Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby hopeofdawn » Oct 27th, '11, 10:49

night.owl wrote:Not sure how old this is, but I'm guessing by the box that it qualifies as an antique? (by decades, not centuries). Is anyone familiar with these types of cups? it's tiny, it only holds one ounce! Not the usual type of tea-ware I like to collect, but it did catch my eye.

My Tiniest Treasure (5) a.jpg


There are no markings at all on the bottom of the cup.

My Tiniest Treasure (1) a.jpg


Wow, that's very pretty--if I had to guess, I'd say that's a Chinese cup, not Japanese, but I'm certainly no expert--it could be Satsuma or Kutani ware as well. :)
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby IPT » Oct 27th, '11, 20:58

I would say Chinese also. The box certainly is and I have seen quite a bit of similar tea ware before. It is a pretty cup.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby night.owl » Oct 27th, '11, 22:56

Thanks, it is cute! Not sure what I'm going to do with it... but isn't that how it usually goes?

:wink:
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby IPT » Oct 28th, '11, 20:22

Well, you could always use it for drinking tea. :D
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby brandon » Oct 29th, '11, 08:21

Image

New antique arrived yesterday, saved from my great grandmother's collection.

When I was very young she lived next door to me and we would sit on the porch for a swing every day. Since she passed away over 20 years ago, my grandmother has been storing her furniture in the basement. It was at serious risk of water damage, and has now been relocated to a safe place.

My tea room :mrgreen:

Top drawer: Gaiwans
Bottom drawer: TEA

I am searching for the perfect fukuro obi to use as a runner.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby debunix » Oct 29th, '11, 10:43

Splendid!
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby IPT » Oct 29th, '11, 10:47

What a beautiful piece! It is wonderful to have such a connection.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby TIM » Nov 5th, '11, 21:50

Image

A new personal favorite piece. A rare 19th century, Yixing Zisha ware with robin's egg blue glaze waste water vessel.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby the_economist » Nov 5th, '11, 22:32

the glaze is fantastic! a real eye-opener...
Last edited by the_economist on Nov 6th, '11, 00:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby wyardley » Nov 6th, '11, 00:46

Great piece, Tim. I love that style of glaze.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby tst » Nov 6th, '11, 02:37

Does anyone know anything about these gaiwans listed on Bon Teavant's website?

http://www.market.bonteavant.com/gaiwans_c59.htm

They have one listed for $350 supposedly from 1913 and one for $250 supposedly from between 1875 and 1908.

Are these well-known fakes? Does anyone have any experience knowledge of others making fake/replica gaiwans?
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby TomVerlain » Nov 6th, '11, 08:15

re the gaiwans

I am certainly not an expert, and with out handling them, it is even harder to get a feel for the age and quality, but here are a few things

1) the red wax seal indicates they were allowed to be exported, and it is against the law to export antiques from china. There are, of course allowances, and these are generally for low quality pieces or things that have no great value. Having the red seal does not mean they are fake, or not antiques, they could be passed for export as they are not of great historical or cultural value. Anyone could scrape the wax seal off in any case.

2) 1913 is under the 100 year rule of what is an antique, but "1913" written like taht is like finding Jesus's sandals with a claim they are original, as they say "made in 10 B.C". They should have a cylindrical date (see http://gotheborg.com/marks/index-china-marks.htm), and it doesn't look like it. I can't read the inscription, but I do not really see the charaters for 1913. It is possible they have a correct date, and not reading chinese, I can't figure it out.

They just plain don't look worth the money to my jaded eyes.

The cultural stores in china sell replica porcelain, (Like a museum store in the states) and it can be of high quality and certainly beautiful. They come with certificates. If you take one of those, and try to pass it off as an imperial piece for thousands of dollars, it is still a cup. So the "fake" part is just the age, not the beauty, function or quality.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby IPT » Nov 6th, '11, 12:17

The two gaiwans look very iffy to my eyes. Granted, I am looking at photos on my monitor, so the colors might be off, but there are a number of issues that would still cause me to steer clear of them.

