Despite the current slide in world investment markets the strong support for high end Asian works of art and fine Asian antiques in general is still at an all time high. Every time an auction is held at Sotherby’s, Christies’, Bonhams or Doyles sellers and buyers wait to see how the major pieces do. All eyes watch the Imperial jades, porcelains, bronzes
and scrolls often followed by stunned expressions and dropped jaws and of course broad smiles.
One category while not going under the radar is I think perhaps one of the most undervalued. This rather overlooked area is that of fine Chinese celadons from the Song dynasty right through the Qing Imperial wares. Celadon glazes are subtle and exude a quiet elegance of color, light and offer a unique type of tactile resonance to people who admire and are attracted to them.
In a word, as much as any other type of porcelain celadons speak a language of their own. For many they are soothing with a thick, clear, soft glowing subtle green and to others they display a strength of singular power and individuality. The range of color to be found in these green glazes seem, after seeing the many varieties, to have more shades than all other colors combined.
Celadons are on occasion additionally decorated with under glaze blue, or may have a dry brown dressing over unglazed areas as seen in this example from the Freer Sackler Gallery.
More recent examples made from the mid 18th C. onwards may be enhanced with a famille rose over glaze enamel; the subtle clarity of plain examples with modest incised patterns seem to me superior. An example we have now in inventory is an ovoid jar and is inlaid with a white paste and filled in with cobalt under glaze blue. we acquired this for inventory as it seemed quite unique and has interesting pattern which seems to be in the Japanese market taste. A particular form of Chinese celadon seems to be very much favored by Japanese collectors for it’s color and shape. These three legged incense burners are often of a particularly good color, a fine soft green known as Kinuta Green. This shade of color seems to have first evolved in the 12 th C. to 13 th C. In the next few weeks we’ll add additional images and information on these porcelains, they’ll later be archived in the site’s Articles section as well.