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Guan-type bowl, juice1499
I have been searching online for examples of Guan-type glaze bowls and I came across one of Alain R Truong's posts mentioning a bowl sold by Christie's in September 2015. This bowl had a wonderful SEMI-MATT pale greyish-blue crackle glaze and was the only one of its type in that particular sale. The post also mentions a similar bowl sold by Sotheby's in 2014 and I notice that the glaze of this bowl also seemed to have a semi-matt sheen. I have a Song dynasty guan-type glaze dish and this also has a semi-matt sheen, without any strange pin holes in the glaze.
I recalled seeing a very similar bowl currently being offered on eBay by juice1499 and when I went back to this listing I saw that it was being described as the same bowl sold by Christie's in that September 2015 sale. However, this bowl on eBay seems to have an extremely glossy glaze with many pin holes and some quite large air bubbles in the glaze.
I did a Google image search and found that Heritage Auctions were also selling what appears to be this same bowl in June, but when I looked at the image of the base shown by Heritage it seems to show lots of brown speckles in the glaze on the base and on the left hand side close to the base, whereas the bowl listed by juice1499 doesn't have any brown speckles!
I know that Peter @plcombs has highlighted some spectacular pieces sold by juice1499 in past videos and has always praised this seller, so perhaps my observations may be incorrect, especially as there seems to be quite active bidding for this bowl.
I can't comment on this, as I am out of my depth, but what you are saying is very interesting.
On my screen, all the bowls look different colours, anyway, I can't enlarge them either, but I am looking forward to hearing what more experienced members have to say.
The one on eBay seems to have a greyish-green shade on my screen and not the greyish-blue blue shade as described for the original bowl sold by Christie's.
It looks quite green to me, too, Jeremy.
The first one is a cold pale greyish blue, whereas the HA one is also blue rather than green, but does not have the same purity or clarity of colour as the first. The rim looks almost pale grey rather than blue and the rest, is a much more murky blue-gray colour with overtones of brown/mink.
I can't believe they are the same bowl; I may have to compare crackle patterns. The label is the same but can't tell about the barcode.
Edit: Have checked the crackle pattern on the bases (and barcode) on the last 2 and they look to be the same.
The difference seems to lie in the way the pictures were taken: indirect light or light reflected on the surface, different white balance.
I agree with you that the crackle pattern on the base of each looks identical, so it is odd why the HA bowl has the brown spots whereas the eBay bowl doesn't.
I can't really see how that could account for the missing brown spots though and the eBay bowl seems to have a significant amount of pinholes in the glaze.
Below is a similar bowl of the same period sold by Sotheby's in 2015 and the lustrous glaze does not appear to have pinholes in the glaze.
Hi Jeremy -
These Guan type glazed wares are a highly specialised area within themselves, and are incredibly difficult to form any real opinion base purely on images - they need to be seen and, more importantly, handled which reveals much about the surface texture and feel of the glaze ...
I'am looking on my phone and the images appear to blur slightly when enlarged - so difficult to see if the glaze surfaces exhibits any ware, which there should be especially to the central interior?! ...
Will have another look at these on my laptop this evening ...
I had originally looked at the images on my tablet, but having now looked at the eBay images on my laptop it would appear that the bowl is in fact a greyish-blue shade, so my observations seem to have been incorrect.
Comparing the pattern of the crackle glaze with the image posted by Alain R Truong, it would seem that both appear to be indentical. For some reason all of the images for the 2015 Christie's sale do not appear to be available, so it is impossible to compare it with a high quality image.
I am still a bit confused about the bowl sold by Heritage in regards to the brown speckles.
I guess the lesson that I have learned is to check images on all types of devices before making a judgement.
Hello Stuart @ming1449
I understand what you mean about handling such pieces.
I have a Song dynasty dish with ice crackles glaze ( Photograph shown below ) and also a Yuan dynasty ge-type brush washer and the texture of the glaze is completely different to what you would expect to feel.
Hi Jeremy -
Having look at these on my laptop there is little doubt that the juice1499 and Heritage bowls are one and the same - the darkened blackish/brown small holes/pits to the foot-rim are identical ...
It is still very difficult to see from the images if the glaze surface exhibits any ware, although there appears to be some small glaze pits to the exterior surface ...
The attributed date range is rather broad - 17th-18th C, late Ming/early Qing - although a Ming attribution is given on eBay ...
As before - such pieces really need to be seen/handled before any definitive conclusions could be reach ...
I think all three bowls are the same one. Christie's use very professional photographers and from their pictures you almost always get the impression that the glazes of their ceramics have a matt appearance but when you look at the same ceramics on their youtube videos you'll see that the glazes of the same pieces are often glossy.
The difference in tone is probably due to the properties of the glaze. Celadon glazes sometime change color in different lightning situations. I have a Song dynasty Guanyao piece (that also have the sought after flaked ice crackle) that almost seems blue in one lightning situation and green in another.
The reason why the pinholes and brown spot can't be seen on some of the pictures might be because of the use of a 'cosmetic' photographic technique.
It's gonna be interesting to see how much the bowl will sell for at eBay. In my opinion the Ming attribution is certainly valid given the similarity with bowl dated to the Ming dynasty at Sotheby's.
What does seem odd is that the bowl sold at Christie's in 2015 for $6,250, but seems to have struggled to sell through Heritage Auctions just last month and is now being offered through eBay. I realise that Peter regularly points out that if an item is listed correctly it can achieve a good price and so I am assuming that juice1499 was able to purchase it at a reasonable price, most likely not for the price it achieved at Christie's.
I thought juice1499 was supposed to be a reputable seller. I don't know about the bowl but there a lot of his listings that look deceptive with wrong "antique" or "19th century" attributions. And it doesn't seem to be a mistake but rather done willfully to confuse unsuspecting buyers. I understand finding good chinese antiques at low prices to re-sell to on ebay is hard but the few bad fakes he has will discredit him when he sells genuine pieces.
If he is known to sell reproductions with wrong "antique" attributions, how do I know he just didn't put a christies sticker on the bowl to give it better provenance? Or maybe he was the one who previously tried to list it at Heritage with a high reserve knowing it wouldn't sell to put it back on ebay later with more credibility because of the Heritage auction provenance. If the bowl was sold at christies, where is the receipt, catalogue or auction page of the bowl? Reputation is very important and unfortunately , because of a few bad listings, I would be very careful if I had to deal with him.
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Kangxi vases, Kangxi dishes and chargers, Kangxi ritual pieces, Kangxi scholar's objects, Qianlong famille rose, Qianlong enamels, Qianlong period paintings, Qianlong Emporer's court, Fine porcelain of the Yongzheng period. Chinese imperial art, Ming porcelain including Jiajing, Wanli, Xuande, Chenghua as well as Ming jades and bronzes.
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