5 March 2009

Grays March Issue

Jewels for the Spring time

A
dorn yourself with one of the many beautiful pieces of jewellery from Grays.





One to collect: Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain


The multiplicity and originality of Chinese Kangxi famille-verte gives this very collectable and attractive style of porcelain a unique character of it’s own. Typical of the famille verte pallete, the glaze is predominately green, with some yellow, red, purple and blue, on a white background. When it comes to investment and collectable appeal, Chinese famille verte is still a very good bet. Although larger vases are priced very high, there are still good quality smaller pieces such as salt dishes, tankards and tureens that are at a reasonable price and worth investing in.



A long time dealer at Grays and expert in Chinese porcelain, Anthony Gray explains why the design of famille verte is unique,


“Unlike Transitional blue and white porcelain, where the decoration has a very 'tight' quality and the perspective is often somewhat flat, Kangxi famille-verte drawing is more integrated, has a charming rhythm and a much truer to life perspective.” You can read Anthony’s full article here.



Tips on buying:

  • Hold the piece and get a feel for it. If most of the weight is felt in the base, it is most likely to be a nineteenth century piece. The skill used by eighteenth century Chinese potters would have ensured that the porcelain was potted so the weight was nicely balanced.
  • The very best famille verte porcelain will have green and blue enamels that are translucent, iridescent and clean. If the colour looks slightly off or faded, this is usually a sign of poor quality or that the piece is a reproduction.
  • Later copies of famille verte can be detected by looking at the foot rims. They are usually rough compared to the rims on the genuine pieces which are first cut with a knife and then smoothed over with a brush.
  • Grays has an extensive collection of Chinese famille verte porcelain of different periods, designs and shapes. Anita Gray in Grays and Guest and Gray in The Mews are both experts in this field and offer sound advice on buying and caring for antique Chinese porcelain.




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