Subject:Re: Chinese straights tea tray&cup? Age?
Posted By: JLim Tue, Nov 21, 2017
Dear Mr McCloskey
I was startled to find this morning a photograph of a piece of Cantonese famille rose extremely similar in pattern to your own. Quite a coincidence! The picture is on p290 of Anthony Allen's latest book 1st edn, fig 31.1.9a, where he identifies it as an "unusual" pattern of late 19th century Canton famille rose made by a man (or factory) named Liang.
The similarities are really striking; the jumbling of objects, the colour scheme and in particular the peculiarity of the vase standing in front of a fat book.
I think the reasons we have been reluctant to respond is as follows.
First, the photographs are indeed quite blurry. Second, the levigation of the raw porcelain under the tray looks puzzlingly even and white.
Third, I am not sure if it is just the quality of the photographs, but there is an odd haze to both the objects, as if they have been artificially dulled down with dirt all over. Check out, for example, the surface of the tray, and the white interior of the teacup.
Fourth, you show the foot of the tray, but not the cup. The tray has a completely unglazed foot, which can be an awkward thing to date even for an expert.
Perhaps a photograph of the foot of the cup would be more useful, especially showing any flaws within the foot-glaze and the colour and texture of the footrim. Together perhaps with clearer photographs of both objects that show whether artificial dirt has - or has not! - been added to the upper surfaces.