What is antique porcelain and how to identify whether it has collection value?

By | November 15, 2020

Antique porcelain is the porcelain that was fired after imitating the famous porcelain varieties of the previous dynasty. The antique style was very popular as early as the Song Dynasty. At that time, a large number of imitations of Shang and Zhou bronzes had appeared. At the same time, some local porcelain kilns had no shortage of antiques. However, compared with the later Qing Dynasty, it is still a dwarf.

When it comes to porcelain collection, one has to say antique porcelain, which is the porcelain that was fired after imitating the famous porcelain varieties of the previous dynasty. The antique style was very popular as early as the Song Dynasty. At that time, there were a large number of imitation bronzes from Shang and Zhou dynasties. At the same time, some local porcelain kilns had many people who deliberately made antique. However, compared with the later Qing Dynasty, it is still a dwarf.

Antique porcelain , that is, imitating its glaze, imitating its shape, imitating its decoration or both, is a kind of craftsmanship phenomenon with distinctive characteristics of the era in ancient Chinese porcelain. It exists in large numbers both in the folk and in the government. Porcelain survives a lot. It mainly sprouted in the Song Dynasty, formed in the Yuan Dynasty, matured in the Ming Dynasty, prospered in the early Qing Dynasty, and declined in the late Qing Dynasty. In short, it basically existed in the second half of the development of ancient Chinese porcelain, and played a great role in promoting the development of porcelain in this period, and occupies an important position in ancient Chinese porcelain.

What is antique porcelain and how to identify whether it has collection value?

Qing Kangxi imitation Ding kiln white glaze jade pot spring vase with cut flowers and branches

Recognizing imitation porcelain requires certain knowledge and unique “eyesight”. If you can start with the following aspects, you can distinguish antique porcelain from modern porcelain.

One is to pay attention to the shape of the utensils . Generally speaking, the old porcelain is simple and natural, and has the style characteristics of a certain era, such as the unique Guanyin bottle and the stick bottle in the Kangxi period;

The second is to look closely at the gloss of the glaze. The glaze of ancient porcelain is often moist, without the glare of modern porcelain, and some porcelains still have clam light. Such as the Kangxi period colorful figures, sticks and bottles.

The third is to analyze the color materials . The materials used in ancient porcelain are different from modern imitation porcelain, and colored porcelain is more obvious. For example, the Kangxi blue and white is made of domestic Zhejiang materials, the color is very gorgeous, with the characteristics of the blue and white divided into five colors.

The fourth is to see whether the painting is exquisite , the glaze of ancient porcelain is rich in layers, the flowers and birds are lifelike, the characters are simple, with the charm of the times, and both form and spirit. Such as the chicken wings and phoenixes and the pictures of strong infants during the Yongzheng period, which are unique features of Yongzheng porcelain.

Fifth, it is necessary to grasp the characteristics of the bottom feet . Ancient porcelain bottom feet are often exposed, and their fetal quality is hard; beige glaze-protected tires can be seen on the surface of the tires, with natural signs of wear, the bottom feet are relatively regular, and the circle feet are smooth. For example, the “loach back” and “glutinous rice fetus” in Kangxi period are particularly obvious. On the other hand, the imitation enamel soles are loose, without glaze protection, and artificially stained. The soles are too regular, and most of them are found on flat feet. Flat feet are also a common method of modern enamel.

Sixth, it is necessary to identify the way of inscription. Official kilns of different dynasties have different identifications. For example, during the Kangxi and Yongzheng periods, most of them were written in six-character regular script in blue, and there were also a small amount of seal script in red (blue).

Discussing Ancient Porcelain Appraisal from the Wear Traces on Porcelain Surface

Ancient porcelain will leave traces on the surface during use, burying or circulation. This kind of trace is formed successively in a very long process. Therefore, the wear marks of authentic ancient porcelain are very natural. Newly imitated porcelain, due to the short circulation and use time, generally does not have the natural wear marks of ancient porcelain. Even if a small amount of wear marks are produced during the circulation process, or some artificial wear marks are made deliberately, these marks It is unnatural, and is fundamentally different from the natural use of ancient porcelain. Having mastered the difference and characteristics of the two wear marks, we can use the wear marks to identify whether a piece of porcelain is genuine ancient porcelain or new imitation porcelain.

