Careful, looks can be deceiving
Question: I found this fabulous Chinese carved vase at an antique store in New Jersey. The dealer told me it is made of a lacquer called “cinnabar” and known as a “double gourd” style. He said it is very old and it came from the estate of a wealthy family. It is around 6 ½ inches high. The inside and base are blue enamel. No marks. After I got home I began to wonder about the age since it had no Chinese marks. I paid $200. What can you tell me about age and value?
Answer: Sorry to tell you but, just because it looks like old carved, lacquer cinnabar, doesn’t mean it is. Fakes and reproductions have been made since the 1940s and still are.
One clue that it isn’t old is that there is no mark on the bottom. There probably originally was a paper label saying “made in Chi- na” or “Peoples Republic.” The blue enameling isn’t found on old pieces. There is lots of information on the history of cinnabar on the internet. Your piece should have been priced around $50.
Do you have an antique item and need more information? For a personal reply, send a photo, along with history, size and any signatures with a self-addressed stamped envelope and $25 to Anne Gilbert-Strawbridge, 1811 Renaissance Commons Blvd., #2319, Boynton Beach, FL 33426.