Subject:Re: Opinion in small bronze Fang Ding, Qianlong?
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Sep 02, 2020
The rough-around-the-edges, nonimperial condition and faked palace mark of 'Made by imperial order, Qianlong Reign' is quite telling. Anyone caught for such an infraction during the Qianlong period would have been hauled off by the palace guard, soaked in a vat of thousand year old rotten eggs and then run out of town for stinking bad. The legs and base of the ding look like they might have been sand-cast. Probably a People's Republic era product, based on what I found on eBay (see links).
Here for comparison is a Qianlong mark & period bronze censer, about 17 centimeters max diameter. Still not imperial quality but I'm confident it was cast by the lost-wax method, perhaps with the handles cast separately and sintered on. The mark conforms much better than yours to what palace rules mandated for Minyao (popular) kilns during this rather authoritarian reign. In fact, I'm not sure there was a four-character Qianlong mark like this one, at least not on porcelain, with which I'm more familiar. Nagel auctions in Stuttgart sold a censer like this one but with a defaced mark for 360 euros in 2003, now around US$427, or close to what I paid for mine a few years later.