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June 22, 2021, 08:20:44 am
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Shiwan Figure

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George
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« on: October 30, 2020, 02:01:51 am »

Don't get to buy a lot of things, snuff related or not.

So want to share this 9 1/4" tall celadon glazed shiwan stoneware figure ( Zhang Tianshi ? ) who is dressed in what I think are traditional Tang dynasty robe and futuo or turban. I am unsure what he is holding (sword?).

The facial skin color seems a flat glaze as compared to the different celadon glazed hues of crackled green, browns and black making up the rest of the figure. He is missing what I am guessing was a hulu vase and part of the hair on his left side has been damaged.  It is a little hard to tell from the pics, but looks like the body was made and joined together in two halves. Not straight looking mold type lines, but uneven lines.

There was an auction a few months ago with the most similar piece I have been able to find online, but not dated. 
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/83896764_a-shiwan-yao-figure-shape-porcelain-statue


The same Empire Auction House sold it a year before , but for some reason it appears they have replaced that March 14th 2019 auction listing's pictures with a completely different piece. Why would an auction house do that?  https://www.liveauctioneers.com/en-gb/item/69942026_a-shiwan-yao-old-figure . Kind of strange, but looking back through this Empire Auction House past auctions, they look pretty strange, shady and questionable in many ways..

Any help with dating or additional information greatly appreciated !


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« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 02:19:25 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 03:52:18 am »

Dear George,
you have there a very nice Shiwan statue of Cao Guojiu, one of the Eight Immortals of Taoism.
He is always represented dressing official robes. What he has in hand is not a sword, it is a jade tablet or castanets.
That type of hat and the belt adorned with jades are typical of the officials.
I had a Shiwan statue of the same immortal that I have sold on ebay, see the picture. In my statue, what he is holding is more clearly castanets, but he is often represented in the same way as yours.
The face has just a slip, which turns a bit brownish during firing.
I am not really expert on Shiwan ware, but these statues are generally dated to the 19th century.
A nice one.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2020, 05:16:41 am »

Big thank upi Giovanni ! 

All of what you shared with me is a huge help.. I was hoping it was 19th, so very nice to have you confirm it.

That statue you sold was really an amazing example !

Thanks again !
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2020, 08:20:49 am »

Giovanni..

Just found out it is called a Gui, a jade tablet which was like a passport to official meetings at the Imperial court. The Gui is one of the attributes of Cao Guojiu.


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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 02:09:54 pm »

Dear George,

     You will be the death of me! Another subject I'd like to start collecting!
Like I don't have enough collecting categories already! Roll Eyes Shocked Grin

Seriously, while I prefer Giovanni's figurine, yours is very nice as well.
I will try very hard not to expand into this new [for me, at least] field.
 
Best to you both,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2020, 04:37:43 pm »

Dear George,

     You will be the death of me! Another subject I'd like to start collecting!


If I could afford it there would be many things would love to collect.. I can not even afford good bottles these days.. I find shiwan wares especially fascinating to Joey. Have only ever had one other very nice shiwan piece.  In an effort to collecting Shiwan ware, and especially figures like these, I could not help but order my first nice book called ""History Lore and Legend Shiwan Pottery Figures", large and photo packed 553 pages. Mostly in Chinese, but a beautiful book.

The second book I have my eye on is fully English translated, "Shiwan Wares (FUNG PING SHAN MUSEUM)", 425 pages, also jam packed with pics. More expensive at 200.00, but that may be a bargain as the other copy found is 900.00 !

 


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« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 02:03:50 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2020, 02:19:28 am »

Dear George,
the dog on the cover of your second book is recalling this one that I have sold a few years ago. It was exactly 10 inches high, 25.4 cm. A quite impressive dog.
Giovanni


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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2020, 06:45:58 am »

Dear George,
the dog on the cover of your second book is recalling this one that I have sold a few years ago. It was exactly 10 inches high, 25.4 cm. A quite impressive dog.
Giovanni


Absolutely beautiful !  You have handled some beauties !
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2020, 06:56:04 am »

But still have Grin Grin. Will show you something...
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2020, 09:19:33 am »

Dear George,

     You will be the death of me! Another subject I'd like to start collecting!




