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Comments for Celadon with blue underglaze decoration

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Jun 12, 2010
by: peter

Sure, there are other crackles that can be natural, and brownish and yellow crackles can be fake too! There are often also crackles in the vitreous, transparent layer of the glaze, which may only be visible with a magnifier or under certain light conditions.
If it were that takes looking at a lot of naturally occurring and artificial crackles. And even then, it is sometimes difficult to tell.
Additionally, some kilns were and are still making items with crackles for decoration, which also would be artificially made. But there purpose is just that: decoration. Those crackles are not intended to pretend age!

Artifical crackles are made by adding some minerals to the glaze.
What I understand in view to fake crackles is: most (but not all) of the age faking crackles are of the small type like yours. Fine, very regular crackling, mostly uniform in color.

With natural crackling, the crackles are often not uniform in size and they go through to the surface of the glaze. With artificial crackles the vitreous glaze may have filled any fine spaces and the surface may be completely smooth, as the crackles developed during firing.
Natural crackles will usually occur in the surface layer, and the color of the crackles is from sediments or liquids seeping into the crackles over time.
With natural crackles the extent of this discoloration may be irregular on the same item, giving an unequal appearance. With excavated items the crackles would usually contain some elements of the soil.
Further, with naturally occurring crackles often only a part of the surface may be covered, also giving an irregular appearance.
Natural age crackles occur every which way, and as they are not caused by mineral additives they often do not cover the whole bottom or area, but often only part of the surface is crackled. Natural age crackles are sometimes unsightly, esthetically unappealing and detrimental to the overall appearance. Artificial crackles will try not to affect appearance.

Sorry, there is not shortcut to learning this by experience (=looking at many items), and please be aware that all said above is not absolute, there are always exceptionss. That is why we have to consider all points to come to a conclusion whether an item is genuine.
I recommend to always try to get a second opinion.

Jun 12, 2010
Crackle question
by: JR


Can you comment briefly on how to tell artificial crackles from REAL age crackle in the glaze?

I know from your site that over time, often age crackle will take on a brownish color. Is there anything else to look for?

Can NON brownish crackle still be real age crackle?


Jun 12, 2010
printed plate?
by: peter


From the second picture it seems that the plate is printed, but the picture is not close enough to know for sure. If that is true, together with the artifical crackles on the bottom this is most likely a late 20th century item. The mark is irrelevant in this case and, I'm afraid, a printed plate has no antique or collector's value.

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