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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 7063
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have some antique brownwood furniture which I wish to sell

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I have some antique brownwood furniture which I wish to sell and also want appraisal of some items of Chinese antique china
Assistant: Don't you just love the idea of finding something valuable in your attic? I do, but I think all I have up there is junk my brothers abandoned before they left home. Always a good idea to check things with the Antiques Appraiser, though. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.
Customer: There is a seat of six chippendale chairs, a wardrobe, a sideboard, a more recent late Edwardian desk with leather top, and a set of drawers with a desk making up the top double drawer (I believe this was a traveling desk). I also have celadon ware and a green crackle glaze jar and plate, which I believe may be of real value along with some other smaller Chinese items and some fine Chinese blue and white design plates and bowls
Assistant: Is there anything else the Antiques Appraiser should be aware of?
Customer: There is also some silver ware, such as a large golf trophy, but I doubt it has so much value except as a large piece of silver!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a lot of photographs of items mentioned, which I could try and send
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you advise on how to send a file of over 130MB

Hello,

My name is***** next step would be to add some photos.

Use the small blue document icon next to the red SEND button.

Add a message in the text with each picture before you hit send.

If you have problems adding pictures here you can also,

1) email the files to***@******.*** with

"for rarewares in antiques" in the subject line of the email and they

will forward them to me within 48 hours.

2) plug your phone into a desktop and the computer will recognize your phone as a removable hard drive and you can add the photos from the desktop

3) accept a text-pictures-offer (optional) where you could text photos from your phone directly to my phone.I have to initiate that service from my end.

Let me know which you would want to do.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have many pictures taken on my i phone. Can I send on WhatsApp?

I have sent a text to phone offer for you. If you accept it, my number will show.

You could also email the pictures if the offer is not for you.

Email the files to***@******.*** with

"for rarewares in antiques" in the subject line of the email and they

will forward them to me within 48 hours.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have sent photos of the items I referred to

I am unable to find a match for all of these items. I will opt-out and allow another expert to answer.
They will see our conversation and your photos. I am not able to respond once I opt-out. Good luck!

Hi! My name is ***** ***** I would be glad to help with your Chinese items as this is my specialty.

Let's start with the celadon ware. Can you please attach photos

Many thanks,

Robert.

Hi! Many thanks for the photos. This is a very nice collection.

Do you have any provenance for it? In other words, are these family heirlooms with a story, or did you acquire them?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The darker green celadon dish and the smaller pale one with the crackle glaze jar were collected by my grandfather in China in the early 20th century, when he was a British Consular officer in Wei Wei Wei and Canton. The other bowls which I am unsure about were collected by me in the Philippines in the 70s when there seemed a lot of digging up of Chinese ceramics. We have more Chinese plates and bowls in blue and white as well as some small pieces of ceramic horses and figures. If interested I can send these and were part of his collection. My favorite piece is the crackle glaze jar!

Great info, thanks! I'm away from the office for a couple of hours but will get back in touch as soon as I can.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm also out but will be back in an hour or so
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have sent via WhatsApp photos and measurements of other Chinese artifacts we have, including two plates, fur bowls, some china horses and figurines and a crude chicken water pot.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The origin of these items are from my Grandfather's collection while the chicken is something I bought in the Philippines in the 70s.

Got the latest batch of photos, thanks so much.

What lovely treasures these are!

As we experts are paid by JustAnswer by the Question (at no extra cost to you when you sign up for membership) I prefer to do one item per Q. or a couple or three if they are related. I hope that's okay with you.

Just start a new Q. each time by putting my name "For Robert S. only....." in the subject line and it will be sure to get to me.

So let's do the crackle glaze vase and its companion dish first as these two warrant a closer examination than most.

I'll have an answer on these as soon as I can.

Many thanks,
Robert.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thats OK with me. The crackle glaze jar and plate is think a special item. I agree we are lucky to have them. There is also by the way an interesting silk embroidery dragon 14 by 18 inches, and a ceramic Buddha of Plenty which was given my father by his cook. Also a beautiful three D carved ivory tusk with musicians and storks under the trees which is exquisite. This may be illegal now, but it is a real gem of the ivory carving skill found one to two hundred years ago or so in China. In addition some Thai pots etc. But I won't bother you with all these, at this time.

Hi,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, life intervened! But I'm back now and can give this my full and prompt attention.

These two pieces with their distinctive crackle finish are what's typically known as Ge ware (哥釉).

