Chinese Enameled Porcelain Bowl, ca. 1920

Value (2012) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
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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.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

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.

GUEST:
Right.

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.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
However, as I said, this is a 20th-century bowl that was made really for the tourist market.

GUEST:
Okay.

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?

GUEST:
Right.

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.

GUEST:
Ah.

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."

GUEST:
Right.

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.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Appraised value (2012)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Event
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)
Period
20th Century
Form
Bowl
Material
Enamel, Porcelain

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