Care­ful, looks can be de­ceiv­ing

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

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.

Anne Gil­bert

An­tique De­tec­tive

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