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Porcelain Bowl

by Jon
(Seattle, WA)

Hi everyone,
I wanted to see if I can get some input on the age of this bowl. I recently bought this from an English family who claims to have owned it for over ninety years. To me, the bowl is very beautiful, but peculiar in its own way. It is marked, and its body is a very, very pale jade color. There are a few hairline cracks and chips along the rim.

Comments for Porcelain Bowl

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May 24, 2011
by: peter

Please be aware that these are my own considerations and may not necessarily be proven true.
What concerns value, the rim chips may affect the value somewhat, but the crack running from one of the chips could depreciate its value considerably.
However, if indeed the outside decoration was added later, then the overall value will be lower anyway.

I think collectors might still have some interest, but the monetary value will not be very high, I would think.

May 23, 2011
Thank you Peter
by: Jon

WOW. Your commentary is so interesting. It sounds like this bowl has had an interesting life (with some possible mid-life plastic surgery.) I will for sure try to get it appraised, but thank you so much for all the intriguing information.

I just have another question. Do you think the chips and tiny hairline cracks along the rim will greatly decrease the bowl's value (if it is even valuable to begin with)?

May 23, 2011
by: peter

From the pictures it looks on the surface as you have a Doucai bowl (blue color is under the glaze and the others above), but I am not sure if this is right. Some colors could have been added later, and part of the decoration looks more like Fencai.
The mark is a Qing dynasty Jiaqing mark. See Ming-Qing emperors on the left for reign dates.

If this is a period item, this bowl would be some 200 years old. It could also be Daoguang, as the following reign sometimes used the mark of the previous one.
The many small dark spots are somewhat concerning, though, because these often point to items made at a later time. On the other hand, the decoration band on the inside of the rim was popular in the first half of the 19th century. I've never seen it on fakes. Further, the picture of the interior shows iridescence. This is a sign that mineral pigments were used. Any modern fakes would be using chemical dyes which do not show iridescence.

It appears that in some areas on the outside the pigments have been applied thicker than those in other patrts. There is the possibility that this is an original Jiaqing bowl, either blue and white or Fencai style, which later had some decoration added.
This happened sometimes with items which originally had plain decorations, to increase their perceived value.

Basically, mark, white glaze, and interior decoration look as if they could be of the period, but the outside could have been added at a later time.
Perhaps a hands-on inspection by an experienced collector might clarify this issue.

May 22, 2011
by: peter

These pictures here are too small. Could you upload larger pictures to Photobucket, Flickr or similar site and send/post the link? The blog doesn't allow for larger pictures, unfortunately.

In my view this bowl warrants a closer inspection.
From these small pictures it seems to be genuine, but a closer view of details would be necessary to make sure.
A closeup of the decoration band along the interior rim of the bowl would also be of help.
If it is what the mark says, then this bowl could be well over the 90 years old, that you did mention.

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