On the "1913" gaiwan, adding to what TomVerlain said, those wax seals mean virtually nothing. I can buy them with adhesive tape on the back, which the 1913 one seems to have showing underneath. If you want to spend the money to be more authentic, you can go to any seal carver and ask them to carve you the same seal, and then buy the wax. It is pretty common here. Just to make it clear, I have never, nor would I ever do such a thing!!! I would say the gold is way too perfect to be authentic. The thickness of the strokes on the flower and leaves, and characters look is fishy to me. The way the characters were painted, and the thickness of the strokes, sets off alarms. At the time, anyone who was literate was capable of writing small characters. It was the norm. The strokes go from thick to thin, to thick, and these are just thick. Now, writing tiny characters with a brush is a pretty rare art. Even most calligraphers are not very good at it, because there is little call for it, so the fact that the strokes are so uniform in thickness make me think they were newly created. There is no artistry to them and such writing should have been commonplace for a porcelain decorator in the Qing Dynasty and Republican Period. The red characters on the bottom and the lid are also a little off for the Republican Period.The wear to the gold line on the rim is also odd. The gold on these pieces rubs off so incredibly easily and yet this one's design is virtually flawless, the missing gold does not look like it was worn off, but flaked off. There should be some wear somewhere if it was ever used or even handled much.

On the "Qing Dynasty" gaiwan, the red seal on the bottom and on the lid, is the wrong color. It could be my monitor though, or the photograph. The wear on the gold is very fishy. It is scratched off in bits, but there is no place where it looks worn off. If this piece was truly over 100 years old, there would be some wear on it somewhere, unless it was hermetically sealed and never touched or used. The colors of the leaves and flowers are off, but again, that could be my monitor or the camera's doing. The design and style of the design is not quite right for the period also. If this was a real piece, it would have been a fairly expensive piece, yet, the lip looks like it has little chips, and they just painted the gold right over it. I do not believe they would have just covered over the chips, at least I have never seen it before and I have seen a fair number of antique gaiwans. Quality control was better than that. Also, the gold rings, especially on the lid, are really thick for such an apparently refined piece. The thicker gold rings generally were on the poorer produced pieces.

To sum up, there are just too many questionable aspects to them for me to believe they are antiques. Of course, if you think they are really fantastic and you do not mind if they are antiques or not, then go for it.

Another thing that sort of bothers me, is that all of the products on the website are very common, unexpensive pieces, but they have found two expensive antique gaiwans. Intact gaiwans with lids are pretty hard to find in such condition, and logically speaking, they just do not fit in with the rest of the items offered on the website.

Anyhow, that is my two cents worth.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby tst » Nov 6th, '11, 13:59

Thank you both very much for your input and knowledge.

The entire situation seems very fishy to me too. Perhaps the most telling sign for me is that BonTeavant is located in Mill Valley, CA ... just miles north of San Francisco. Just yesterday I found the two exact same gaiwans in a S.F. ad for sale for $39.50 each (both listed as late 18th century). The markings a nearly identical, though the signature/symbols are slightly different and the chips/scratches differ.

So either 18th-19th century gaiwans are suddenly flooding the market in excess (at very cheap prices mind you), or these are fakes. All things considered, I think the answer is obvious. However, I'm hesitant to question Bon Teavant's legitimacy, as I have no other dealings with them, and I wouldn't want to incorrectly tarnish anyone's reputation. However, if you are considering either of the two BonTeavant gaiwans, I'd recommend looking around first ... you can get nearly identical ones for a fraction of the price!

Thanks again for your help TomVerlain and IPT.
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$39.50 local to S.F.
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Re: Antique/Vintage Tea and Tea Ware

Postby IPT » Nov 6th, '11, 22:53

I would certainly say they are worth $39.50 each, as pretty gaiwans, but not as antiques.

I would not say that Bon Teavant is necessarily even at fault. Who knows who their supplier is and what they told them. A lot of dealers in the West are at the mercy of their suppliers. Especially those not terribly experienced in certain areas.
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