Porcelain is the most prone to use marks in the bottom of the utensil, the mouth of the utensil, the bottom of the bowl, plate, basin, washing utensils, and the protruding corners of the utensil. These places are the main parts where we observe the traces of use.

Characteristics of wear marks of new antique porcelain

1. The newly imitated ancient porcelains are freshly baked and unused, especially the new imitations of Ming and Qing dynasties. If they are not artificially worn out, their feet and bodies are bright and new. This kind of thing is not old, the fire is dazzling, and there is no trace of friction on the body of the device, it can be broken into a new copy. Because the bottom feet of this kind of things have not been used and worn, they often feel rough or cut when touched by hand, without the natural smooth feeling of old porcelain bottom feet.

2. Although some new imitation porcelains have been artificially polished on the bottom foot to pretend to use wear marks, they are artificially formed in a short period of time, so they are essentially different from door-to-door wear. This kind of man-made wear is generally done by grinding with a grinding wheel or rubbing the bottom of the utensil directly on the floor or slab. The force is very strong, and the marks are obvious. Sometimes it is self-defeating, and the bottom feet or other parts of some utensils are also worn out in places that are not prone to wear marks under normal use. If you find signs of wear and tear in a place that is concealed and cannot be rubbed under normal use, then the thing is suspicious. When some artifacts are artificially worn, they tend to lose sight of one another. When they wear their feet, they ignore the body. Therefore, if the wear marks on the bottom and feet of a utensil are obvious, but the body is brand new without wear marks, you should be more vigilant about the utensil.

3. Some utensils artificially make wear marks on the mouth or protruding corners, but such wear marks are too regular and excessive force, which also wears out some places that should not be worn. Most of the utensils with regular and obvious signs of wear on the rim of the mouth or on the raised areas of the utensils are new imitations.

4. Some new imitation utensils are polished with sand-like objects on the inside and body of the utensils. There are dense friction marks on the surface, which look like abrasion marks after use. Such wear marks need to be carefully identified. If the wear marks are facing a fixed direction, the strength is more consistent, and there is a sense of regularity, such things must be new imitations.

5. In order to remove the floating light, some utensils use fur or other soft materials to rub the glaze surface to make the glaze surface less shiny. This kind of abrasion marks tend to form a net on the surface of the utensil, which is easier to identify.

The use and wear of ancient porcelain is more complicated. Due to the different types and purposes of the utensils, their characteristics in the wear marks are also different. Only common situations are explained here.

1. Some ancient porcelains were used in burials or cellars immediately because they were not used or used for a short period of time. Even some utensils were specially used for burials. The wear and tear of such utensils were generally not obvious. At most, during transportation and burying, tiny sporadic scratches are left on the surface of the utensils. Such signs of wear and tear need to be carefully observed during identification. This kind of trace is not of great significance for identification, but it can be used as a reference. After all, it is different from those new imitation artifacts without any signs of wear. In addition, there is a more special situation, that is, the unused porcelain stocked by the Qing Dynasty court that we often say is old, but there is no trace of use on it.

2. Many ancient porcelains are utensils for daily use. Due to long-term use, the bottom, heart and body of the utensils have natural signs of wear. Especially the abrasion marks of the bottom foot, because it is slowly worn on the table and other wooden utensils, the bottom foot feels smooth and comfortable when touched by hand. The internal wear of bowls, plates, and basins is messy and irregular. Due to long-term use, the glazed surface may lose brightness. At the same time, the abrasion and scratches on the body are also irregular, dotted and looming. This kind of natural wear on the surface of the artifact has a great reference role in the identification of ancient porcelain.

Appreciation and Analysis of Famous Porcelain Products in China:

What is antique porcelain and how to identify whether it has collection value?

