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Fine Art/Small Chinese bowl


QUESTION: I purchased this small bowl from an antique dealer (specializing in Chinese Items) about 10 years ago.

I am curious a) whether it actually is an antique and b) any other information you might be able to supply regarding it and potential value.

It is stone with metal roping and details of a phoenix (phoenix on 2 sides only-roping on 4 sides)
with a metal base.

I do not know if the metal is silver or pewter or a base metal. There is good detail, however.

There are markings (Chinese characters) on the base.

It measures about 4 1/2" across the opening and is about 2" High from the metal lip of the opening to the bottom of the metal base-which itself is about 2" wide.

As there is only an allotment of one image, I wonder if it is possible to send a number of them to another address or with separate messages-question forms?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hello Warren.
Yes, please do send images of the sides,bottom, inside and the and top view.
Unfortunately because of the technical constraints of this site, all immages need to be posted individualy - sorry.
I look forward, to seeing some good clear images of the artifact in question.
Take care.

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QUESTION: 1  of 12

Hello Warren,

Thank you for posting all of the images, which do help me a great deal.

Unfortunately; during the past few years a China has exported a great number of less desirable artefacts to the west.

Some are rather cleverly made, while others are somewhat cruder and more blatant reproductions.

In this case - and only having the use of some 2D images to base an opinion upon, however, I am rather afraid that my alarm bells are all ringing.

It looks to be a mixture of an outright fake, with that of the pure innocence of a reproduction.

I am very unhappy however, about certain aspects of the object.

Not to say the least of the  type of Chinese being used, with regard to the more general 19th century stamped six characters - of  the zhuanshu seal; used on the base and the base itself.

Other matters are the glaze and the decoration with a metallic strap  - work of either iron, or perhaps bronze.

I believe that the birds you describe as being the phoenix, are in fact cockerels, or more well known as ( gong –ji).
In which case ,they would  represent the 10th month of the zodiac.

On the one hand, it might be out of a ancient grave offering, but I think that it of a far more recent  date.
Therefore my best advice would be to get a very  “up close” vetting done.

An examination by a good auction house near to where you live - in order tond get a “hands on” vetting of the work; and also in order to achieve an authentication.  
Places, such as Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonham’s all have good ”in house expertise” in such matters.
However, if it is really a genuine original  rather than a  reproduction then the auction house can make a very good assessment; as to condition and value, etc.

The average prices for those works all depends on; size, artist, quality, provenance, subject matter and condition- which are all highly important and also do vary a great deal.
The Chinese market, is still  very buoyant for the right kind of artefacts at the moment.

The yellow pages, should point you in the direction of the auction houses in your location.
I would strongly advise, in taking it along to at least 2 different auction houses for a valuation. Second opinions, are always very beneficial indeed.

Furthermore; should you desire to take it to auction - then I would also advise on selling it with a fixed bottom end reserve - but perhaps with a 10% auctioneers discretion.

Selling without a fixed reserve, is definitely not to recommended.

Very good luck indeed at the auction house. I quite am sure that they will be able to help you over the last furlong, so to speak!

Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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