From International Auction Market of Recent Twenty Years Viewing the Market Potential of China Guanyao Porcelain Ware

@In the market of China antique porcelain ware, the historical Guanyao porcelain ware always plays an important role to view the good or bad for economic prosperity. In case that in the booming condition, Guanyao certainly can be sold a high price, meantime, the other commodities shall be followed up to show a booming business. On the contrary, if the economy is depression, then the sales price of Guanyao will be decreased. Of course, it is no doubt that other commodities lower down their price for selling. This phenomenon comes out exactly to prove that if the economic condition is booming or not? Therefore, the sales price of Guanyao has a close relationship with economic prosperity. In the market of successive generation for Guanyao, the porcelain ware of Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Ching Dynasties can greatly influence to the market. Because the procelain ware of Guanyao was only used by royal household and imperial officials, the artistic handicrafts standard certainly was upgraded, no matter of the shape, mark, pattern, and color, all were done by good craftsmen in the royal family. Besides, uniform and specification of Guanyao were be specified to produce under limitation, and they should not be allowed to enter into the folk. As a result, the quality and quantity of porcelain ware are excellent.

@The most famous five Guanyao of Sung Dynasties are Ruyao, Guanyao, Geyao, Junyao, and Dingyao which are typical porcelain ware of royal family to be used only by imperial household and officials. Therefore, only a few of them is left today, and these rare porcelain ware are collected and stored in the every grand museum. For less quantity, their prices are high. As to other good porcelain wares of Sung Dynasty, such as: Yaozhouyao, Longyao, Cizhouyao, and Jizhouyao, etc. are left now with excellent craftsmanship. Recently, many of them comes from Mainland China, their excellent handicraft works are also very notable for collection.

@In recent 20 years, there are less Ruyao appearing in the international auction market, and their successful transaction price are more than ten million HK$. A good shaped outlook with special style of Guanyao is often sold with more than million or ten million HK$. In general, ordinary style with good outlook of Guanyao also can be sold at least for a million HK$. As for Yunyao, Dingyao, their prices are also more than a million HK$. Basically, the five famous porcelain wares of Sung Dynasty still are very popular in the auction market.

@In the market of porcelain ware for Yuan Dynasty, the celadon is the most famous and rare. In the successive generations, the small porcelain ware is the best one. Only some exceptions in Yuan Dynasty, the more big of porcelain ware, the best for its popularity. Maybe this is because the people of Central Asia like to use the big type by exporting, and the craftsman skill of porcelain ware in Yuan Dynasty is highly upgraded. So, the big type of porcelain ware can be produced for the market. The price of celadon of Yuan Dynasty is decided by the style, mark, pattern, color, outlook, and craftsmanship, etc. factors. Up to '90 yeas, the big celadon of Yuan Dynasty has recorded with sales price more than 4 million to 7 million HK$. As to the highest price 15 million HK$, there are many, but anyway, they are some special cases.

@In Ming Dynasty, Hung Wu period established by Chu Yuan-Chang, the production of celadon and underglaze red porcelain was increased evidently, especially the excellent quality and quantity of underglaze red porcelain to become the outstanding characteristics of Hung Wu Guanyao. There are many kinds of underglaze red porcelain of Hung Wu Guanyao, from small type of cup, bowl, dish, to the big type of jar, vase, pot, and big dish, etc. Their prices in the market generally were decided by the pattern of underglade red porcelain and their completeness on outlook shape. Comparison between underglade red porcelain of Hung Wu and Yuan Dynasty, their shapes are successive to the style of Yuan Dynasty. But, the pattern fashion of Hung Wu period was replaced by dark pattern skill, which was more advanced on craftsmanship.

@Underglaze red porcelain of Hung Wu often sold with high price in the international auction market, and the most famous one was on Nov. 5, 1997, "one underglaze red porcelain of peony pattern pot vase" sold by Chia Shih Te, Hong Kong, and the price sold out was extremely high to be 22,020,000 HK$. However, for poor appearance, color, and pattern, etc. of underglaze red porcelain of Hung Wu still can be sold between a million and several million HK$. Guanyao after Hung Wu, from Yung Loh and Hsuan Te, blue and white porcelain was in the prime for greatest achievement. No matter of appearance, colors, and pattern, etc. of the porcelain will be ahead in the artisitc field. The imported "Ma Su Ni Ching" skill for white and blue porcelain was stable to reach the top excellency. Therefore, the porcelain wares of Yung Loh and Hsuan Te became the trace target of modern collectors.

@In the market, the main Guanyao of Yung Loh and Hsuan Te was valued more than 3 million HK$. For example: on Nov. 5, 1997, the "Dragons patterned ware" of Hsuan Te was sold in Hong Kong with price of 16,520,000 HK$. On May 16, 1989, "Peony Pattern Bowl Celadon" was sold with price of 13,200,000 HK$. From the prices sold for the ware in the successive years, we learn that the porcelain wares of Yung Loh and Hsuan Te are greatly paid much attention to.