Kiln changing glazed round pot

Kiln-changing glazed round pot was popular in the Tang Dynasty. The coloring mechanism is that the glaze water contains a variety of colored metal oxides, and various natural flowing beautiful color spots are formed due to the melting of the glaze water during the porcelain firing process. The glaze of this pot is dominated by black, and spring-like white and blue markings are formed on the glaze, making the utensils both solemn and lively. Similar artifacts are extremely difficult to see, and can generally be regarded as precious cultural relics. The original is in the Taipei Palace Museum.

What is antique porcelain and how to identify whether it has collection value?

Changsha kiln applique dancing figure pattern holding pot

The shape of the pot is sloping mouth, short neck, large abdomen, and flat-bottomed false ring feet. There are short octagonal edges on the shoulders. There is a flat crank on the other side corresponding to the flow. There are two ears between the handle and the stream. Three patterns are piled on the abdomen, and the content is a single-layer square tower. The maiko dancing on the round carpet and the accompanist of the wind instrument standing on the side are covered with brown colored spots. The utensils are elegant in shape and exquisitely decorated. They are the fine products of Changsha and kiln porcelain. They participated in the 1992 National Cultural Relics Exhibition. The original was unearthed in Hengyang, Hunan Province in 1973 and is now in the Hunan Provincial Museum.

The ancient style of antiques, of course, is to meet the needs of the upper class to appreciate the old, but it also plays a role in maintaining and carrying forward the characteristics of traditional products. Therefore, there are many antiques in both official and private kilns. Of course, this also includes the purpose of profit. In the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, ancient famous porcelain became the target of connoisseurs and antique dealers competing in the market, so a large number of ancient porcelain imitations appeared; and those who sought profit from the time came into being. They often carry out partial or reprocessing on the original porcelain, adopting methods such as adding glaze, adding the new year, and making old treatments, pretending to be ancient porcelain, waiting for the price. This is a fake, not an antique.

Collection value

Antique ceramics is a very special kind of art. The collection of genuine products has a long history and is beyond reproach, but for imitations, I think they can be collected under conditions and choices. So what conditions and what choice has become a topic of discussion. At present, the prices of antique porcelains in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China, especially Hongxian porcelain, have soared. The price of its large and medium pieces is over 100,000 yuan, and the average antique utensils are also tens of thousands of yuan. In addition, the price of the official kilns of the Kang, Yong, and Qian dynasties of the Qing Dynasty imitating the five famous kilns of the Song Dynasty was even higher, with an average of several hundred thousand yuan each. The reason is that they can also be called antique art works at the time, and they became antiques a few years later. Secondly, the low quality and quantity is also an important factor.

From the above examples and viewpoints, it should also be meaningful to collect some contemporary antique ceramics in the market conditionally and selectively. In the picture, the enamel-colored open-framed Western-style double-eared jar with ring lid imitated the Qing Dynasty Qianlong official kiln. The ground soil is white and delicate. The bottom of the jar and the white glaze in the jar are blue in white, with a fat and fat feeling. The paintings are bright and eye-catching, magnificent, colorful, and exquisite craftsmanship. It is completely hand-painted according to the shape, pattern, color, and craftsmanship of the original collection in the Palace Museum, and has the flavor of copper enamel painting and Western oil painting. The materials are genuine, with pure gold and enamel materials. The styling patterns combine Chinese and Western styles, which are luxurious and atmospheric. Contemporary antique porcelain of this kind can be described as “high imitation”, that is, high-level antique products. Its expensive materials, huge labor, and exquisite craftsmanship indicate that it is already a precious work of art, and some It can be real. It is said that there are occasionally such high imitations in the few large-scale art auction companies at home and abroad, which makes the antique connoisseurs brains. At the same time, this type of antique porcelain is also a modern home decoration and decoration. Great gifts and choices for relatives and friends. Elegant style and rich in tradition.

Jingdezhen antique porcelains such as the official kilns of the Ming and Qing dynasties are rare and expensive. The average antique addicts and enthusiasts are beyond the reach, but for the above-mentioned contemporary high imitation varieties, they can also hope to quench their thirst with plums.

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