18th-Century Chinese Enamel Plaque
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:12)
GUEST: My mother and father went to China in the late 1970s, and my father liked the colors on these and had them sent back, a pair. Then my father died, my mother died, and the house items were being tagged for a sale, and the person who was doing the tag sale said that these are beautiful decorative items, possibly a few hundred dollars, and I thought for that, I would like to hold on to them.
APPRAISER: These are enamel porcelain on copper. Now, this technique we often refer to as Canton enamel. The technique of enamels on copper or enamels on a metal, a base metal, started in Limoges at a much earlier date. And these are wonderful examples of the relationship that the East and West had during the 18th century.
GUEST: And so this wasn't one of the examples where the Chinese did it first and then everybody else copied, like gunpowder and things.
APPRAISER: Quite right, it's the reverse. There's a slight damage to the edge here, and there's a fracture of the enamel, and you'll see very finely the brown copper ground coming through. There's some surface scratching to the enamel. This is a very, very common Chinese subject of scholar with attendant. It's our assumption that its function in China would have been one of two things: a hardwood, hanging horizontal painting, or a insert into a piece of furniture. It's not a common tourist decorative object.
APPRAISER: But a very well painted and large for a Canton enamel plaque. When it comes to auction estimates, this is a good example in good condition. The painting is of a high standard. All of those would lead me to put an auction estimate of $5,000 to $8,000 on it.
GUEST: Wow. Is this for the pair?
APPRAISER: This is for a single.
APPRAISER: So a pair, I would put an auction estimate at $12,000 to $18,000.
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