure Clouds" (Bi yun xuan Zhi - 碧雲軒製) within a single square border. The item was pictured in the last Weishaupt catalog, published in 2002 under the title, "The Great Fortune". Its date estimate was given as "19th /20th century".

Your set of porcelain for the scholar's desk appears to be of better than average artistic quality, with what looks to be scenes in the life of a scholar within "faux bois" borders. However, the photos don't really lend themselves to a close-up appreciation of brushwork and other points of technique that might reveal clues regarding who did or inspired the painting. The mark itself is somewhat atypical in its more heavily written characters and double border, when compared to the other examples found online (see links below), the majority of which, in my opinion, look good enough to be of the Republic period. A couple that seem questionable should be self-evident.

https://auction.artron.net/paimai-art5031520196/

https://auction.artron.net/paimai-art5120960048/

http://www.sxguci.com/qdcq/show_74.html

[after next link is reached, use page search and characters 碧云轩制 to access relevant example]:
https://www.xuehua.us/2018/06/06/%E5%A4%A7%E9%A5%B1%E7%9C%BC%E7%A6%8F-%E6%B0%91%E5%9B%BD%E7%93%B7%E5%99%A8%E4%BA%BA%E7%89%A9%E7%BA%B9%E9%A5%B0%E6%AC%A3%E8%B5%8F/

http://www.guwanch.com/mall/taoci/cp886657.html

http://kuangshi.69ys.com/pre/detail/85416

http://aucfree.com/items/m224149572#

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Sun, Aug 12, 2018


Bill H.,


Thank you for your much appreciated help and comments about this set. I have included a few pictures of two of the set to show the superb artistry and craftsmanship of the maker. We would assume they are late 19th or early 20th century, although they may be older. We also have another 10 piece scholar's desk set that is very similar to this one-- each of the pieces has a close similarity to a corresponding one in the other set, but this other set has Qianlong seals on each bottom. The Qianlong set is not as high quality as the first, but who knows? I've included pictures of the brush holder for comparison. Comments would be much appreciated.












Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Sun, Aug 12, 2018

Continuing posting of pictures







Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Sun, Aug 12, 2018

Continuing pictures...







Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Russ LaRose Sun, Aug 12, 2018

Pictures concluded.







Subject:Re: Help identifying porcelain seal
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Aug 13, 2018

Russ, I believe your additional pictures help pin down the period of your scholar's items, at least in my view, to around 1920 to the early 1950s, during which time there were still artisans, including a few Qianjiang masters, painting at Jingdezhen in a traditional style.

I'll let a couple of pictures speak mostly for themselves, both from the previously cited Weishaupt Collection catalog, "The Great Fortune". The first shows a brush pot with peach-shaped cross-section, the bottom having a base-mark of "Made for the Hall where Benevolence Resides" (Jurentang Zhi), this being the Republic period presidential palace in the Beijing Zhong nan Hai compound near the Forbidden City. The pot’s foot rim is molded and finished in a manner identical to your brush pot with a "Terrace of Azure Clouds" mark. The catalog dates this piece only as "20th Century.”

The other image is a square brush pot with landscapes on all sides and a mark of "Made for the Terrace of Azure Clouds." This piece is dated to the "19th / 20th century", and the landscape painting is in a style and palette similar to your Qianlong-marked brush pot with sidewalls in peach form. The Qianlong mark on its bottom actually is a decent rendition compared to some I've seen.

And lest I forget, the set with "Terrace" marks has one piece in the form of a book. It has a title showing of "Gu Jin Ming Wen" (古今名文), meaning "Famous Tales Old and New".

Best regards,

Bill H.






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