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Subject:Flambe Glaze Brush Washer
Posted By: JLim Mon, Nov 20, 2017 IP:

Hi all

For nearly 900 dollars the below pictured object
sold on eBay recently. It was advertised as being
18th or 19th century flambe glaze (in effect
Qianlong onwards, since that was flambe glazes
were first encouraged).

I could not decide whether the object was 18th
century, 19th century, or modern. I therefore did
not bid on this object. (There is also no way in
hell I would have bid so high!)

The following are what I saw as the relevant

-first, the flambe glaze did not exist before
Qianlong's time, so let's assume it cannot
predate Qianlong

-second, the glaze has been crudely split from
its sagger at the footrim. Although this is
typical of Tongzhi/Guangxu era red glazes, some
sort of overrun is also typical of Qianlong
flambe. But would a Qianlong flambe really be
cracked off at the base in such a crude manner?

-third, there is a café au lait brown glaze
within the foot. I understand that this is
typical of Qianlong; but that it is NOT typical
of Guangxu.
There is one image of the base of a red glazed \
object in Allen's books which has a brown glazed
foot, dated Guangxu, but this is a very
different, murkier shade of brown

- on the other hand, the café au lait foot on
this object seems weirdly lifeless compared to
what it should be. It almost looks too matte, and
too even in colour. Qianlong café au lait feet
should look more marbled and translucent. This
makes me think the object is modern.

-the crackling within the glaze, however, looks
convincingly Guangxu-ish, and not modern. Look at
the way bits of glaze from between the crackles
have fallen out - typical of the late 19th
century. Is such crackling also to be found in

-on the other hand, is the glaze simply too shiny
to be Qianlong? Allen seems to say that shinier
glazes are more likely to be 19th century.

-finally, the footrim of the object. This has a
suspiciously greyed out appearance, as if
artificially dirtied. On the other hand, it might
just be naturally greyish porcelain, which would
make it more likely to be Tongzhi-Guangxu era
porcelain, when greyer bodies were favoured to
show off various monochrome glazes.

Has anyone got an opinion? My recent increase in
interest in Chinese monochromes makes me quite

Kind regards

Subject:Re: Flambe Glaze Brush Washer
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Nov 22, 2017

According to the New York Metropolitan Museum's "A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics' by Suzanne G. Valenstein, flambe glazes descended from kiln accidents involving red-glazed wares that occurred during the Kangxi reign, and which were recorded by Pere d'Entrecolles in a 1722 letter. He used the Chinese term "yaobian", meaning "furnace transmutation". According to Ms Valenstein, 'Apparently such kiln transmutations were soon being produced by design in the familiar glazes with flamelike streaks of varying color that the French aptly call 'flambe'." She adds that certain of the flambé wares were particularly popular during the Qianlong reign.


Bill H.

Subject:Re: Flambe Glaze Brush Washer
Posted By: Corey Sat, Nov 25, 2017

Seems like the washer wasn't paid for but has been relisted on eBay:

There was also this one that sold for $570 even though it was dated 19th/20th century:

And then there was also these two pearls available for very advantageous purchase prices a while ago. Possibly transitional but most likely 18th/19th century:

I thought about announcing them here when they were still available. A dealer or auctioneer should be able to sell these for $1000-$2000 each.

I purchaseda very nice purple glazed meiping from the seller that came from the same lot, because I suspected it could be from the early Ming, or even Yuan dynasty, because of the red base. But it lack the crazing of the glaze and have a smooth, almost glassy feel.

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