The study of Ming Imperial Ceramic originality part one

 

MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN

 

 

Dr IWAN ‘S CYBERMUSEUM

 

 THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM

 

  MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA PERTAMA DI INDONESIA

 

   DALAM PROSES UNTUK MENDAPATKAN SERTIFIKAT MURI

 

     PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

 

      THE FOUNDER

 

    Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA

 

                     

 

The Driwan’s  Cybermuseum

 

THE STUDY OF MING IMPERIAL CERAMIC ORIGINALITY PART ONE

 

 Chenghua Emperor Covered Bowl Measurements: 6″ Diameter X 3-1/4″ HeightHongzhi Emperor Rice Bowl Measurements: 6-3/4″ Diameter X 3″ HeightWe have been blessed to be able to authenticate and represent these two Imperial Emperor’s bowls for the last two years. , and as such,  the several pieces we did authenticate (original or fake??), most were newer reproductions .

The two particular bowls featured above are the result of a distant approach by a old Chinese man offering these bowls for purchase. It was a wise decision he made when he agreed to buy them, and his ‘feel’ for the pieces was perfect, as he loved their delicate construction – especially the exquisite Hongzhi rice bowl that he felt was a piece of perfection. In this microscopic study you will see why these pieces had that ‘special feel’ when we first saw the bowls.

Both of these bowls initially underwent an intensive, month-long cleaning and extensive study by expert  before we first announced their authenticity. In preparation for the composition of this article, we  re-cleaned the bowls, as initially performed, in acetone and then a strong solution of soap and water, to determine that all remaining deposits were indeed natural to the bowls, and not later replicators’ attempts at deception, nor hiding a repair. In the last cleaning, we even briefly used a solution of oxalic acid to make sure no aliphatic cements or petroleum based glues had been used. Initially these bowls were most likely cleaned in China, in a weak vinegar solution to remove any deposits that were on them (later microscopic photographs will show where this had occurred and the accompanying, minuscule new scratches that are associated with this cleaning).

These two truly Imperial Bowls are Pre-UNESCO Treaty Legal and have been displayed at our last two jade shows, including our Jade Through The Ages Show. We will be showing, with the progressive microscopic photographs throughout this article, authenticating identifiers, in response to which some skeptics might say the usual “Oh, the Chinese replicators can do that” – they cannot! These are authentic Ming Dynasty Imperial Porcelain Bowls and carry the ‘Antiquities, Plus… Guarantee’ as long as they are in our possession to sell. Out of respect to the father of the Emperor Hongzhi, we will be starting this article with the Emperor Chenghua’s Covered bowl, and will be ending it with the Hongzhi Emperor’s rice bowl.

In the three photographs above, we show the top of the Chenghua Emperor’s covered bowl, the bottom of the bowl, and a close-up of the reign mark and part of the foot rim. For those who do not know, the Chenghua Emperor preferred as his reign mark a calligraphy of his own making, done while he was a child; these marks do not have the usual perfection of a ‘typical’ reign mark. The bowl in general is not quite as finely produced as is the Hongzhi Emperor’s bowl, and is a bit heavier in construction, but still is a masterpiece for a porcelain made at the start of the Emperor’s reign in 1465 CE (remembering that this is not just an Imperial factory porcelain, but actually made for Imperial use). Additional research will lead the reader to the many different types and colors of Imperial Family porcelains which were traditionally produced for each Emperor upon his ascension to the throne; however, in this article we will be dealing only with these two bowls and their history of usage, along with their burial conditions. The exact  ’how and why’ particulars of their burial may never be known (unless some record exists in the archives in China), but we suspect these two items may have been among those known objects, which upon retirement from service when the new Emperor took the throne, were appropriated by eunuchs of the Forbidden City and ‘hidden away’ for posterity, or perhaps they were ‘discovered’ when the foreign industrialists routed the old railways through the Ming Dynasty tomb areas. However they were found, they are at least now safe and ready for their possible return home.

I have read a tips about collecting artwork from my friend :

Collecting art is a genuine pleasure, when you take time to research, learn and appreciate the items that you are considering. Different art forms appeal to different people. While the luscious colours of Impressionist masters and the provocative depictions of contemporary themes appeal to certain buyers, tangible objects such as ceramics remain the most accessible art form to many collectors.

Accessibility and appreciation are two key words when you collect. They are very important things to think about especially if you want to purchase artworks for investment purposes. This adds value as you know that they will likely have a turnover in the future. Browsing, studying and purchasing new items during your travels is a great way to add to your collection while deepening your knowledge of what is available in different parts of the world.

 Focusing on Chinese ceramics, we took the opportunity to ask Senior Specialist Chi Fan Tsang from the Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Department at Christie’s Hong Kong for some tips and insights on collecting ceramics.

How to get started
For collectors new to the category, the easiest area to begin with is ceramics because so much research has been done in this area and so many examples have sold at auction that can serve as references. To get some basic knowledge, get a good reference book from an art bookstore. Reading footnotes in past catalogue auctions is helpful too.

Go to auction viewings and handle some pieces as this is the best way to learn. The weight and feel of an object is very important in judging its authenticity. Ask specialists for their opinion and guidance on the bidding levels.
In what condition is the item?
Get a condition report from the auction house before buying anything and, if possible, seek the advice of an independent expert or restorer. A barely visible hairline crack on a dish can affect its value by as much as 70%. However, if you are just looking to buy a study piece, then you can get an item with very minor damage at a fraction of the price.

How rare is it?
Was it something made uniquely for the Emperor, or was it produced in large quantities for the Chinese court and noblemen? Rarity is an important factor that determines the value of a piece. This is why you have to do research and read all the notes in the catalogue to find out.

Where does it come from?
There are more and more sophisticated copies on the market. To avoid the disappointment of purchasing a fake, you should look for pieces that have a clear history, tracing back as far as possible, to the time when it was first acquired. Items that have been in part of an important collection or institution are highly desirable.

Determining quality
Details, details, details. You should look for outstanding quality. Serious collectors invest a lot of time in learning about the workmanship that goes into a beautiful piece. It is a wonderful learning process that can greatly increase your appreciation and understanding of how valuable the item can become.

Ms. Tsang points out that ceramics, particularly Imperial Qing dynasty ceramics, remain the most accessible art form today and therefore continue to attract the highest prices. While collecting categories such as jade, lacquer, Imperial clocks, rhinoceros horn carvings, glass and bamboo are getting more popular and are achieving unprecedented prices, why not begin with Chinese ceramics? You will never look at a vase the same way again.

 Where does it come from?
There are more and more sophisticated copies on the market. To avoid the disappointment of purchasing a fake, you should look for pieces that have a clear history, tracing back as far as possible, to the time when it was first acquired. Items that have been in part of an important collection or institution are highly desirable.

Determining quality
Details, details, details. You should look for outstanding quality. Serious collectors invest a lot of time in learning about the workmanship that goes into a beautiful piece. It is a wonderful learning process that can greatly increase your appreciation and understanding of how valuable the item can become.

Ms. Tsang points out that ceramics, particularly Imperial Qing dynasty ceramics, remain the most accessible art form today and therefore continue to attract the highest prices. While collecting categories such as jade, lacquer, Imperial clocks, rhinoceros horn carvings, glass and bamboo are getting more popular and are achieving unprecedented prices, why not begin with Chinese ceramics? You will never look at a

for more info look the part two.

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