Monday, February 01, 2016

Smuggling Chinese Antiques Out of China Likely to Grow

Smuggling Chinese Antiques
Imperial Chinese Court Fan, sold for $170,000,
Now what? 

Smuggling Chinese Antiques Might Be The Next Big Thing 



Smuggling Chinese antiques may soon become a problem in China, smuggling out I mean, not in.

Why would I say this? Pretty simple, "Market Forces". China's economy is in a tail spin, their GDP is contracting well below their annual target of 9% and is now down into the 6.4% range. By all indications the government is no longer able to play with their currency and trade numbers enough to offset the declines on paper and the bloom is now officially off the rose. With all of this in place demand for art will slip more than it has already.

For the last two decades the prices of Chinese antiques have been on steady rise driven by an apparently unquenchable thirst to acquire objects of China's past driven by the newest of the mainland's nouveau riche.

 For many dealers and collectors the last 20 years have been remarkably easy, buy something today and wait a year, then sell for a handsome profit. Now that it appears that what was once thought to be a "sky's the limit" market is heading for softer less robust times begs a few questions. Before going on, let's bear in mind taking Chinese antiques out of mainland China is and has been illegal for decades. (Now hold that thought for a moment.)

As China's economy pulls back followed by the inevitable drying up of available cash for antique purchases, some collectors will start selling a "few pieces". It always happens when economies slow down, it's how many of China's greatest treasures ended up in western museums to begin with. If things don't improve, more pieces will try and enter the market as additional owners become increasingly nervous. Soon, if not already, mainland auction results will slip further. Soon Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai dealers who were begging to buy inventory will be taking only consignments out of fear of tying up capital.

Pretty soon you'll have a massive concentration of fine Chinese art and antiques gathered from around the entire world and bought at the top of the market stuck in China and going down in value. With many owners seeking buyers inside a shrinking economy with equally shrinking demand, soon you have buyer's bidding downward like a "Dutch Auction"... In short, it's an economic trap.

As prices soften in China, more items in the west will find their way to auctions in order to get out of the market in exchange for hard cash, which will only exacerbate the situation further in China. Western sellers will soon be competing with those smuggling Chinese antiques for spots in auction houses in Hong Kong, London, New York and Paris.

Other Art categories that have fallen apart in recent history

Do you think this can't happen? Remember the Japanese and Korean Art market's collapse? For those of you in the US, remember the American furniture and decorative art market of the 90's?? Where is it today? It collapsed completely. It quickly became a race to the bottom, where it's been now for nearly a decade. Japan's collapse has lasted 20 years and counting.

Collecting art and paying big prices is about confidence in the market. Confidence in Chinese art as an investment has been wobbling now for a while. Many are no doubt already looking for the exits.

If you think it cannot happen, talk to an Americana or Japanese art collector. (neither did they)
and Shanghai dealers who once would gladly buy anything offered become hesitant, perhaps only taking in inventory on consignment. It could get ugly.

China's economy will continue to pull back as production slows due to reduced global output demand and increased competition from less expensive labor markets. All of it will result in a serious dilemma for Chinese antiques collectors as well as a bit of a shock.

The Solution? Smuggling!! Smuggling Chinese antiques of course!


Smuggling Chinese antiques or anything for that matter has been done for centuries. Hundreds of years ago it was first was done by the Venetians into and out of the British Isles after the first duties were put in place. The Dodges of Venice actually put in their annual budget an amount specifically for the purpose. Over the centuries everything from weapons, to drugs, human beings to national secrets have been smuggled. Cocaine traffickers have gone so far as to build submarines in recent years.

My guess is Chinese collectors and dealers will be taking part in this age old tradition before long, if they haven't already. While selling outside of China may not result in the sky high prices of a few years ago, the price declines for the early birds will be reduced by what's left of global demand elsewhere with some mainland buyers still willing to jump into the fray. No doubt many in China despite the drawbacks, will prefer very much getting their best things out as soon as they can. Smuggling Chinese antiques out of China will be the result in order for this process to begin. Before you know it the big auction houses will be facing their own dilemma, how do they explain where these things are coming from?

