Started by Teunis van Eijk, Feb 15, 2016, 19:09:54

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Teunis van Eijk

Good afternoon,

I have this stoneware Guanyin Bodhisattva with Sancai glaze.
The shape is somewhat crude and not very delicate. Could this be 19th century?

Teunis van Eijk

Teunis van Eijk

some more pictures.


I have never seen such an elaborate figure in sancai colors. Overall I am sceptical because the pictures show what seems to be clear signs of age faking or exposure to the elements. First of all, it does not look like the Tang sancai wares, and the major kilns did probably not do sancai items like this. The question is why is the unglazed part so dirty? Under normal conditions, even if excavated, it would not have that color. Why does it look whiter inside? Unless some bleaching was done inside, it should be darker on the inside and brighter outside, as the cleaning is usually done on the outside.

You could try if you can find whether one of the southern kilns (Shiwan, Jiaozhi) made such sancai items. Again however, extremely dirty porcelain is more often than not intentional. After a wash most items do not have such a brown color. Excavated items may have unremovable soil in the pores, but the color is usually different, rather on the reddish/yellowish side.

Teunis van Eijk

Hi Peter,

The face and the body are not glazed. This is the naked stoneware and it is a bit porous.
I found the item on the internet and is was sold at Christies in Amsterdam in june 2008. According to them it is 19th century. It looks as if you are right again. looked the Shiwan kiln up and they did indeed produce this kind of figurines. The color of the body could be the normal colour since these wares show a grayish tan and hands, body and face are usually not glazed.. I also notized that some of the produced figurines show the same crude crafted hands. It is likely an early piece rather than mid 19th century since during the mid 19th century these wares were marked by the masters that produced them. Need to further investigate this but looks as if I am on the right track.

Thanks again Peter.