Chinese Republican Period Porcelain Vase
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:42)
Bonhams & Butterfields, SF
GUEST: My grandmother just recently passed away and I inherited this and a few other pieces. She got this from Hong Kong, where she used to live.
APPRAISER: Oh, really?
GUEST: My grandfather used to work in the shipping business and he had a lot of friends. And she would go over to different friends' houses and one in particular just loved her personality and she would like a piece and, you know, a month later, he'd give it to her as a gift.
APPRAISER: Well, I'll tell you, this piece is actually a pastiche of the best of Chinese porcelain production in the Qing dynasty. It has great enamel painting here, marvelous landscape scene, gilded work, molded decoration-- the dragons and leafy tendrils, different colors of glazes, all used during the Qing dynasty. However, this is actually a production from the Republican period-- that is, the period after the fall of the Qing dynasty down to 1949. And so the piece was probably hot off the kiln when your grandmother received it.
GUEST: Oh, yeah?
APPRAISER: It is wonderful, tour de force decoration. It does have some condition issues, where the gilding here has been rubbed off during the course of its life. That's the only minor drawback to the piece itself. There is a seal mark on the bottom of the piece. It has a Ch'ien-Lung mark, which actually would mean, if the piece were of the period, made during the reign of the emperor Ch'ien-Lung. However, these marks are what we consider to be apocryphal-- that is, they are marks which now indicate in the style of something that was done during that period. And so this is a Ch'ien-Lung mark on a 20th century, or Republican period, piece.
APPRAISER: About 20 years ago, these wares were not really very valuable at auction. And now, because of the new market in China, a piece like this that would have been worth, say, maybe, $800 to $1,200 about 20 years ago is now, in this particular condition, worth between $6,000 and $8,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow. Damn.
APPRAISER: And do you know what?
APPRAISER: If all the gilding were intact, it would be worth at least $10,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, jeez.
APPRAISER: But it's a marvelous, marvelous example of what we call the Republican period wares.
GUEST: Jeez, wow. That's awesome.
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