While smuggling is a dirty word and smuggling Chinese antiques will not be for everyone with collections in China, it will be fine with many of them.

Can Anything Stop it?

Sure, if China can get a grip on it's markets very quickly and keep the confidence of the people which is already getting to be in short supply. Can Smuggling Chinese antiques be done? of course it can, take a look at all the middle eastern war antiquities loot turning up in the EU and even on eBay these days. There is always a way.

As for me, its fine, prices need to come down and it's long overdue.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ebay Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter

The BidAmount Weekly EBAY Magazine Newsletter Is Now Online

Ebay Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter
Large Ming Dynasty Longquan Celadon, sold on eBay
As many of you know for last few years we have been publishing through our other website BidAmount.com  weekly EBAY Newsletter and Watchlist. 

It's been very well received by both buyer's and collectors of Chinese and asian Antiques and much appreciated by sellers on eBay. 

The original purpose was pretty simple. 

  • To present eBay users globally better choices of authentic Chinese and Asian antiques being sold there. 

Before doing the Newsletter we had been doing it informally for ourselves and friends for quite a while, but only letting them know with emails each week by sending out links. Anyway, a couple years ago, we started the BidAmount Asian Antiques Newsletter Watchlist for free to anyone wanting to receive it.  For us it's fun to do,

It is still free and goes out every Saturday night once the site is updated. 

For those of you who are new to us, welcome! 
Ming Yixing Inscribed Teapot
Ming Yixing Inscribed Teapot, sold on eBay

Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter, Has Grown

Over time, the Newsletter got too large and could no longer be eMailed very well. So we created a section on the BidAmount site devoted to it. 

We still send out a weekly notice with images,to let subscribers know it's been updated for the coming week. 
Bidamount Newsletter magazine online Chinese Art
Click Image for latest Asian Art Newsletter
The Weekly Newsletter email is linked directly back to the full newsletter now on the site.




New Features on the BidAmount Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter

Now that size is no longer a problem, we have added a wide range of new features, in addition to the 500 to 800 eBay items we find each week.
  • Featured Items for the week. Special things that caught our eye. 
  • A weekly blog about Chinese and Asian antiques.  
  • Price results area for the highlights and things of interest each week, 
  • News Feed that updates automatically about things happening in the Asian art world and Asian culture. 
  • Access to no longer available and upcoming catalogs of auctions at Christie's, Bonhams as well as exhibitions by major dealers and museums. 
  • Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter
    Yongzheng Mark and Period Dish, sold on ebay
  • Books you can buy that we've selected as essentials for collectors on Amazon. 
  • Direct access to our own preferred sellers and their current listings, some of whom are also featured in the newsletter each week. 
  • Direct access to our video library for examining and identifying authentic Chinese objects with real examples.

Click Here to See this week's  Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine Newsletter

Sign up, It's 100% Free

If you're not on our mailing list and would like to be, simply sign up.  It's 100% free and we DO NOT ever share eMail addresses with anyone. 

Sign Up Now


Suggestions?

Feel free to email us anytime with things you'd like to see on site or sellers you want us to include on the BidAmount list of good dealers. 

Asian Antiques Weekly Magazine
eMail plcombs



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Selling Chinese Antiques; Porcelain, Jades, Bronzes

About Selling Chinese Antiques or Consigning Porcelain, Jades, Bronzes

About: plcombs Chinese and Asian Art, Gloucester, Massachusetts

  • What we do and how we can probably help you.
Are you selling Chinese Antiques? If this is the case, we are possibly exactly who you've been looking for. We've been dealers and appraisers of Asian antiques going back to the late 1970's. During the past 36 plus years we've sold collections on behalf of estates and heirs from nearly every state in the union, as well as more than a few in Europe and Asia. Many of our customers have been with us for years and today we are selling things we originally helped them acquire decades ago. 

