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S:, I found some armorial items I’d like help with. 8

For Robert S: hi Robert...
For Robert S: hi Robert, I found some armorial items I’d like help with. 8 plates, three patterns. 7”. Glaze is rough and has little white bumps here and there. You and I looked at an imitation armorial plate a while back. Might these be nearer to the real thing?
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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/9/2018
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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the Q. and photos of the armorial plates.

I'll have an answer for you as soon as I can. Just letting you know I got them.

Many thanks,
Robert.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks, ***** ***** rush whatsoever. Daniel

Hi Daniel,

These are all 20th century reproductions of Chinese armorial plates, sadly, rather than the real 18th century thing.

There are a number of ways one can tell. First is the quality of the potting. These plates have been made in a mold, by slip molding, and so they end up with noticeably thicker and rounder rims than the authentic ones which were all thrown on a potter's wheel and have finer, almost sharp edges to the rims.

The other giveaway is if you look closely, particularly at this one, you can see that, although the color is all hand-painted, the black outline of the design is printed. You can see where the transfer print has gotten out of alignment in one spot on the rim, where it's crossing the rim line. On a genuine example, the outlines are all done by hand and the decorator would never make such an obvious error.

Another detail that's missing is that the armorial coats-of-arms don't follow the strict rules of heraldry and in particular, the banner under the coat of arms is empty where the family motto would always be written -if they were genuine- as with this example where the motto is clearly inscribed in black.

Another difference is the gold gilding. On period examples, it actually looks gold, whereas on these the gold is not very convincing at all and looks grey.

Finally, the red rubber stamped marks are always 20th century and very much a product of the Chinese Republic/Cultural Revolution era, so I would say these are no older than 1950s but no newer than 1970s.

It's an interesting quirk of commerce that it used to be the West that copied these Chinese armorial plates. Here's quite a respectable copy done in Paris by Edme Samson in the 1890s, but now it's the Chinese themselves producing them.

Having said that, there were some really nice modern copies of Chinese armorial plates done in the 1960s by Mottahedeh in Portugal. These sell for $50 - $75 if you can find them.

Yours would sell on eBay in the $10 - $15 range, perhaps a little more for this one, say $15 - $25 which is the best of the three designs.

Hope this isn't two disappointing but gives you a little more information on what to look for to identify the real thing which can often be breathtakingly exquisite. Every little bit of this one is hand-painted, but then this is a $1000 plate.

Best wishes,
Robert.

Robert S.
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Hi Robert,
Cool! I have to say I was "worried" about the exposed transfer pattern and thought that that must point to something less than artisanal. Your rationale and comparison points are sound enough that I'm not disappointed, only more informed. I'll forever be on the lookout for a genuine article (the one you linked to will do! So amazing and beautiful.). Thanks,
Daniel

Thanks for appreciating a somewhat hasty journey through armorial porcelain.

When you get into it, it can be completely addicting. Try this blog on the subject here, for instance, I think you'll be fascinated.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Robert

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