'43 Republican Plaques?

Started by Hmm, Feb 01, 2022, 12:36:13

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Hi, it looks like there's a cyclical date on them, and that there were made in 1943.  I don't think it would be from 1883, and I don't think it's 2003 either.  Anyways does anyone know anything about porcelain that was being made and decorated during the war period?  Were a lot still being made or was production cut down, etc.?




Judging by what I have seen here in Taiwan in jade and flea markets the 2003 dating would be more reasonable, if the cyclical year is correct.
Usually such pieces have an old looking frame which is often painted black(ish), but is likely nothing special in view of wood type and quality. The porcelain plaques are usually very new. Opening the back and looking at the plaques back should show the age. I would recommend not to buy these, if you didn't already. The wooden carvings might be older.


Unfortunately I've already bought them.  Fortunately, I didn't pay too much for them, and probably if they were new, I would have still gotten a decent price for them.

I tried to remove the backing, to see if I could see the back of the tiles, but it looks like the frames were better constructed than thought, and glued too well together, with mortise and tendon joints, and instead only ended up spliting the wood with no way to actually remove the wood without completely messing up the wood and possibly the frame itself. 

The tiles don't look particularly new to my eyes, but maybe I'm missing something.  I took the photos under the noon sun, and perhaps they look much whiter than normal.  They are actually off white.  Do the colors look off, and thus you think they are new?

I can't remember where I heard it, but I think I've heard or read that WW2 period porcelain wasn't made a lot, except for plaques.  Any ideas about this?



I know only about antiques. To be sure, I bought such an item too once a long time ago, they all show bright colors of the second half of the 20th century. Also, any black writing really old should have either some abraded writing or at least (if unused) writing in a more grayish tone. Pitch black writing is newer. The black color on old items is very susceptible to abrasion even with normal handling. That is because it is fired at a lower temperature.

The above may not apply to Yongzheng items (not export porcelain) though.


Hmm.  I wonder if there's a fairly distinguishable shift in colors from things made late Qing to say around the 1920s, and then from the 1920s-to say late '50s, and then of course Cult. Rev. stuff is going to be much different than the stuff before in style and in colors.

I've been trying to look around a bit on gotheberg and watersilkdragon a bit, and there just doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules about brighter colors.  But it seems that post 20s, that they could make black script that wasn't nearly as easily abraided. 

Although this one on gotheberg says it was dated to 1913. 


If I saw that I would instantly think it's fake or redone or something because there's just something very off about it.

But something like this is said to be done in 1920


I think kind of looks similar to what I have in terms of types of colors and enamels used.  And the black still looks quite black. 

This one is said to be done in 1925.


And it doesn't seem to use much shading on the leaves.

This one is said to be 1942


I think this one is said to be in with the 景德镇 mark with a the letter =D=

But I think there's a difference in the thickness of the enamels, and the way the branches are done just look different, as well as having brighter whites and a glossy quality to it. 



It is not as simple as you might want to have it. :)
Colors changed gradually, but that depends on the type. Older fencai colors, for example, would have been limited because they were based on mineral pigments. After the early republic they were probably mostly chemical pigments, which can have more colors and stronger colors. The naming of these are a bit ambiguous, like 'xincai' (new colors), 'xin fencai', etc.
With Qianjiang wares some of these newer color types were used from around 1900, but that depended on the porcelain painter. You can see the classical type at least until the 30s at least.

Then there are certain colors which were combined in different ways later on, possibly in part because certain chemical pigments became more easily available. With these plaques the coloration is just similar to lots of others made towards the late 20th century, brighter, more colors in one place.

There is another trait that is more common in later 20th century items, namely the outlines or contour lines are usually black, sometimes dominating all, not so strong here, however. Old fencai pictures seldom use this, they use often darker outlines of the same color instead.
And, the blue used in flowers, like your plaques, that did not exist early on, as far as I know. Or, it was just not popular, that could also be.

If you look at plaques like those shown here: https://tinyurl.com/2p9e4k9w -- the top four rows (color plaques) are easily recognizable as of the later variety of the 20th century. As I mentioned, you find them everywhere here in jade and flea markets. Many were made after the eighties.


Ah.  It states here (koh-antique.com/history/historyrepublican.htm) that an increasing number of painters started using yangcai.  Although I'm kind of confused.  I assume yang colors means foreign colors based on the characters, meaning from the West.  But it looks like some articles state that yangcai started back in the 18th century copying some imperial factories glazes?  And then later that the term yangcai was misused during the Republic and called fencai?

Thanks for point out that the blue wasn't or wasn't much used in earlier stuff, I'll have to keep that in mind.  It also looks like based on what I can see from dozens of pictures on watersilkdragon's webpage leaves outline in black wasn't really done until the 1920s, and then becomes common thereafter.  The outlyer on the webpage is this one watersilkdragon.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/9_guangxu_br0899_3.jpg which is said to be Guangxu period, although the black outline isn't as heavy as this which is said to be 1950 watersilkdragon.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/29_1950s_br1479_5.jpg  This one is 1929 watersilkdragon.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/16_1929_artronjpc_9_2.jpg

On a whim, I tried looking on taobao if I could find something similar, searching 彩花鸟瓷板.  Lol, the good thing is that I didn't find the exact thing, but some of these with the header 旧藏孤品!手绘粉彩虫草瓷板画, look similar from what I can see what they were trying to make in the 1940s-50s, etc.  This one www.taobao.com/list/item/653306793120.htm?spm=a21wu.10013406.taglist-content.8  besides the script being perfect and the white porcelain itself having no blemishes doesn't look that off. 


This site and our collector's experience is rather related to antiques and conventional (manual) manufacturing. Meaning that we may know more about things up to and before about the 1930s, because afterwards many modern methods used in factory settings were introduced.
After the early republic period or approx. in the 1940s many changes took place from conventional styles, materials and techniques influenced by the west. Many 'antique' collectors do not know that much about this, because of diversification, the emerging of factory settings and the increased use of molds and machinery in the production. Because China shut off the export trade of real antiques beginning about ten years ago, you will find more and more 20th century items. Currently even the export of items 50 years is prohibited. This has also affected the rest of the world, I assume. Even here in Taiwan no really good items of higher age are available, except those that were outside already earlier. We all have to be prepared for this, I'm afraid. Online it may still be possible to get certain period items that are genuine, but the quality or reproductions and fakes increases all the time. We can now even see imperial quality fake items. Age and production signs are all-important.

If you find information on Koh's site, you can rely on it, I would say, but I would not rely on Taobao in any manner, for information. This is more like Ebay, fakes and new items proliferate despite some claiming the items are antique.
If you know your stuff you may still find genuine antiques on certain online auction sites in certain countries, but not when sellers or the site itself is dominated by Chinese. China is the faking capital of the world, and they are good at it...and they fake everything, not just antiques. Even food...! and not only for export but even items used only inside China.

I would also be careful with plaques, and try to get some real Qing dynasty ones to see the difference.
But they are few, and usually only small in size 25-30 cm max.

And try looking at items on Catawiki, rather than sites like Ebay or Taobao for learning. They at least have 'some' sort of control in view to authenticity, although occasionally there are also items that are not necessarily correct, there are fewer problematic items than elsewhere.