Today we are among the two oldest Asian art dealers in New England and among the top few with as many years in the business in the United States. 

Selling Chinese Antiques
plcombs, Asian and Chinese Antiques, Gloucester, MA
We buy single items or entire collections outright, sell on consignment and act as agents on behalf of buyers and sellers. We also perform appraisals for estates, equitable distributions and insurance coverage.


  • Helping you make decisions.


We can answer your questions, "should we put things in an auction?", "we contacted Christie's and Sotheby's and they both suggested contacting local auctioneer instead", "why do auction houses charge so much?", "how do we sell and be in control of the price?", "how long does it take to sell for a good price" , and on and on. 

We know through decades of experience not all objects sell well in the same environment. Some Chinese art and antiques are ideal auction candidates and worth the heavy fees charged, others require patience and should be sold at a fixed price while waiting for the right buyer. Other items can be sold immediately for excellent prices to specialty dealers working with an eager collector who is ready right now. Or perhaps directly to an advanced collector already the dominant buyer for a particular type of item. 


  • Understanding how the asian art market works is a complicated endeavour that requires decades of active, daily involvement. We have been doing it since Jimmy Carter was President when China began first opening up to the west.  If you have questions and would like to talk with about what you need, please feel free to contact us. 
______________________________________________________

The Chinese Art and Antiques Market Today

Selling Chinese Antiques; Porcelain, Jades, Bronzes
Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue and White Porcelains
Selling Chinese Antiques; Its no secret in the world of art and antiques the Asian art market for Chinese antiques including porcelains, bronzes, jades, scrolls and silks has never been stronger.  In the last fifteen years as the American furniture and decorative art market has pretty much collapsed, on the other side of the world China's appetite for their own cultural relics and art has been blossoming. 

All of this is happening thanks to the rapid rise of the Chinese economy, increased disposable incomes, coupled with a desire by mainland Chinese collectors to re-acquire and repatriate objects for private collections throughout the country. Many have built their own private museums, Shanghai alone has over 50 of them. 

This is very good news if you're contemplating or need to sell virtually any form of Chinese antique.

The Future of the Chinese Antiques and Art Market

Will it last? is it a bubble? In a word "probably" and yes it's a "bubble" of sorts. While the massive regular annual price increases of the last 10 or 15 years seems to have subsided and levelled off, which is only normal and perhaps healthy after such a long run up. I doubt prices will be rolling back much if at all anytime soon. The overall demand there has remained consistent in most categories. 

As with all maturing art markets, buyer's are however becoming more selective which as a result dampens upward pressure on the overall market. This condition has been fairly evident for the last couple years, with the exception of demand for the absolute very best of the best when they become available. Then "the gloves come off" and the top buyer's emerge with their vast wallets to do battle for the prize. 

So for now we see a stable market, with some room for upward price movement, with relatively minor adjustments downward in a few areas. All in all, its a good situation. 

At plcombs Asian Art and Antiques. We can make selling Chinese antiques a lot less complicated, its what we do. 


Friday, May 08, 2015

Examining a 17th C. Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha

17th C. Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha 

Note: Click any image to enlarge.
17th C. Ming Buddha
16th C. Ming Bronze Buddha
17th C. Ming Buddha
17th C. Ming Buddha
A couple weeks ago we had the very good fortune to acquire a great 17th C. Ming dynasty Bronze Buddha and thought it would be nice to share.

While bronze Buddha's from the Ming dynasty are not common in that you find them everywhere, certain types , those under 12" or 13" tall in reasonably decent condition can and are found here in New England. Over the years we've sold many mostly to collectors in the EU and in mainland China as well as Hong Kong.

16th C. Kwan Yin
Early to mid 16th C. Kwan Yin
16th C. Ming Bronze Buddha
Early to mid 16th C. Ming Bronze Buddha
The fairly typical ones are depicted to the left and right here. Most date from the early 16th into the first half of the 17th C. On occasion you might come across an earlier one from the late Yuan and early Ming. 

