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Mystery vase with black glaze

I have a vase which you may be interested in viewing and (hopefully) be able to shed some light on. However, firstly I must congratulate you on a wonderful and informative website - one of the few I have found which exploit the medium to its full potential!

This vase was bought here in Perth, Western Australia a few years ago at a minor general auction. There are no real experts here to refer it to so I was hoping you would find a few minutes to glance at the attached pictures - rather a large number I'm afraid. I compressed them a lot so I hope they convey sufficient information for you to draw some conclusions. I once took some photos of it to Phillips in London but the fellow from the oriental department was dismissive and offered no particular opinion except to say it wouldn't be worth much if it was not a period piece with the correct mark. Money, as you know, is not the important thing always!

However, although I do not believe that it is a 'period' piece the quality of the potting and painting is very good if not outstanding. I know very little about Chinese porcelain and almost none comes up here for sale except modern 'fakes'. There is nothing in the museum to refer to either and I could see nothing similar on your site.

The vase measures 12.5 cm in height (without the stand) and about 11.5 cm max. diameter. The footring is 6 cm diameter. It weighs about 400g. The well made stand is of rosewood and came with the vase. The stand is old but does not strike me as being 'antique'. I am guessing that it may have been bought with the vase originally but who knows?

The vase is undamaged except for rubbing to the gilding of the top rim. All the seals are hand painted in red enamel and gold.

The mark appears to be that of Qianlong but there seem to be some small variations from the seal marks I have seen in various books. I think this is a more recent piece and speculate that it dates to late 19th C or more likely first quarter of the 20th C. This is just the feeling I have about it. It seems to be emulating an earlier period and presumably would have been costly to produce so it strikes me as being worthy of attention.

Your comments would be very much appreciated. Should you require higher quality pictures I can send them although download time may be rather extended.


Late Republic - 1940's pre-PROC piece

This is a quite interesting piece that probably highlights a brief moment in the Chinese history.

If I am right, the bright enamels, outlined for more drama with some clear black - points at the time where the porcelain production stood at a high point, before the Peoples Republich was established. Personally I also feel a certain influence from Russia.

The text are a beautiful long essay written in the 5th Century. A friend of mine, Simon Ng in Hong Kong, told me his mother made him learn it by heart when he was ten, and its one of the few ancient essays he can still recite today. The author has very high morals and was seen by many Chinese scholars from ancient until now as the true Chinese scholar feeling that chasing after power and fame in life is worth little; to enjoy the landscape, the nature and the friedship are the true good values in life.

This vase picture talks about a fisherman who lost his way while fishing, finding himself in a "Shangrila" Village, where he was greeted by the inhabitants living there isolated from the world outside.

Until further, I would like to suggest a date of this vase to the end of the 1940's. It is quite nice and its porcelain historical significance is obvious.

Sincerely
Jan-Erik Nilsson



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