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Should I send this to a major auction house?
So I picked this bronze up and almost didn’t. I knew it had been polished most likely by the dealer. And at some point they probably added the rubies. I thought modern but one of my friends that has bronze from India said my bronze has kiln repairs and this is something modern bronze makers don’t ever do. I just don’t know enough. Would you send this to be looked at by a major auction house. I just don’t want to look stupid.
At first glance I thought it was a modern interpretation.
Very unusual and interesting bronze. I have never seen one like this before. Almost has a hint of India i think.
The rubies (if they are genuine) are faceted not cabochon. Which is not normally seen. I don't think they were added later.
Not entirely sure as i don't normally deal much with Chinese bronzes.
So personally I think it is a modern censer. But i could be wrong.
Perhaps rather than ask the majors. Ask Peter first.
@imperialfinegems Thanks Mark I don’t know much either. I have asked about the cuts of the stones. Here are pictures of the kiln repairs my friend was saying these are old repairs. But fakers fake everything. I think is a good quality censer and I didn’t pay a high price.
So it isn't Indian? It looks it. Interesting to see the kiln repairs. There is no harm asking one of the experts; you won't look stupid, just say it is not your area and you are unsure of the age. Or ask a museum.
@lotusblack Hi Brian!
Your elephant censer brings back memories of one of my earliest finds that Sotheby's too, but the outcome was quite unfortunate for me, so careful inspection is required.
First, if you may already know, this type of censer was to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Qianlong. The quality of genuine censers of this form are magnificent.
I'm concerned the quality of your censer is not up to that of true period censers, but it has been my experience that the form is quite popular, and people stiñl pay goid money for good quality copies.
Around 2012, I bought a censer like yours, but larger, still had some gold gilt, but the elephants had double tusks - a rare, but not unheard of design given few people had actually seen a living elephant in the 18th c.
The Sotheby's specialist I had sold through once before took it to auction after phtsicallt inspecting it witg an estimate $30-50k (I think).
However, she did not have anyone else handle the piece until the sale's preview, and buyerd were quick to point out to her it was a 20th c copy- the piece was removed from the sale one day prior to the sale.
Since then I've learned a little more about Chinese bronzes. What I can say is that the methid of casting, mould casting, leaves sharp clean and extreme6fine details in the bronze.
Sand casting sometimes gets good details, but look carefully enough and you'll find imperfections. SOMETIMES these imperfections are 'fixed' with a repair that might kead you to believe someone was caring for an old piece - generally this is not the case.
So, as long as you don't spend too much, I think you made a good buy on a 20th c. censer.
I have been reading on these pieces I don’t think it’s 18th century but possibly 19th but probably 20th as I read a bronze trend took place at this time. I have only found 18th and 19th examples online. I did find a piece from Christie’s with a repair like this one but the form was different. Here is the mark
@greeno107 Thanks for the information what do you think a 20th century copy is worth. Im probably going to sell it.
What did the gem person say about the rubies, is there a garden in the stone, if clear then they are probably synthetic.
@lotusblack Inclusions would be a good sign but other types of stones have inclusions, if they are clear, faceted lab created rubies then that might indicate a later date, can't judge from the photos. It does not hurt to ask the expert, an honest question is not foolish. If they do not answer, at least you did your due diligence before putting it up for sale.
Here is a comparable from Sotheby's I have yet to find a 20th century comparable but have found several 18th century ones.
The stones set in the sotheby's example are cabochon not faceted.
Here is a genuine one i bought last year. It's a pair of late Ming, early Qing pair of elephant incense holders.
I’m not considering the stones much because ruby faucets stones were pretty popular in the 18th century the Chinese used glass also. The bronze itself is my focus. Yes the Sotheby’s has caboshans but I’m looking at the entire piece. A lot of bronze was being produced and gems where a international trade Burma wasn’t very far also. I can only say I have to go by whats in front of me. Not one 20th century example I can find in this quality. I have found 12 examples all form majors auctions listed 18th century. I have handled a lot of modern bronze this just feels much heavier.
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