All perched on a lotus bases, with nice surfaces and on occasions with an inscription of some kind. Sometimes with a date.  

Typically they have no bottom plate like those found on Tibetan figures and not as often gilded. But may have pigment and lacquer coatings. These typically sell in the $3,500 to $15,500 range depending on surface, details and condition. 

A Large 17th C. Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha

17th C. Chinese Bronze Buddha
23.9 " 17th C. Chinese Bronze Buddha
17th C. Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha Then you have these other examples, like this very large and gilt lacquered 17th C. Ming dynasty Bronze Buddha. Measuring 23.90" tall, in three sections comprising the octagonal balustrade base with waves inside the balusters with a centered bronze post to support the Lotus blossom stand for the 16" tall Buddha.

A number of things obviously sets this example apart for the more run of the mill bronzes. First off is the size, bronze Buddha's with stands are exceedingly rare. We did a bit of checking ith both Christie's and Sothebys'. In the last 6 or 7 years Sotheby's has had roughly 3 or 4 of these and Christie's had none that we could find, I must assume there were a couple, but couldn't find them.



The Face and Details

The details of this particular casting are quite excellent. The clear sharp execution of the face, it's shape and proportions are all done nearly perfectly. The hair of the figure is colored with powdered Lapis Lazuli mixed with a thin solution of hide glue (typically) as a binder. 

Ming Bronze Buddha base
Ming Buddha Lotus Base
Ming Buddha Base with waves
Ming Buddha Base with waves

The Lacquer Finish

This Buddha was also coated with a fine wash of gilt lacquer originally, something that up until the late 1600's was done mostly only on Tibetan Buddha's. Despite the loss of this original surface, due to age, the figure still glows softly with a warm tone bringing out the details. 

Condition


Fortunately this piece despite it's size survived without any losses to the fingers, ears, head piece, lotus leaves of base. 
The Lotus plinth or base is slightly recessed to permit the figure to be framed attractively across it's base with the tips overlapping gently and giving the visual impression of the figure being received into the flower petals. 

Below the Lotus blossom is the octagonal balustrade base centered with lapping waves, centered by a post supporting the blossom and figure implying the two parts are floating above the sea. 

The underside of the Lotus blossom is fully articulated in a realistic manner and fitted with a receiving hole for the base's post. 

Thank you for visiting. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. If you have a fine bronze or other Asian Antiques to sell, we would be pleased to talk with you about them without obligation. 























Friday, April 03, 2015

Yongzheng and Qianlong Porcelain Feet and Reign Marks

Yongzheng and Qianlong Porcelain Feet and Reign Marks


A Visual Guide for Authenticating Chinese Porcelain 

"Foot rims are the window to the soul"  (of porcelain anyway) 

As we've pointed out in similar posts books and reference guides on Chinese porcelains are usally
Yongzheng and Qianlong Porcelain Feet and Reign Marks
Qianlong Reign mark, C.T. Loo
lacking good clear images of the feet and marks. Its true that some do show the reign mark, but they are generally much too small and leave out the bases. To help with this we thought it would be very useful for collectors and dealers to present some illustrated examples. 

"I wish I could see the foot", how many times have you said that?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ming Qing Period Reign Marks


Ming and Qing Period Reign Marks

And authentic examples on period examples BELOW the two charts for reference, Both Ming and  Qing examples.


Book Mark this page for reference! Its always handy.
Check below for the Chinese Cyclic calendar as well..!

Bellow are charts for both Ming and Qing Period reign marks , as well as authentic examples that can be found on porcelains from the periods. While some variations of style do exist, they are in general fairly consistent through most periods. Reign marks do not always indicate the authenticity of the pieces being examined. This page is intended to serve only as a guide when all the other criteria for an items authenticity has been decided.


