Chinese Enameled Porcelain Bowl, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $3,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:19)
Bonhams & Butterfields, SF
GUEST: I received it from my grandmother, who got it from a friend of hers who is an antique collector, about 30 years ago.
APPRAISER: Well, it's marvelous. It's a Chinese eggshell porcelain bowl. Eggshell means, of course, very thin.
APPRAISER: So thin that you really have to be careful handling it, and it was originally one of a pair. So probably what happened to the other one is somebody broke it. This was produced in the 1920s in China.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: An imitation of a Ming or Qing type of bowl. Decorated with beautiful women, and that's sort of a typical pattern that would appeal to Western buyers.
APPRAISER: Sort of you could look at the bowl and it screams Chinese porcelain. This little stand came with it, and it probably had a box that was beautifully rendered. But you've got the bowl. And it actually holds a Qianlong mark. Qianlong was a very important emperor of the Qing Dynasty, who lived between 1735 and 1795.
APPRAISER: However, as I said, this is a 20th-century bowl that was made really for the tourist market.
APPRAISER: In imitation of an older imperial porcelain. Now, made for expats in...who lived in China, or maybe for export to Europe and the United States, okay?
APPRAISER: There were many of these made during that period of time. Now that China has opened up, the Chinese are very interested in buying these back.
APPRAISER: So, if you had brought this in to us 15 years ago, before this was the case, I would have told you, "No value."
APPRAISER: However, now, at auction, you'd be looking at an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.
GUEST: (laughing) Awesome.
APPRAISER: Now if you had the pair...
GUEST: That would be...
APPRAISER: It would be somewhere in the vicinity of about $8,000 to $12,000.
GUEST: Wow, wow. That's amazing.
APPRAISER: So, good timing. Good timing.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.