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Two vases (one big and one small)

by John

Hi peter again,
We will ask you for two vases this time.

First (Larger) Vase

Here are the comments from my boss (until the end of code):
Decorative Hand Drawing

1. 2 big rust spots (A)
2. hairlines and cracks at the bottom parts of the vase near the base (B)
3. a rust spot, about 7-8 o’clock from (A). we will call it “(C)”
4. a small point of graze contraction, 9 o’clock (180 to the left of) from (C). we will call it “(D)”. Not shown/cannot be seen in the pictures.
5. 2 big glaze contraction points under the neck, easily seen. Cannot be photographed since they are inside.
6. the top rim is not level
7. the body is slightly declined
8. hands-on-inspection might indicate that grazing is thicker and not even at the bottom part of the vase which show old styles of grazing techniques were used.
9. no obvious fake signs can be found

We think it as old but it can be a wild estimation.

Second (Smaller) Vase

What do you think about them (age, authenticity, etc)? This first one is ours and the second is the one my boss is gonna purchase. Would you advise against purchasing it? (It would be better if you can answer quickly about it first since your answer could affect our decision. However, if you do not have time, please do not worry about it).
Thanks as always...

Comments for Two vases (one big and one small)

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Apr 28, 2010
small vase
by: peter

Vase 2 (small):
- No glaze outside, but glaze inside the mouth? That is odd.
- The inside of the mouth is the only thing that looks right
- The form of the bottom is all wrong for an antique Chinese item.
- The mark is stamped, this is not a mark as they were made before the 20th century
- Very low artistic quality, the painting looks as if it were done by an amateur. The painting style and decoration, including the flowers are all wrong for a Chinese decoration.

Overall, this is a very low quality item. I would not touch it even it it were very old. It wouldn't have value even it were very old. Thus, I advise against acquiring it.

Apr 28, 2010
big vase
by: peter

Vase 1 (big):
This vase is new in my opinion.
The glaze looks new, there are not any usage or age traces, scratches, etc. on the glaze itself, and the mark looks more recent too.

Glaze hairlines can occur in the kiln, when the porcelain item cools down after firing. The ceramic body and glaze have different cooling rates which can cause hairline splits in the glaze.

Glaze contractions are caused in the kiln also. More often in older kilns, but they do also occur in more recent ones. The cause is some minute dots of substances that adher to the ceramic body. When the glaze is applied it covers these substances but not the ceramic body. These substances evaporate when the temperature in the kiln rises, leaving a spot that is not covered by the glaze. Often the empty spots are partially filled by the liquid glaze.
Thus, the cause of glaze contractions is a lack of cleanliness in the environment before firing. The reason that old (especially Ming wares) have a lot of contractions is that at that time the environment wasn't controlled enough yet to avoid these impurities on the clay surface.
During the 18th century these glaze contractions all but disappeared, but at the end of the Qing dynasty some kilns again show a lot of glaze contractions. This may be individual kiln problems, not all kilns have these, however.

The mark looks as if it is stamped, and the characters look like 20th century characters.

Marks were frequently stamped during the 19th century, but they were red and always used certain classic character types, blue marks were normally handpainted.
Sorry, but apart from the first four, most images were not sharp enough for viewing (large, but insufficient picture resolution).

Just one thing. Rust spots are mostly tiny, sometimes they come in clusters, and they may appear anywhere. But they would probably take more than a hundred years to develop. Sometimes they may be in places where they affect overall appearance. Also, they will break through to the surface of the glaze and then appear to be "rust" brown. Are the spots below the glaze, in your item? The glaze doesn't seem to be affected in the pictures.

Although some points may appear to indicate age, the overall appearance, but especially the bottom and mark, will interpreted by most people as those of a new item. There are just too many points that indicate a new item.

I recommend you ask for a second opinion, but my personal view is that it is recent.
I would be glad to hear that the item has some value inspite of this.

(Tip: Please alwasy remember that even on China's own domestic markets currently the majority of items are fakes.)

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