Ming Period Reign Marks and Dates:


Ming and Qing Period Reign Marks
Ming Period Reign Marks


Qing Dynasty Reign Marks and Dates:


Qing Dynasty reign Marks
Qing Period Reign Marks

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Selling Asian Antiques on Consignment

Selling Asian Antiques on Consignment

Inheritance, Downsizing, Estate Settlement of Asian Antiques

Selling Asian Antiques on Consignment
Selling Asian Antiques on Consignment

Most folks looking to sell part of, or all of a collection of antiques do so in an effort to liquidate an inheritance, downsize a bit after they themselves have collected for years or are settling an estate. It is our hope here to show how easy it a task it can be if you're considering selling Asian antiques on consignment.

While the acquisition side of antiques can be fairly straight forward, knowing and understanding how to most efficiently sell an object  or group of objects is another matter.  In the current market following the meteoric rise in the prices of Asian antiques, Chinese works of art in particular, knowing what to do and how requires another set of skills beyond that of most collectors and heirs.  

The Rapid Rise of Chinese Antique Values 

In the last 35 years, no category of antiques and art have risen as rapidly as those of Chinese decorative objects and art. The leap quite obviously has been driven entirely by the rise in China's expanding economy.  Trade with the west and progressive changes within the country have enabled increased free trade by Chinese nationals. 

As a result, China today is the single largest market on earth for art in dollar volume over any country in the world, including the United States. Spending in China has eclipsed all of the auction houses,
plcombs Asian Art, Gloucester Massachusetts

plcombs Asian Art, Gloucester, Massachusetts

galleries and antiques dealers from New York to Los Angeles. China is the epicenter of art globally today.  

How we at: "plcombs Asian Art" can help you

For over 35 years we've been appraising, buying and selling Asian antiques and works of for people from Boston's North Shore to California and Europe. 

During this time we've sold objects to quite literally thousands of collectors and specialist dealers globally including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and throughout Europe. Very often on consignment for heirs and executors referred to us by attorneys, auctioneers, appraisers and antiques dealers. Many of our current customers are also the children of original clients we worked with decades ago.
*Our commission rates are very competitive, usually 20% to 40% below the major auction houses.

About "Selling Asian Antiques on Consignment"

Consignment selling is a very straight forward proposition. We come to you, examine the objects you are concerning yourself with. We can tell you about them, how old they are, discuss condition, rarity, values and then delve into the various options for their disposition. 

Should you decide you engage our service in selling them for you, we charge a commission rate on a sliding scale depending on values. We do provide all of this in writing, in simple English, including payment arrangements following completion of a transaction your behalf. 

After we accept a Consignment 
We set about to do exactly what we promised to do. Whether we agreed to a set price transaction, a negotiated price or to arrange for consignment to an appropriate auction gallery. It may also be a combination of venues, depending on each item's best market for the best price. 

Upon completion of each sale we provide a copy of each transaction receipt, photo copies of the checks and a check payable to you for the amount due to you.

For more about us you can also visit our other site, Bidamount.com
Bidamount is a site we built with eBay as their Partner to aide in the promotion of over 125 fine Asian art dealers around the world. We have another profile there as well under Who Is Bidamount. Today, it is ranked number ONE globally for Asian art on the eBay.  
plcombs New England Dealers in Asian AntiquesIf you're in the EU and need to speak to someone locally, let us know, we'll be happy top refer you to some excellent experienced dealers near you. Our current network contains over 125 active specialist dealers.

Have a question? Feel free to call or eMail us.

Thank you, Peter Combs








Monday, November 24, 2014

The Epidemic Of Reproductions and Fakes in the Chinese Art Market

Reproductions of Chinese Porcelains and Bronzes Flood The Globe


Over the last 20 years as interest in Asian Art, Chinese in particular, the very enthusiasm that created a market is now poisoning that same market driven ironically by an age old Chinese Tradition and raw greed as China awakes form it's half a century of abuse at the hands of the Communists.

