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Subject:Bronze Buddha, help with any information
Posted By: Sarah Huang Sat, Mar 06, 2021 IP: 2601:647:4700:bc2:99

Purchased this from an asian antique dealer website in PNW area about 20 years ago. Cannot find any record of email with information, sale, price (I think paid about $600) but I just fell in love with it, its lovely to touch and I think its very nice. It sits about 8 inches tall. I think the characters on the back are trying to make it appear older than it is. The base is sealed and no markings and when you shake it there is something in there that rattles. I am sure the dealer at the time said it was a relic bone piece they used to put in them. Any information at all would be great, even a country. Thank you so much

Subject:Re: Bronze Buddha, help with any information
Posted By: I.Nagy Sun, Mar 07, 2021

It is Chinese,

雍正伍年 - Fifth Year of Yōngzhèng Reign (1727)
蘇州邱虎 - Sūzhōu Tiger Hill (Pagoda)
布政司參政黎士宏 - Provincial Administration Commissioner Li Shìhóng

The originality might be dubious !
The thing that rattles inside would be a piece of paper or small stone tablet with some votive inscription.

With regards,

Subject:Re: Bronze Buddha, help with any information
Posted By: Sarah Huang Sun, Mar 07, 2021

Thank you I Nagy for your response and the translation. Is it that condition that concerns you for it's age?.
I cannot find another online with an inscription stamped into the back like that

When I search online there are so many old bronzes that look like they have been living in the garden they look so rough and discolored and rusted.

Subject:Re: Bronze Buddha, help with any information
Posted By: Suzume Mon, Mar 08, 2021


The big problem with this sort of piece is the volume of fakes produced. It's probably fair to say that where Chinese art is concerned, fakes outnumber authentic pieces by at least a hundred to one, honestly these days I'd probably say closer to one in a thousand.

Bronzes are very easy to produce and fake as essentially, they're made in a mold and can be treated with acid, etc. to create patina. Bronze doesn't "rust" it turns darker and eventually green (verdigris). Now, a little over 300 years (which is when the Yōngzhèng period was roughly) of the statue being stored indoors wouldn't turn it green assuming it was stored properly that tends to happen when they're exposed to the elements or buried for a long time. Today, most of these pieces are dipped in acid to make them look that old. So actually, patina wise your statue's probably okay.

However some of the more worrying signs can be found in the casting. It's actually quite poor. I mean no offense by this but you see the pitting and holes? These are caused by problems with a mold (where the bronze is poured into) usually through tiny scratches or air bubbles which prevent the metal from getting into all of the crevices. Now of course, this could happen 300 years ago however, usually for a piece like this (especially bearing such an illustrious mark) they would have been using the very best molds and you would have had a smooth surface.

Stylistically, if you look at other Qing period Buddhas there are also some questions to be raised.

None of this detracts from the decorative appeal of course.

A few things which would help in ascertaining authenticity (I'm not enough of an expect to pronounce with any certainty) are who you bought it from. If they're a famous and highly regarded dealer then it's unlikely they'd be trading in fakes. Also wear, for a statue like this a lot of that would be found under the base.

I hope this helps,


Subject:Re: Bronze Buddha, help with any information
Posted By: Sarah Huang Tue, Mar 09, 2021

Hi Suzume,

Thank you for the response, this is a lot of very good information for me. I cannot even remember the name of the shop and any emails relating to it are long gone, even different bank accounts so this is the end of the road for my records.

Very interesting about the casting of the bronze, didnt know that but good to have a better understanding of the process.

At the time I loved the simple look of it , it's not overly ornate and it's rounded shape is lovely to feel.

Thanks again for your response, this is exactly the information I needed.

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