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any experts on Chinese bronze Bodhisattva?
@thomasumjohnson Identifying sand cast has become more difficult in recent years. The fakers often go back and trim/sand the surface areas to to remove obvious faults that occur in casting.
Faults in sand casting include pits, extranious 'dots' of extra bronze, areas of uncarved metal inbetween features. From the photos you've posted, I see a lot of faults in the Qianlong mark - look closely at the 3rd character from the right (Qian). There are 3 'dots' of extra bronze. Other characters also show some 'dots', and overall, the mark has varying degrees of depth. Honestly, the figure would be more convincing as an antique had the maker left the mark off.
With regards to the body features of a sand cast bronze, they are always a bit softer along edges/creases, and shallower. So, when you look at how the robe lays on the body, on a sandcast piece, the robe and body seem as one. Where on a mold cast piece, the crisper lines of the casting cause the robe to look as a seperate piece overlaying the body of the figure.
In fact, in mold cast bronzes, you often can see knife marks in the bronze from when the artist carved the clay model that was used to cast the mold.
The interior of a sandcast piece, which for obvious reasons we did not see for your peice, is usually the dead give away. Sand is always encrusted, sometimes carbonized, into the inner bronze. On mold cast, this simply does not occur and the inner bronze is more refined/smooth (not like the exterior, but notable).
The hand that you have circled not only shows very strange wear to the gold gilt, but there seems to be a loss of the more delicate nature that is very important to Buddhist bronze figures.
@thomasumjohnson it should be mentioned that sand casting was used in ancient times but the technique was used primarily for open works very rarely see any on bronze figures well on older bronze figures and not seen any in earlier Qing. I have circled an area I believe to show sand casting it’s the raised sharp outline if you look at authentic pieces you will notice the hands to be smooth uniform.
Thanks again Brian.. So sand casting doesn't rule out it being C19, also the base isn't cut closed, and in my opinion the bronze looks authentically aged, or tarnished, below the guilting. I personally don't think the wear is un-natural, to my eyes. Usually when I look at a bronze that's un-naturally aged, it is much more obvious. The marks look new, in patches, not an all over wear, as it is in the work in question. Here's a picture of a bronze I have with a simulated patina, probably done with battery acid, a completely different type of aging, but nevertheless.. Does anyone else think the work in question could be C19?
Sand casting in not a 20th century invention.
@lotusblack Brian, can you post some examples of sand cast 19th c. Chinese Buddha with or without Qianlong, marks held by museums, major private collection, or sold through a major auction house? Or, if you have a source that states that sand casting was used by the Chinese in the 19th c. to cast Buddha, could you post that?
Yes, sand casting is not at all a modern technique... a quick Google search dates the technique of sand casting back to the 16th c. However, I'm not aware this was a technique was used by the Chinese for casting Buddha in the 19th c.
I realize a lot of sand cast Buddha have some very good features/details, but I think it is just puffery by fakers, sellers, and auction houses to suggest such pieces are 19th c., but just of lesser quality.
Thomas' Buddha has other issues besides the method of casting that suggests it is a modern piece, but rather than have him chase a rabbit down a hole over the possibility that the piece could still be antique, I'd like to better understand what you are proposing as fact. Thx
@greeno107 I’m not referring to bronze cast figures for sand casting in mid Qing I’m referring to open work only I do own a open work sand casted bronze from Qing Dynasty that was acquired from a museum.
@lotusblack Okay... I'm not familiar with what 'open work' is. Regardless, I just think it is important that while Thomas is hopeful that the Buddha is a genuine antique, that he doesn't cling to the posibility based upon a misunderstanding.
I'd be interested in seeing a genuine sand cast Buddha from the 19th c. regardless of the outcome of Thomas' Buddha... I think it would very interesting to compare differences in casting, but I don't think one exists (at least not Chinese).
I'm not an expert on bronzes but I love them so I look at them a lot, I also watched this figure when it went on sale recently. In view of the selling price and the quality, it is of course excluded that it is 18th. The Buddhas and similar deities offered at this sale were modern in my opinion.
For this one At best first half of the 20th century but I think rather late 20th with artificial patina, there are many of these modern bronzes and they all have the same finish, patina, gilding.
I would add that the interest and the value are as much linked to the beauty of the object as to its age, that is to say that a beautiful bronze from the 20th century is preferable to an ugly old bronze. I find this one nice and decorative.
There are no spikes on the base plate so the helps not date it as 20th century my thinking is 1890ish give or take 20 years
Can you explain what you mean by spikes on the base plate? Sorry, it's probably obvious, just unsure if maybe you mean those hammered notches that hold the base in place, or something else instead.
@thomasumjohnson the link seems not to be working what was this listed as? I also cant see the figure. As for the spikes they do use this on most of the 20th century copies these spikes are to hold prayer scrolls or blessings. I have seen them on 19th century figures none on early figures. As for the $18000 that doesn’t make it authentic just pricey.
@lotusblack sorry Brian, Here's the link, says 18th /19th... so I'm figuring some of these had spiked bases..
@lotusblack sorry Brian,
For some reason the page won't load on the bonhams site. I've taken a screen shot of the thumb nail. If you manage to open the thumb nail, there are lots of pictures of this buddha. It's easy enough to find on the Bonhams website if you search for 18th century bronze buddha
@lotusblack Brian, I'm not sure if the 'spikes' used to hold the bottom plate onto the figure's base would be a good way to determine age. Looters searching for precious gems often removed the plates and sutra, and a replacement plate may have been added at a later time along with more contemporary sutra, which might have required 'spikes' to fasten.
@thomasumjohnson Thomas, authenticating Buddha requires extensive knowledge of historical depictions of Buddha, as well as understanding the material make up.
I've owned roughly 15 genuine Buddhas, dating from 6th c. Silla period, to late Qing, so I'm not an expert. What I can tell you is that in every case, a near identical example can be found in a museum collection or from a major auction house, sharing similar size, posture, material make up, finish, and quality of the details.
If your piece is different on one (or more) feature of a known comparable piece, most likely you have a more modern reproduction. You can not mix and match features betweeen Buddha of different periods, designs, and construction as a means of authenticating your piece.... it just doesn't work that way. There is no simple rule to follow.
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