China has long established itself as a nation fond of stealing and bootlegging everything from Louis Vuitton handbags to first run movies and computer software. All of this has gone on under the watchful and complicit eye of the Chinese Government, in many cases with their financial and regulatory assistance. For decades while pretending to crack down on such behavior, they have in fact been funding much more creation of fraud and bootleged goods than in helping remove it from the market. Its just how its done.
Epidemic Of Reproductions and Fakes in the Chinese Art Market
Imperial Chinese Bowl, 18th C. Qianlong Mark and of the Period.


The Epidemic Of Reproductions and Fakes in the Chinese Art Market

The Art Collection Explosion in China


Today, an irony of all irony's is in full swing. With the expansion of China's middle class, rising incomes, new millionaires being hatched every hour, the Chinese people's interest in their own culture and it's art has exploded. This renewed interest has lead many newly well to do Asian business people into the arena of collecting fine and rare Asian art. Unfortunately, as with all things, supply and demand has reared its ugly head causing a massive uplifting of prices on the market for these items. Bowls and Jade Carvings that once sold for a $2,000 to $50,000, are now commanding $150,000 to $4,000,000 and even more. Objects from the reign of Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong are particular favorites as well as "Republican Period" examples.

These treasures have become symbols in China of wealth and vehicles for Social acceptance among the upwardly mobile in Chinese culture. A very similar dynamic as has been seen over the years in the west with rare paintings, exotic cars and jewelry. Its an odd form of bragging rights, not unlike the newly well off who build an over sized houses or have a massive yacht built, though they have never owned a boat before. As a result the epidemic if reproductions and fakes in the Chinese Art market have reached previously unknown scale and proportions.

The conundrum, as any European or American art dealer will tell you, with high prices, come fakes, copies and reproductions. This is a pattern seen throughout history, during the Robber Baron Period in the late 19th and early 20th C. Hundreds of wealthy Americans and Europeans were taken to the cleaners by art dealers throughout Europe and America. JP Morgan, Getty, Frick, and many more got fleeced to pieces. Over the years dozens of Museums around the world have had to admit thousands of items in their collections are fraudulent and have been removed.


Bootlegging Chinese Antiques 

Doubly compounding the problem, never before has a massive Government backed effort been undertaken to assist in flooding an Art or Antiques market with fakes. Can you imagine if France or England started helping artists reproduce intentional fakes right down to providing scientific research on materials used to make detection of these deceptions almost impossible and then providing financial assistance to make it happen? As a result reproductions of Chinese porcelains and bronzes flood the globe like never before.

Well, this is exactly what is going on in China today, right now and has been happening for over 10 years, maybe 20. For decades, old pottery could be authenticated by the TL test (Nuclear Thermoluminescence Test) today that test is viewed as almost worthless as techniques using xray machines can make a fakes' test result appear antique. In later ceramics, they learned to test the glazes for proving age or lack there of. Now, they are overcoming this obstacle with the help of scientists working for the Chinese Government and grants to private laboratory's by altering the materials used in making glazes.

The end result, is a massive world wide influx of faked; Chinese ceramics, carved jades, bamboo, bronzes, scroll paintings and even furniture. These are being fed into American, European and Asian Auction Galleries by the container load and then bought by newly wealthy and ill informed collectors in China who are buying them back. Many buyers are wrongly assuming because they are in foreign lands, they must be authentic. If they only knew how wrong they are.

Fakes of Imperial Porcelains of the Ming and Qing dynasty's are a particular favorite and are now numbering in the millions of examples. Some are so good, even the major auction houses have found themselves having to withdraw numerous pieces after realizing they too have been duped.
____________________________________________________________
 Click Here To Sign Up
Click Here to Sign Up For Free




Sign Up Now
______________________________________________________________

The Saga of the Bainbridge vase

A few years or so ago in England a vase was brought to market allegedly from the attic of a London home, discovered by family members while clearing an estate of a parent. It sold at Bainbridge Auctions (a very reputable firm) for a record 43,000,000 Pounds ...in the end it was according to rumors a fake and was never paid for. It was good enough though that it had many, many bidders who were willing to push the outer limits of price to buy it, all experts! Following the auction a number of well known dealers expressed deep reservations about the piece and the story behind it. Gossip is a dangerous thing..especially when it's being spouted by less knowledgeable aficionados.   In the end however the vase was deemed to be authentic and was resold in a deal brokered by Colin Sheaf of Bonhams for around $45,000,000 in Hong Kong.

