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The School of Tian Hexian
I was wondering what you all thought of this, please? It is coming up for auction, has been identified and inspected by Gerald Davison and David Battie and described as the title says. It is 42 cms x 27 cms. I have seen it, it is quite nice, estimate £300 - £500.
I have looked up works actually by Tian Hexian and they are somehow more understated, more elegant, less filling of the space and tend to have calligraphy as well as the signature. As I said, I like it, but I am feeling I don't like it enough. I think I am not convinced that this would be a good investment.
What do you think? Thank you!
Master Tian Hexian was a member of the 'eight friends of Zushan'. A prominent group of now and then famous porcelain painters of the republic period. He was born in 1894 and died in 1952.
Judging by the colour and style of the tree trunk I do not believe this plaque is by the master. The plaque lacks the fluid strokes.
Early on in his career he painted landscapes and later became an expert in plum blossoms.
A very similar one to the one posted was sold via Bonham's auction not so long ago.
When looking at pieces by these said masters it is necessary to carefully examine if the painting style, subject, style of calligraphy and the seal stamps are correct.
As you know, these masters were copied in the manner of a tribute back in the day. Since then their value has risen immensely and very sought after in more recent times. Hence the widespread array of fakes on the market.
I agree with you that the lack of any inscription is very unusual for a plaque by said master.
If this plaque was old, say from the period he was alive ( as in a tribute to) it would still be worth $. If it is new with an old look then these are being sold for less than half the estimate at auction. I suspect it is the later judging by the style and lack of calligraphy.
Sorry I can't determine from the pictures if said is old or new.
If it was me, I would see if it sells at auction. If not put in an offer. You never know.
It is possible to still buy plaques by one of the eight at reasonable prices but very few and far in between.
Anyhow, purely out of interest could you advise what said sells for?
Tian Hexian had a different way of painting the tree trunks: crude, almost impressionistic, while his flowers were incredibly delicate. His paintings make you say „wow“ while this one is rather nondescript as you have already noticed yourself.
Thanks for the replies. I don't think they are claiming this to be actually by him, as noted, it is nothing like the quality. My feeling is that even if something is "the school of ..... (artist)" the quality would be exceptional enough to justify the association with the master's name.
I think this falls short and get the feeling you both agree. Thank you. I will let you know what it goes for. Quite possibly the name-link alone will boost the price, but that isn't enough for me. I would rather have an unsigned piece that everyone recognised immediately by the skill and quality as being by the artist, than have a signed piece that we were not quite sure about.
Thanks for your help.
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