The second book I have my eye on is fully English translated, "Shiwan Wares (FUNG PING SHAN MUSEUM)", 425 pages, also jam packed with pics. More expensive at 200.00, but that may be a bargain as the other copy found is 900.00 !

 

I can't believe that after sending the Amazon seller a request to sell this book for 100.00 that he accepted ! 

Bargain day !!

Another collector described it as "an important book, not only packed with photos but more importantly filled with good scholarship and research especially by Dr. Rilkki Scollard".
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 09:41:49 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2020, 11:02:31 am »

My girlfriend is going to kill me when she sees the credit card statement !

But these popped up and could not resist.. Not as glamorous as many others, but ok..

Limited pics, but took a chance.. 

9" tall..


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« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 11:06:01 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2020, 11:44:38 am »

Congratulations, George!
More great buys [the book AND the two figurines].
And I can testify that Giovanni has some beautiful Asian art in his wonderful home in northern Italy.
And the home itself is stunning, and almost all built or restored by Giovanni himself, or family and friends.
And the countryside is gorgeous.
I can't wait till there is a working, mass-produced vaccine, so we can return to travel.
I've not been on a plane since 20.Jan.2020, when I returned home to Israel from a wonderful trip to East Asia.

I've not missed travel, and still don't; but I have missed visiting with friends like Giovanni & Betty,
  Yee Pin and his adorable daughter Zhiying,  Inn Bok , Richard, YT and his family,
 Tom L. and Nant,  Samson and his wonderful family, Curt & Karen and their 2 boys, Geoff, etc.

Best to all,
Joey
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2020, 02:38:23 am »

Thank you dear Joey.
Dear George, you did ask if these statues were made by mold or not.
As said I am not expert on Shiwan ware, but I believe that it is well possible, depending from the type. The technique of making the main body by mold and then finishing it in different ways by means of hand added details has been a common practice also for more prized items, like Dehua (Blanc de Chine) figures.
And it is going back in time, even during Tang dynasty.
It is known that Tang funerary figures were mass produced at industrial scale by molding. Molded bodies were made separately from heads; by combining different bodies and heads, they were offering a larger selection of different figures.
The first image here below is showing two Tang cameleer figures. The one on the left is mine, the other one has been sold by IMChait. As you see, the face of both them is that of a foreigner, most probably a Persian cameleer. But the body is identical.
Then you see the picture of a Tang cameleer sold by Bukowsky. Same head of mine, but completely different body.
If you will pay attention, most Tang funerary figures have what looks like being a repair at the neck. It is commonly believed that it is a repair because detaching of the head is the more probable accident. Instead, the main reason, although not accepted by everybody (but I can prove that), is due to the practice of matching different bodies and heads for diversification of the production.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2020, 07:49:10 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

      The Royal Ontario Museum [The ROM] in Toronto has a large collection of tomb figurines.
We were told that these figures were 'Western Semitic'.  I always took that to mean 'Jewish'...
But I guess it could mean Arab, or even [stretching it a bit] Persian.
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2020, 08:55:43 pm »

George, Giovanni and Joey,

Until a few days ago I had never heard of "Shiwan" wares.  Thanks for enlightening me on this fascinating topic!

All best,
Tom
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2020, 02:12:41 am »

Dear George,
the dog on the cover of your second book is recalling this one that I have sold a few years ago. It was exactly 10 inches high, 25.4 cm. A quite impressive dog.
Giovanni


Absolutely beautiful !  You have handled some beauties !

After getting both books, neither has anything similar to the piece you shared privately . Both are good books, but I am only keeping one. Lots of pictures in the "History Lore and Legend Shiwan Pottery Figures" book, but the second book is considerably better.. I would rather get my money back and use it towards another piece.. There is nothing in the first book that I can't find online.. This poor broke country boy has to crunch pennies any way I can to get more pieces !   Grin

I actually sold all of the first three Shiwan pieces to help pay for what I think is a very nice porcelain piece.  So starting over again with the Shiwan wares !  I am addicted and search daily !
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 02:17:15 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2020, 06:24:22 am »

Thank you dear George. It is a further confirmation that it is a quite uncommon piece!
Giovanni
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