<img src="filename.jpeg" alt="Bainbridge Qianlong Period vase">


Collections of Fakes and Copies In China Is A Massive Problem

So, today shelves and display cases throughout China are being filled with absolute fakes made within the last 10 to 20  years in China, many were intended to deceive western buyers.  Today, they are finding their ways back to China after a serpentine route via Ebay, warehouses in Canada, Midwest and small auctioneers throughout the world eventually working their way back to eager buyers in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In the end, the market for real pieces will suffer..despite many having long history's verifying their authenticity.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington


Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington

Famille Verte Kangxi Porcelains
In addition to having an amazing collection of western sculpture and paintings, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. also holds within it's vast collections one of the finest collections in the world of fine porcelains from China made during the Kangxi period (1662-1722). 

This is just one post with illustrations pertaining to the collection...this one only covers the Famille Verte porcelains...The extremely rare black ground Famille Verte vases produced during the Kangxi reign as they are in a class unto themselves from this collection and will be posted separately. 


The Kangxi Famille Verte porcelain collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington are among the finest in the world. 

Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington
Kangxi Dynasty Famille Verte At the national Gallery of Art

A Little History on Famille Verte, Noire and Jaune

Famille Verte (as well as it's cousins Noire and Jaune) is also known in China as "yingcai" (bright colors) . The term Famille Verte originated in the 19th C. and was coined by Albert Jacquemart who along with E. Le Blant wrote a tomb on the history of ceramics titled "Histoire aristique, industrielle  et commerciale de la porcelaine" published in 1862. Within the book Jacquemart famously commented these enamels thus. 
"It's name requires no explanation being based on a ostensible and striking fact. All the pieces of this family are resplendent with copper-green colour, which absorbs every other"..
This wonderful color palette is actually the result of coloring developed during the Ming dynasty following in the footsteps of the Wucai (five color) enamels.  The biggest difference between the two was the elimination of of turquoise blue and was replaced with a purplish blue bordering at times on lavender. On occasion under-glaze blue is also used, but not often as the cobalt doesn't react well to multiple firings which are needed with polychrome enamels. This purplish blue is often a good indicator of authenticity when examining a piece. 
____________________________________________________________
Click Image TO Sign Up Today


Buy, Sell, Research...Click Here  To View
Sign up for our Free Weekly Newsletter to stay current. 
______________________________________________________________

In 1683 the production of these wares reached their apex under the guidance of  Zang Yingxuan who had been appointed Director of the Jingdezhen factory and worked closely under the watchful of the Kangxi Emporer. During his management, the porcelain became much more refined, the glazes clearer and the ranges of available colors were expanded and enhanced by numerous new shades. As the emperor took a personal interest in the goings on at the kilns a generous budget was allowed and creative impulses were encouraged. 

During this creative period new colors were developed resulting in numerous new shades and tones. The colors developed were:
  • eel-skin or shanyuhuang
  • turquiose blue or jicui 
  • spotted yellow or huangbandian
  • snake-skin green or shebilu

Most interestingly were the variations of the color green. Cucumber green, apple green, langyao green, camelia leaf green and pea green. These were all applied as monochromes as well as partnered in polychrome decorated pieces. During this time copper red of the Ming dynasty was supplanted by an iron red.  Additionally manganese purple, a topaz colored yellow, black and gold was often included requiring a firing in a muffle kiln. 

