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I have an antique two panel Chinese screen made out of teal…

I have an antique...

I have an antique two panel Chinese screen made out of teal or ebony. The pattern on the screen have birds and other parts made out of ivory and branches made of some kind of shell. It is signed but it’s in Chinese. The other side of screen is painted. How can I find out the value of it? My mother passed away at 95 and her grandmother brought it back from somewhere and my mom got it when her mother died.

Expert's Assistant: Don't you just love the idea of finding something valuable in your attic? I do, but I think all I have up there is junk my brothers abandoned before they left home. Always a good idea to check things with the Antiques Appraiser, though. Is there anything else the Antiques Appraiser should be aware of?

I don’t know really what to ask? Maybe who the artist is that signed it. I can send pictures, if you want.

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3/8/2018
Nora
Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 15,252
Experience: Liberal Arts BA College Degree, Post-Graduate Christie's Education in London, 10 Yrs Art World Experience in NYC, President & Founder own Corporation. Member AOA & ISA USPAP Compliant through 2019
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Hello, and thank you for your question. I am reviewing it now and will reply again in a moment. ~Nora

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Hi,

Please send images at your convenience.

There may be an +Add Files button or if there is a toolbar with a paperclip icon showing above the box where you type in responses, then follow the steps on this link for sharing photos:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert

~Nora

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Hi,

You can try emailing your images to *****@******.*** and write “For Nora/Antiques” in the subject line of the email.

Photos sent by email do not arrive to me directly nor instantly, they get forwarded to me by admin.

~Nora

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Here are several pictures of the screen. Please let me know if you got them.
CF543D86-50AD-4AFB-88A5...jpegCF543D...jpeg0F4C8147-504E-4068-B26C...jpeg0F4C81...jpeg94A27D81-0D87-430E-A160...jpeg94A27D...jpeg7A238A63-DB86-49DB-9E51...jpeg7A238A...jpeg5CC8897C-80B5-4098-B89F...jpeg5CC889...jpeg00800FF2-BD49-4F57-9345...jpeg00800F...jpeg4CD0A5F4-0235-4021-AE78...jpeg4CD0A5...jpegF833CAEE-4BDA-4242-B413...jpegF833CA...jpeg

Hi,

Thank you for the images and for your patience; I was not in the office most of the weekend.

This is actually Japanese and not Chinese.

It is done in red lacquer and hand painted on one side. The front side is black lacquer with applied decoration which is called shibayama. The panels are then surrounded by carved reticulated 'frames' in camphor wood. There is not ebony used on this screen.

This dates to the late Meiji Period, or about 1880.

High value on today's market is $1000 - $2000.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.

~Nora

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the appraisal I have from 1973 said the wood is teak. Is that the same as camphor? And the fact that it has ivory on it, does that add to value?

Hi,

Camphor and teak are not the same types of wood; teak would be darker in color.

The term shibayama, in Japanese, implies that the applied decoration is ivory and yes it is accounted for the estimate of $1000 - $2000 for this.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.

~Nora

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Can you tell who signed the screen?

Hello,

The most I can discern in the character signature seal is that is Nichi Hon Nippon, however I do not recognize the characters of the name on this, as they are not executed in standard lettering.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.

~Nora

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Hello,

Just checking in to see if you viewed your answer and if you are seeking further assistance?

Please let me know.

Sincerely,

Nora

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I did see your answer. Still wondering about the wood. Is camphor heavy? This screen is very heavy. And not sure that my photos showed true color of wood. The value of the screen in 1973 was $1340 so it’s hard to believe it hasn’t increased at all in 45 years.

Hi,

Camphor is not dense, so it would not be so heavy, and perhaps it is the lighting in the images that makes the wood appear not as dark as teak usually appears.

As for value, there was a lot less of a connoisseurship on Asian antiques in the 1970s as there is currently. In addition there was less of a proliferation of objects from the East in America in the 1970s and appraisals usually added value on such for the fact that these were less often encountered in 45 years ago.

The passage of time does not mean an equal and exponential value of items.

There are many incidences in the antique and collector world of objects having astronomical sale values prior to the Antique Roadshow days and the internet. For example, there was a case of a glass Christmas ornament that was considered incredibly rare, the first one sold for 5 figures. A news article and television coverage about this rare ornament and its sale price was printed and aired....after which hundreds of people discovered this rare ornament in their attics. That ornament now has a value of $5 - $10 on the market. It turned out not to be so rare afterall.

Values always fluctuate, both up and down, and are contingent on the market, current tastes and trends and the global economy. The 1973 appraisal does not predicate today's current market value, they are independent of themselves.

Please take a moment to leave a rating by clicking the stars. If you require further assistance, no worries, the question thread does not close even after leaving a rating.

~Nora

Nora
Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 15,252
Experience: Liberal Arts BA College Degree, Post-Graduate Christie's Education in London, 10 Yrs Art World Experience in NYC, President & Founder own Corporation. Member AOA & ISA USPAP Compliant through 2019
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