@Except celadon from Yung Loh and Hsuan Te, underglaze red was a very important porcelain ware in the market, and its price was same as celadon's, but for less quantity, it was given a less notice.

@After Husan Te, in the period of Cheng Tung, King Tai, Tien Chun, for their unpeaceful condition of politics, the production of porcelain ware is less, so the rare of them were left today. Until the stable power in the period of Cheng Hwa, the production of Chintechen Guanyao began to restart. "Doucai" for celadon was initially created for craftsmanship, and it was ont only the best variety for porcelain ware in Ming Dynasty but also the most rare one in the history of China porcelain ware. For example: Doucai of Cheng Hwa was very famous and rare, and one chicken pattern cup completed by Doucai was recorded with high price of one hundred thousand HK$ in the end period of Wan Li. The arrangement of Cheng Hwa Doucai was no accumulative mountains, clouds, mist, and so complicated landscapes, and it seemed to adopt the essence of life to eliminate all of the unnecessary details for the living. The patterns often seen are Dragons, Plays, Friends & Treasuries, Fish Seed, Sea-horse, Fruits, and Grapes, etc. several tens kind.

@The famous Doucai wares include Chicken Cup, High Legs Bird Cup, Grape & Squirrel Cup, and "Heaven" worded Jar, etc. valued between million and several tens million HK$. For example: Chicken Cup was sold separately in 1981 and 1980 in Hong Kong for priced more than 5,000,000 HK$. While, the "Heaven" worded jar has never appeared in the auction market during recent 20 years. Its price is unclear in the market, but its value should be at least several millions HK$. Anyway, it can be assured that in case "Doucai" ware appears, the high price of China will come out.

@Except "Doucai", celadon of Cheng Hwa also had special style with elegant disposition, from bowl, cup, to jar, dish, the good appearance without defects can be sold between million to several millions HK$. For example: on April 29, 1997, "Lotus pattern jar celadon" of Cheng Hwa, Ming Dynasty was sold in Hong Kong with price of 15,970,000 HK$. After Cheng Hwa, in the period of Hung Chih, basically to continue the style of Cheng Hwa, a saying was to state that the style of celadon for Cheng Hwa and Hung Chih was almost the same without any difference. Celadon and Doucai of Hung Chih were left less quantity if compared to Cheng Hwa's. In the market, its price should not be cheaper than Cheng Hwa's. As to porcelain wares of Cheng Te, they can't be competed with the period of Cheng Hwa and Hung Chih. At that moment, the materials applied and craftsmanship were poor, so the colors of celadon were not ideal. As a result, no outstanding performance can be seen for them in the international auction market during recent 20 years.

@Kia Tsing, Lung Ching, and Wan Li, were late period of porcelain ware in the history of China. At this moment, the new creation of porcelain ware often came out, such as: polychrome, red/green glaze, 3-color glaze, and 3-colors, etc. What is polychrome ? It is to mean that after celdan is burned, the polychrome is fired with low temperature, and which is different from the Doucai. 2-colored of red/green glaze is made of burned blank under firing of low temperature with glaze. In the late of Ming Dynasty, the most famous Guanyao was "Kia Tsing Polychrome Ware", and the production of polychrome ware was very particularly paid attention. In Kia Tsing period, the most particular one was carried with orange red color, which was extremely rare in the antique market. However, the most famous one was "Polychrome Fish Pattern Jar" sold on Dec. 1, 1992 in New York with sales price of 22,300,000 HK$ to be the second high price in the history of China.

@Speaking for the Ching Dynasty, especially the production of the Chintechen ceramic ware, Kuanyao, and folk kiln, etc. to be very prosperous, however, the colored paints and glaze were also booming which was the Golden Age of China. After Kien Lang, for the weak power of the states, the production of porcelain wares started to the poor condition. At the early stage of Kia Ching, the style of Kien Lang still was kept. But, from the overall view, it was no longer of prosperity same as Kien Lang's. At that time, there were still some excellent workpieces of color painting and blue and white porcelain, particularly the outstanding of coral red powder decor and painted in gold. At the level of the officials, the smoking pot was very popular. Except the porcelain ware of smoking pot made by color painting, the quantity of blue and white porcelain and white glaze engraving was large, and the popular patterns were landscapes and portraits, etc.

@The production of colored porcelain and porcelain wares in Tau-Kwang was declining. Although the quantity of colored ware was large, the shape and category were reduced greatly. The Lotus shaped dish and bowl were remarkable with less quantity of styles made by "Shente Tang" and "Hsieh Chu Master". Additionally, there was famous yellow glaze to be copied with ivory engraved ware, which was the excellent artwork during that period.

@The quality and quantity of the production of Guanyao during the period of Hsien-Fung were less and declining. But, in the folk, it was heard that some quantity of colored ware for daily use was left.

@At two periods of Tung-Chih and Kwang-Hsu, the power was held and dominated by the Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi, and the whole society was declining and unpeaceful. Although in this stage, Guanyao still worked on for Chintechen kiln industry, most of them were made for wedding and birthday celebrating purpose in the palace. The artworks from folk kiln, although the craftsmanship was better, the quantity still was very large. Since 19 century to the initial period of 20 century, some of the people was interested in better artwork of copy old Chinese porcelain. But, it was the main stream of temporal kiln industry.

@In the market, polychrome, enamel ware, and painted ware of Kang Hsi, and painted, enamel ware of Yung-Cheng, and enamel ware, painted ware, and monochrome of Kien-Lang were valuable to be sold with high price of million HK$. For example : on Dec. 30, 1996, one set of Kang Hsi artwork of Guanyao study treasures was sold in Hong Kong for price 7,170,000 HK$, and one set of 12 Flower Gods Cup made in Kang Hsi was sold for price 5,520,000 HK$. Another case of Kien Lang, "Green glaze vase with pattern of ocean and dragon" was sold for price 2,660,000 HK$. Besides, one set of vase or heart change vase of Kien Lang also could be sold for good price 2,000,000 - 3,000,000 HK$.

@For the famous Guanyao of Kang Hsi, Yung Cheng, and Kien Lang, their prices in the international market was ranked at the former 15 places. For example, "Enamel glaze bowl with pattern of enlightment and colored landscape", made in Yung-Cheng, Ching Dynasty, was sold in Hong Kong with price 21,470,000 HK$ on April 29, 1997, which was placed at No. 5 high price. While, "Enamel glaze bowl with pattern of birds flying and accomodation" made in Yung-Cheng, Ching Dynasty, was sold in Hong Kong with price 16,500,000 HK$ on Nov. 14, 1989, which was placed at No. 8 high price according to the record. The 11th place was "Colored and painted big dish with peach pattern" made in Yung Cheng, Ching Dynasty, was sold in Hong Kong with price 15,200,000 HK$ on April 29, 1997. Another one, to be 14th place, "Enamel glaze vase with Chrysanthemum pattern", made in Yung-Cheng, Ching Dynasty, was sold in New York with price 12,870,000 HK$ on May 31, 1989.

@As to the late of Ching Dynasty, basically Guanyao cannot be competed with the early and middle stage of Ching Dynasty. No important artworks appear. There were many collectors in Hong Kong during the years of 1989 and 1990, and most of the artworks were purchased by Taiwanese collectors. So far, according to the information, only in the market of Singapore, the porcelain wares of late Ching Dynasty are available for auction.

@Above all, in the history of China, the well-known famous five wares include Ruyao, Guanyao, Geyao, Junyao, and Dingyao, etc. of Sung Dynasty, and the famous Guanyao wares are blue and white porcelain of Yuan Dynasty, Hung Wu and Yung Loh of Ming Dynasty, blue and white porcelain ware of Hsuan Te, and seldan and Doucai wares of Cheng Hwa, enamel glaze, painted, and polychrome wares of Kang Hsi, Yung Cheng, and Kien Lang of Ching Dynasty, etc. It is no doubt that the good quality and less quantity of them become the final goal under searching of worldwide grant musuem and all collectors.

@The pictures of are displayed in the book of Chinese Guanyao in the History, and they are provided by overseas and domestic collectors and selected carefully and strictly by the specialists. The porcelain wares in the book are 762 pieces, smoking pot 45 pieces, so the grand total is 807 pieces. It is very special of this book to be published with the subjects of multi-direction for extremely vivid, so the initial learners can get many benefits from this book. .

Antique and Relic Researcher
Sincerely,Tsai Wen Shiung,
in Aug, 1998

PS:Kien-Wen (1399 - 1402 A.D.)

@@The period of Kien Wen was total four years, and its hisotry was very short with unstable power, so the productivity of the porcelain ware was affected greatly under unpeaceful condition. There was no authentic remains discovery of Kien Wen before 90's. But, in recent three years, under my seraching from the overseas and domestic markets for antiques, I only obtained one artwork of "Underglaze red jar with double phoenix and dragon ear" stated in the picture paged 242 of this book. This rare ware has a special shape with excellent craftsmanship, and its underglaze red is dark and spreading same as the wares of Hung Wu. At the bottom of this ware, the sand is the main material, and there are many black spots spreading everywhere with red and cutting trace. It is the first borne ware of the early stage of Ming Dynasty, and "Made in Kien Wen, Ming Dynasty" is marked on the ware body for clear identification.

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