Early in Kangxi's reign the bodies of porcelains tended to be of a slightly greyish cast, as improvements were made, the result was fine, compact, pure, smooth  and very white examples. As refinements were made the paste and bodies improved radically..the following examples are the result..


Kangx Period Famille Verte vase
Kangx Period Famille Verte Baluster Vase

A baluster vase with Famille Verte enamels
Fine Famille Verte Chinese Kangxi Period Dragon Vase

Detail view of Dragon in Famille vete
Detail View of Kangxi Dragon Vase, Famille Verte Enamels

Tall Dragon decorated Famille Verte vase
 Kangxi Dragon Vase, Famille Verte Enamels

Kangxi Dragon Baluster Vase
Detail, Rare Famille Verte Kangxi Period Dragon Vase

Qing Dynasty Famille verte vase
18th C. Kangxi Famille Verte Vase with Birds

Kangxi Vase Detail of Enamels
Detail, 18th C. Kangxi Famille Verte Vase with Birds

Baluster warrior vase in Verte enamels
Kangxi Period Famille Verte Warrior Vase

Detail of Famille verte vase detail
Detail of Kangxi Period Famille Verte Vase

Famille Verte Kangxi Warrior vase Detail
Base Detail of Kangxi Period Famille Verte Vase

<img src=" Kangxi Baluster Vase .jpg" alt="with Warriors in Famille Verte Enamels">
Kangxi Famille Verte Vase With Warriors

<img src=" Kangxi Baluster Vase detail .jpg" alt="with Warriors in Famille Verte Enamels">
Kangxi Famille Verte Vase With Warriors

Pear Shaped Kangxi Famille Verte vase
Famille Verte Shunzhi Vase with Horses



Famille Verte figure of Dancing Figure
Kangxi Dancing Woman

<img src="Chinese Dancing Woman .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Kangxi Dancing Woman

<img src="Chinese Porcelain Duck .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Kangxi Porcelain Duck on Lotus Leaf

<img src="Chinese Dancing Woman .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Duck with Aubergine Glaze

<img src="Chinese Porcelain Duck .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Duck with Aubergine Glaze

<img src="Chinese Famale Attendent .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Famale Attendent .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Famille Verte Kangxi Biscuit Figure

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Famille Verte Kangxi Biscuit Figure

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Kangxi Famille Verte Biscuit Figure

<img src="Seated Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Detail of Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte, Detail Image

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte, Detail Image

<img src="Chinese Kangxi Guanyin .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Kwan-yin Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="18th C. Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Kangxi Guanyin base .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Kangxi Covered Jar .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Kangxi Covered Jar with Famille Jaune on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Covered Jar .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Covered Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Covered Lantern in Famille Verte Enamels

<img src="Kangxi Covered Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille verte on Biscuit">
Detail of Kangxi Famille Verte Lantern

<img src="Kangxi Trumpet vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Beaker Vase

<img src="Kangxi Trumpet vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Jaune Beaker Vase

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Fishbowl .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Large Kangxi Famille Verte Fish Bowl

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Fishbowl detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Verte Kangxi Period Fishbowl

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Large Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Large Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion base .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion

<img src="Detail Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail view of Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Detail Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Li Tieguai  .jpg" alt=" Famille Noire on Biscuit">
Kangxi Figure of Li Tieguai

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Li Tieguai  .jpg" alt=" Famille Noire on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Figure of Li Tieguai

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Table .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Table

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Table .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Period Porcelain Table

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Rare Kangxi Famille Jaune Rectangular Vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Rare Kangxi Famille Verte Rectangular Vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscribed .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscribed Kangxi Famille Jaune and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscription .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscription on Kangxi Famille Verte and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscribed base .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscription on Kangxi Famille Verte and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Reticulated Box

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Reticulated Box, Detail

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Kangxi Famille Jaune Box

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Verte Box

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Verte Reticulated Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball on Stand .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball on Stand

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball
<img src="Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail, Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Base Detail, Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Fang Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup base .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Base View of Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Base Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Base View of Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Dtail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman

<img src=" Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman