Blog - Grand Auctions


Grand Auctions are excited to announce the addition of a rare and unusual late 18th / early 19th century Chinese Buddha to be sold in our forthcoming auction to be held on Monday 8th May 2016 at 11am (BST). Very few similar examples of this kind exist and when rarely auctioned, they typically appear at major auction houses, notably in both Christie’s and Sotheby’s sales. The latest example of a similarly represented Buddha was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on 14th September 2011 for $25,000 (hammer price) against an estimate of $15,000 - $25,000.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
 

Stirrup cups first appeared in Great Britain during the 1760’s. However, little is known about their specific origin. The most plausible explanation for their purpose was for making toasts prior to departure of a hunt whilst seated on horseback with both feet in stirrups. Before the arrival of stirrup cups, dram cups and tot cups were generally used in Britain in similar contexts.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe

The term ‘sancai’ refers to a kind of richly coloured glaze applied to ceramics initially produced during the Tang Dynasty period (618–907 AD) in China.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
James Macintyre Florian ware Peacock vases by William Moorcroft

During the 19th century, the company James Macintyre & Co. based in Burslem, Staffordshire were a large and influential company manufacturing a wide range of commercial pottery and porcelain. In 1893, the company decided as part of their expansion efforts that they wanted to develop a new and exciting range of ornamental art pottery wares. After a series of short appointments, in 1897 they employed William Moorcroft as their designer. Within a year of working for Macintyre, William Moorcroft became completely in charge of the design and production aspect of the art pottery.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
Ming dynasty ceremonial monochromes

The birth of the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) brought a new Imperial rule warranting requirements for the use of monochrome ceramics. This not only resulted in the resurgence of many previously popular colours but also the creation of a much wider variety of new and striking colours.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
sang-de-boeuf glaze

Sang-de-boeuf is a French expression used to describe a particular type of red glaze applied to Chinese ceramic wares. The term sang-de-boeuf  translates as 'ox blood' and is known to the Chinese as 'lang yao hong'. Although this colour was first achieved during the Ming dynasty, it wasn't until the Kangxi (1662 - 1722) and later Qianlong (1736 - 1795) Emperor’s reign period that the colouring technique was truly mastered.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
Wucai Chinese porcelain dragon bowl

Wucai porcelain wares are referred to as 'five coloured' wares. The significance of using five colours is most likely related to numeric symbolism in China. The combination of colours usually consists of red, green and yellow enamels painted over washes of underglaze cobalt blue against a white porcelain ground. This ornamental technique was created and developed during the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1642 AD) gaining interest from the Chinese emperors who commissioned a wide variety of wucai decorated objects. The finest examples are generally considered to be from the reign of the emperor Wanli (1572 - 1620 AD).

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe

Celadon is essentially a term coined by the Europeans to describe a wide range of porcellanous wares from both China and Korea which have a distinctive pale grey-green or blue-green glaze. To the Chinese it is known as 'Qingci' which simply translates as greenish porcelain.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe
Chinese export porcelain armorial ware

Fine Chinese porcelain objects were produced for the Chinese royal family and court for over a thousand years before Western trade even commenced. The Chinese prized porcelain second only to jade for its hardness, pureness in colour, translucence and most of all for its resonant sound when lightly tapped. With all of these positive attributes, it is no surprise that the Chinese focused on its development, shaping, modelling and decorating objects with exquisite skill, detail and wonderful imagination. Hence the finest pieces are not simply considered as interesting curiosities but fine works of art in their own right. It was these much admired examples which would have been seen by the early merchants that inevitably led to the mass export of Chinese porcelain to places such as England, France, Holland, Sweden, India and Russia and the United States of America.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe

Having a mark on a Chinese vase naturally enhances its appeal and can help to increase its market value. However, they can not be relied upon alone for determining the age as many Chinese objects were given earlier reign marks. What should primarily be considered when dating and valuing a Chinese ceramic object is the shape, style and quality of craftsmanship. The mark should in fact be the last determining factor as most have spurious marks which tend to act as a distraction. On the other hand when evaluating an object, it is essential to inspect the base first. Usually the quality of the mark will be reflected by the quality of the object.

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  • Posted by Robin Newcombe

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