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Question regarding over-glaze enamels
I'm researching over glaze enamel, particularly famille rose and trying to gain a better understanding of them and their period characteristics.
The question I'm asking is - I'm aware 19th century enamelling is prone to bubbling/blistering and sometimes 'popping ' is this a feature that continues throughout the Republic, or a characteristic that stops at a certain period?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts
Enamels popping and blistering of Famille Rose enamels etc. can be found in greater and to lesser degrees throughout the 19th C. It always depended on the quality of the pieces and who they were intended for.
Domestic examples meant for everyday use in China are typically more prone and are of lesser quality than higher end export and domestic pieces meant for China's well to do classes. The problem of blistering usually occurred in lower-end examples where less care was take in the preparation of the materials. The clay wasn't cleaned sufficiently or the enamels were of a lesser grade and less pure. Popping and bubbles are usually caused by paste impurities and/or poor applications.
During the 20th C. it still occurred for the same reasons, very fine pieces of republic wares are generally free of these kinds of flaws. But then so are modern fakes, so an absence of bubbles and blisters on Republican looking pieces isn't always by default an indicator of age or authenticity.
Study the enamels on KNOWN 18th and 19th C. enamels under magnification with a standard loupe, they have a texture to them.
Hope this helps a bit, Peter
Thanks very much for the informative reply. Good idea, I'll have a look for an obviously genuine rose piece from the 19th C. I'm sure I have one somewhere. I'm studying a famille rose butterfly vase, supposedly of the Guangxu period and aware that for each original of these there are thousands of repros. It's tricky but interesting.
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