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Qianlong Gu Style Vase

by Finlay Macdonald
(Toronto, Canada)

Gu vase

Gu vase

Hi Peter,
I'm wondering if you have any information on this piece. I believe it is part of a Qianlong era flambe Gu vase. If authenticated, is this of any value to collectors in its given state?

Thank you!

Comments for Qianlong Gu Style Vase

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May 02, 2011
by: Fin Macdonald

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately I am away from the piece now and cannot confirm the colour of the porcelain. I believe it its more gray than stark/bright white.

The piece was purchased in the 1950's from a Ward-Price auction (a now defunct Toronto auction house), by the wife of a former president of the University of Toronto.

I also think your suggestion of installing metal rim is brilliant, and would be appropriate if it is authenticated.

Apr 28, 2011
Gu vase
by: peter

If it is genuine, its value to a collector is mainly as a sample, the same way as shards do.
In the old times, they probably would have made some metal rim or decoration for the cut-off top, but it wouldn't be economical doing that nowadays.

This said, the vase bottom poses a question to me...why is the bottom brown below the glaze? And, is the clay of the foot rim white or gray?

If it were 18th century, or later, I don't doubt that the clay should be white. I don't know if it is the lighting that makes it appear gray? The bottom part inside the foot rim should be either white or the color of the decoration, usually. If this is porcelain, then the brown color can't be discoloration/burning from firing, especially not in the 18th century, when quality was at its peak. The transparent glaze also seems to cover the brown color, as it seems from the second picture.
To me, this "could" mean that this was made at a later time.
I just wonder whether you did buy this? And where? If it was in China, I would think it could be a fake. They even make fake shards! If not, I would recommend keeping it and later, when the opportunity arises, have someone experienced do a hands-on inspection to see if it is genuine.
Please keep an open mind to the possibility that the vase is real, but the mark, brown color and glaze at the bottom were added later.

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