Chinese Ceramics & Antiques Discussion

Antique Chinese Ceramics => Chinese Ceramics Discussion => Topic started by: Fucsiaman on Jul 27, 2021, 22:20:39

Title: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 27, 2021, 22:20:39
Dear Sirs, forgive me if the topic has been discussed before but I'm new and I've not seen all the topics.

Recently I bought a cup from a serious seller friend of mine. Not at all expensive and for private use (my collection).
The cup seems to be Chinese and made for export.
I attach the pics.
At the bottom there is a double circle with a symbol not easy to understand, in underglaze blue.

The glaze is cracked and they can be spotted small dark points from the firing (I suppose)

In your opinion is it a XIX century production or before?

Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Stan on Jul 28, 2021, 00:24:07
Hi Fucsiaman, It appears to be printed, the decoration that is, which would put it some where in the 2nd half of the 20th century or later.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 00:39:05
Hi Stan.
Honestly I can't see better if it is a transferware, if new, if old. Being absolutely handmade (by the differences among same parts of the decoration) or it is a real fake made pretending the handmade work in transferware, included the bottom with the mark, or it is a real somehow old cup.
The porcelain is clearly old made by points of carbon left in the firing.
But it also could have been faked, naturally.
To resume :
Colour and imperfections are by at least an XIX firing, imho.
Decoration is not a series of the same perfect flower. The transferware should be all in one.
The logo is handmade (or it looks like).
All this said,  everything can be faked.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: peterp on Jul 28, 2021, 07:20:13
Please upload additional pictures. How about a good view of the handle and saucer bottom? Close up shots of the decoration, especially the areas shown in the image below, but also partial pictures showing some of the dark spots very close and with good resolution, please. The mark and ring around the foot rim, as well as the white breaks in the blue lines in many places look indeed as if this was transfer printed. Also, is this blue tone the real blue color or does it only appear this dark in the photographs?
Any picture showing the dark area of the glaze on the bottom, along the foot rim, close up, please. That is not normal in porcelain of any period. It could be caused from a second glazing.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 16:49:12
Hi friends, first of all many thanks for your interest and courtesy.
Giving that I've paid the cup 20€ and by a serious seller dealing only British porcelain (and ceramics) provided directly through his channels, I am not in search of a restoration for a great expensive deal LOL
Just to give a date to the cup.

I attach several pics, the best I can by my Samsung and Photoshop for resizing.

My opinion is that it is a transferware (whose origin is dated half XVIII century) but a very old one because of the "clumsy" decoration clearly hand made in every part of it.
The cracking is evident.
The mark looks like something of Kangxi epoch, just the two cirlces. The symbol, honestly, is an enigma.
So, thanks again

Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 16:50:40
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 16:54:54
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 16:55:47
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 16:56:27
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: peterp on Jul 28, 2021, 20:20:11
Yes, it seems to be transfer ware, and decoration and shape are basically Kangxi style. There are several incongruent features, though. There are places where the lines just do not look like they would with regular brush painting done in those times. The mar would probably be a 'jade' mark with a missing dot, but the bottom looks still odd even when closely viewed.
The style is that of Kangxi era export porcelain, but export wares would not have had that rounded foot rim, and the glaze inside the rim looks as if it either was not properly fired, or it could be a cold glaze, used in restorations. The handle has a yellowish hue, that is usually also a sign of some restoration. Maybe you could try to prick it with a pin or needle. If it is soft, then this is not fired. The white glaze has too many blue impurities, but Qing porcelain does not have any usually. The blue color would also not find the period It is transfer ware, apparently.
The crackling can be an age sign, but in fact most items do develop crackles in the kiln, but these are only visible when they are discolored. They can also be artificially induced. I do not think these crackles are age signs, they look more like the type seen in vintage items.
As to transfer printing, while this started very early in Europe and Japan, in China it would be at least the second quarter of the 20th century before it was used. Thus it is unlikely antique, I'm afraid, only copying and older style.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 20:34:55
Thank you

This is what I can argue by the same arguments.
It can be a real "fake" and not a reproduction. I'll ask for to my seller.

