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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5303
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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T know if anyone can from here. Japanese tile that I feel is

Customer Question

Don't know if anyone can from here. Japanese tile that I feel is old. But would like it all translated also. Would like to know all that and see how much these tile go for.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Sean,

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your tile and translate it for you.

Could you very kindly attach a photo of the back of the frame.

Also how big is the tile? (Not including the frame).

Many thanks,

Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tile is not quite 8 inches both ways. Approximately 7 7/8.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the measurements, that helps.

Could you very kindly attach a photo of the back. (No need to take it out of its frame)

Many thanks,
Robert

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Okay, thanks, ***** *****!

This is an interesting tile. You are right, it looks Japanese but it has a Chinese Qing dynasty seal (lower right) for the emperor Qianlong, which makes it a Chinese artwork copying a Japanese-style ukiyo-e woodblock print of the late 1700s or early 1800s. So it's quite an unusual mixture.

The tile was made in the mid-1900s probably the 1950s or 1960s.

The painting is known as a bijin-ga in Japanese, which simply means: 'a portrait of a beautiful girl' and very typical of those made during the late Edo period (the Edo period was 1603 -1868).

The mark (lower right) is an apocryphal Qianlong reign mark (the Qianlong reign was from 1736 -1795).

Transcribing the writing (which is an archaic seal script known as zhuanshu) into traditional Chinese (kaishu) characters (in columns from top to bottom, starting with the right hand column) it reads:

大清乾隆年製

or "Da Qing Qian-Long Nian Zhi" which translates as "made in the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the great Qing dynasty.

Here are both styles of Qianlong mark side by side with the characters marked so you can see which is which.

The two red seals to the left are the artist's interpretation of Japanese publisher's marks and censor's seals and the black writing, top right, is the artist signature, in a calligraphic style that's deliberately hard to read and therefore impossible to decipher although the last mark is "ga" meaning "painting".

The artwork is a combination of handpainting over a printed outline of the design, done in a palette of enamels called famille rose or fencai, which became popular in the Qianlong period.

As for value, if you saw it for sale in an antique store, it would have a full retail price tag of about $150. This is also the replacement value for insurance purposes. Expect to get in the range of 30% - 40% of this if you were to sell at auction or on line.

I do hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Robert