The crazing is deliberate, not a sign of age, and done by accelerating the cooling process in the kiln to force the glaze and clay body to shrink at different rates and thus cause craquelure. The surface is wiped with tea or some other stain to exaggerate the fine network of lines which are considered an art form in themselves. It was first made in Zhejiang province, China, in the 13-15th century, during the late Song dynasty, through to early Ming dynasty.

However, your pieces are not quite as old as that, certainly the vase isn't. That's because in the late 19th century there was a great revival of interest in Ge ware and it was accompanied by these distinctive brown etched seal marks in the base, marks that are never found on Ge ware from the Song or Ming period.

In this particular instance the mark is a hastily scratched (they are almost always hastily scratched) four character Chenghua mark:

成化年制

"Chenghua nian zhi"

Meaning "Chenghua emperor reign made"

Chenghua was a Ming emperor who ruled from 1465 - 1487, but your vase was not made then. These are what I call 'tribute marks' -to celebrate and honour the porcelain masters of old- and really just part of the decoration, not an indication of age or authorship.

The actually date of the vase is more likely Guangxu period -which was 1875-1908- at the end of the Qing dynasty.

Even though not Ming, the Chinese consider anything from the Qing dynasty to be highly collectible so this is a desirable piece. In the 1950s, following Chairman Mao's decree that all Imperial wares must be destroyed or handed over to the state, the expensive pieces were sold off by the government to the West for hard currency at a time of catastrophic national debt and starvation during the early People's Republic and disastrous 'Great Leap Forward' when 52 million people starved or died as a result of food insecurity.

So the result is there are no antiques in China, or precious few, and the only source are those that ended up in the West prior to the 1950s, your grandfather's collection being a case in point.

The Chinese are all so wealthy now that they are repatriating their treasures at a voracious rate and paying great prices. A generation ago, your grandfather's vase would have sold at auction for barely £20.

Today, at a good antique auction house, this Ge-glazed, brown-etched Chenghua marked vase would sell in the range of £750 - £1250. It therefore has a full retail value (if you saw it for sale in an antique store of £2500. This is also the 'replacement' value for insurance purposes.

The associated platter, although not marked, is probably also a late 19th century example. It, too, is Ge glazed and one can tell its age from the brown rim. On original ge ware the brown rim occurs naturally and is more diffused and results in the distinctive edge known as "brown mouth". On yours, as was typical for late 1800s ge revival pieces, slip (liquid clay) has been applied to the rim to simulate the "brown mouth" [NB if that rim is a metal band, (I can't tell from the photo) please let me know as that could well make it authentic Yuan/Ming]

As an example of a late-Qing Ge-glazed revival plate or shallow bowl, it would fetch in the range of £200 - £300. Full retail/replacement/insurance value: £600.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,
Robert.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Robert. Very interesting and helpful. Sorry I haven't a real fortune sitting on the sideboard, but I like it whether its valuable or not. But I think it also helps me recognize the need to access the Chinese market. You are right, the rim is slip, not metal. Thank you for the interesting service.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would say that all we have is at least 100 years old or more, so collectable by the Chinese market. best regards ***** *****

Thanks for confirming the line round the bowl is not metal. If it were you would need to be sitting down to hear the value, something similar to this one that Christie's sold in 2015, but notice the telltale reddish brown crackle ('golden thread') when you enlarge that is selectively coloured one small vein at a time! (And absent in yours) a really good indicator of ancient authenticity.

Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 7063
Experience: Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
Robert S. and 3 other Antiques Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Beautiful. I notice the dish has indentations in the circle making it more octagonal. The green glazed celadon dish I sent a picture of, had the same characteristic.

Hi Alistair,

The celadon bowl is a very nice piece of porcelain and it IS old. Almost certainly Ming Dynasty, 14th or 15th century at the newest. It's an example of the celadon ware made at kilns centered in the Longquan area of southern Zhejiang province, China, and distinguished by the carved designs (those are stylized lotus flowers) and the characteristic greenish grey color. Many also have the ribbed underside and the wavy rim like yours, known variously as a 'barbed edge' or 'bracket edge' or 'ogee edge'.

I notice it has a hairline crack running from the edge which, though it's likely been there for centuries, will detract somewhat from the bowl's value. Nevertheless, I would insure it for £1500 and expect to get at least 40% of this if you were to sell at a good antique auction house.

Best, Robert.