Again some more pics to close the file.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 28, 2021, 20:35:25
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: peterp on Jul 29, 2021, 10:21:41
Yes, it appears to be the character "jade", which is common, but not on export porcelain.
It is impossible to see what the three dark dots are. Normally we would use a strong magnifier or microscope to see if it grows out of the glaze, if not ignore them. In the new picture the handle glaze color looks the same as the other white glaze, so that would be right. The deviation of vertical axis is normal with handmade porcelain bodies. Difficult to control...during firing round items experience expansion shifting the position of the top and bottom of handle somewhat. It was normal to attach these not exactly vertical in order to compensate for the change in position happening in the kiln. It often happens that the result is not exactly vertical afterwards.
Yes, your arrow shows the intermittent break in the line, which is indicative of transfer printing. Also the double line not being inline just right above it.

Without having a hands-on we can only guess, but this is decorated using a transfer. We cannot tell accurately whether the body is older than the decoration. Talking here about a new or re-direction of an older, plain item. In that case the last time something was made/decorated is usually considered the actual age.  Many just know enough to make the sale but it takes years to see all  what I described. Your seller may not be very deep into it if he/she really thinks that is a Qing antique.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 29, 2021, 15:03:30
Tx Peterp,
My seller absolutely doesn't affirm anything about antique Chinese production. It was a thought of mine.
He only says that in his opinion it is not a fake (made for pretending something really precious) and not after the XIX century.

To be honest I don't see those reasons to waste time in making something similar to a precious (?) object for the few money that could come back.
As we are still dealing about it, the manufact is not so easy to understand. And the fake appeared to be well managed. IF.

It could be a XIX century production for British market, this cup and saucer come directly from UK, certainly made with transfeware and likely some darker brush stroke or on the handle.

The grid pattern to create the "darks" seems to be typical of some Dutch use, if I am not wrong. Anyway the whole drawing seems like rough as it have been made, the first drawing, by a quick painter.
On the other hand, we have excellent examples of old and perfectly drawn transferwares. Expecially made for British costumers.

So, the question is: why that rough? Why to draw an entire transferware when you could have been used the same smaller drawing and to repeat it side by side (octagonal, so easy to attach)? Sectors are eight equal floreal themes. From where the whole drawing comes from, so?
Did they arrange a production after having made the task to copy manually an old pattern from real '600 cups?

The errors in the displacement, the missing of parts, the rude shape, irregular, talk to me of something not younger than half '800. Honestly I can't think a regular 1950 production made like that. Not Deco, not Vctorian. We should think to the tastes of the costumers in these ages. Is it a local production so? And local where?

The decoration, the transferware itself, is anyway handmade because of its irregular and singular motifs. No one leaf is the same of another, no repetitions.

The bottom is rounded, exactly, but anyway rough and the two circles are not industrial like. The simbol absolutely bizzarre.

My conclusion are these ones. And the enigma still remains. LOL

Your help has been very important.

As I told you all before, it is not for a matter of value. I am drinking my Italian (?) coffee in it as I do for all my more or less precious cups.

Just to investigate.

Many thanks and best regards


P.s. I have one more interesting chinese cup and saucer bought in a castle directly from the private collection of a Count. Quite Imari style with the bottom of the saucer dark brown. If interested I can submit that cup too
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Stan on Jul 30, 2021, 01:15:01
I have a lot of English Transfer ware and none as bad as this, the English invented the process and is sometimes hard to tell if you do not know what to look for, I do not think this is Chinoiserie although it could be a recent replication, all I can say is if this is Chinese it would be 2nd half of the 20th century or later, in my opinion this has no collectors value at all and I would recommend to not purchase such items in the future. P.S. I would love to see your Imari Cup. Please post pictures like the one you just posted, front, bottom and Ect, thanks.
Title: Re: Chinese export cup
Post by: Fucsiaman on Jul 30, 2021, 21:08:22
Thanks Stan, thanks Peterp