Is my porcelain bowl an antique or fake?

by Sara
(North Carolina)

I found an large porcelain bowl at my Grandmother's house a few years ago. I looked up the marking on the bottom and it seems to be a match to Qialong. There is a Dutch ship portrayed on the bowl with flowers. I am just curious if this is authentic or a fake. Also, if it is real, what is the value of such a piece. I took pictures posted below. Sorry for the quality.

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Jan 05, 2012
by: Sara

Thanks for you reply. I did think that certain aspects seem a bit too perfect to be as old as the 1700's (Qianlong period). My Grandmother has had very authentic items in her collects as well as more modern items that seem real. Thanks for your view of the bowl. Unfortunately most of her authentic items got sold to help pay for her estate and I was hoping this bowl passed through and was real. She had a huge interest in asian and african art and her home showed that. So now that I see that this bowl is not truly from the Qianlong period I will just keep it around as a reminder of her style.


Jan 04, 2012
by: peter

Hi Sara,
After viewing the pictures I cannot give you a definitive answer. I think this probably is not a Chinese antique. Mostly even straight lines were painted without the help of tools, like these straight lines would require.
In my view this is either,
1. European Chinoiserie (European porcelain with a Chinese decoration)
2. Japanese
3. Modern Chinese

The style of painting, especially the straight lines make it unlikely that it is a Chinese antique. Overall it could be intended to picture a ship involved in the China trade, though.

European and Japanese porcelains are more likely to use such exact, straight lines, etc.

The question is, why is there a Chinese Qianlong mark. It looks as if it were an impression or transfer, rather than one of the underglaze marks used traditionally. It could have been added merely for decoration purposes.
A fake would be copying the old handpainted strokes, so I generally don't think it is trying to be a fake, just a newer item imitating an early decoration 18th or 19th century decoration.

Jan 04, 2012
More pictures
by: Sara

I have taken more pictures today of the bowl. Here is a link to the photobucket page they are on.

Jan 03, 2012
bowl with lid
by: peter

To estimate the bowl better and larger pictures are needed.
Pictures should be taken in daylight, near a window, in order to allow for natural colors.
Overall pictures, a picture of the bottom and foot rim (close up), and some detail pictures of the decoration are necessary.
If needed a second submission can be used to add more pictures. Alternatively, pictures can uploaded to an externals site like Photobucket and the link posted here.

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