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Subject:Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Feb 09, 2015 IP: 98.71.198.75

This is one of a pair of heavy 8-inch square pottery bowls of the same form and decoration acquired recently at an estate sale. They look to me to be Shiwan products, probably no older than the late Qing to Republic era (ca 1875-1949) but possibly post-1950.

This form of bowl with dragon decoration was known during the Jiajing period (1522-1566), although most I found online were blue & white, and nothing else popped up with green dragons on yellow in a square bowl. I came across one yellow bowl with an incised Jiajing mark, but the characters were linear and not calligraphically well carved like the six-character marks on this pair of bowls.

The artistic style seems to me to be more like the Kangxi era that late Ming, particularly the visage of the dragons. Most of these creatures I found on Jiajing bowls used jagged lines instead of scales on the bodies of dragons. The claws, however, are a fair likeness of what the late Ming and early Qing beasts brandish. The bowl I'm showing here is more evenly decorated than the other, but as a pair, they rate fairly high on my scale of display-worthiness.

My tour of archives at Sotheby's, Christie's and Live Auctioneers produced no other exact match for these bowls, which reputedly had spent "ages" in the same collection. Were these bowls contemporary, I would have expected to locate one or two, especially in the broad-based records of liveauctioneers.com. So my question is whether anyone else has encountered anything like them that might help me refine my dating. Anyone see a possibility of the Qing Jiaqing or Daoguang era.

Thanks,

Bill H.







Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: LEE Tue, Feb 10, 2015

the mark ming jiajing mark on the bottom is written in the guangxu era style most most likely from the 1900s when copying and replicating was wide spread. does the glaze have a rainbow colour reflection if it does than it is most likely from the late ching period.

Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Hi Lee,

Your comments are most appreciated. The iridescence on both bowls is particularly strong in the green enamels and also comes through from the yellow in reflected light. I've noticed this rainbow on other Guangxu-era glazes as well.

Here are a couple of additional pictures. One shows the rainbow effect. The other shot, taken of the bottom, has better details of the crackle in the glaze, as well as shows an indentation in a corner inside the foot that I think may be from a saggar, though I'm open to alternate explanations. The base of the other bowl has the same kind of indentation in a different corner, though only one on each bowl.

Best regards,

Bill H.





Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: LEE Thu, Feb 12, 2015

Yes this is the right iridescence for glaze earlier than 1900s. You see these in old wall and roof tiles in Beijing and other parts of china. it is a good indicator of age as the unpurified glaze in the past produces this effect very strongly. glaze fritting and pits from broken bubbles on the edges of vessels are also good indicators if they are present but usually on pieces earlier than guangxu.

Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Feb 13, 2015

Lee, thanks again. The angular edges are in pretty good shape on these bowls. They were used for a long time as planters, though, so there are superficial scratches on the interior, but not many production flaws except an excess of runs in the green glaze on the bowl not shown here. Looks like it might have gotten overheated in the kiln.

Much obliged,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: pierrevdw Fri, Feb 13, 2015

Totally agreed LEE.

Iridescence is a sure way to authenticate an old piece from a new one.

Always present in my Qing, Ming and older glazed pieces,never seen on recent copies.

Cheers

Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Feb 14, 2015

Pierre,

Thanks much for your input too.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Seeking Opinions on Probable Shiwan Dragon Bowls with Jiajing Mark
Posted By: JLim Wed, Sep 13, 2017



Unfortunately I have found from personal experience that fakers have got good at faking iridescence these days. I once had a modern famille verte style vase, which I got for ten dollars, which had striking iridescence all over the green enamels.

It did, however, look weirdly even all over; like a painted on sheen. Maybe that is still a way to tell.

Rgds
Jonathan

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