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Home » A Hand-Carved Dragon Motif Tea Table Resembling Qianlong-Era Cinnabar Lacquer Craftsmanship, Late 19th Century Fine Quality Hand Made

A Hand-Carved Dragon Motif Tea Table Resembling Qianlong-Era Cinnabar Lacquer Craftsmanship, Late 19th Century Fine Quality Hand Made

  • Andres G 
  • 7 min read
Andres G

Andres G

BSc, MSc, Expert Appraiser of all kinds of Antique items. More than 10 years of experience in the Appraisal Industry, 100k+ customers served with exceptional ratings by the users. Antique store owner and businessman.

A Hand-Carved Dragon Motif Tea Table Resembling Qianlong-Era Cinnabar Lacquer Craftsmanship, Late 19th Century Fine Quality Hand Made

This report is designed to provide a professional appraisal of the specific item requested. It contains a detailed description and evaluation of the item, as well as information about the valuation method used. The value given in this appraisal report is applicable only to the item in question and should not be interpreted as a general valuation for any similar items. Values for similar items can vary significantly, ranging from one hundred to one hundred thousand US dollars, depending on subtle details.

This report is intended to give the owner an appraisal of their item’s value, whether it is furniture, china, glassware, or any other type of antique or collectible item. The information provided will help the owner to understand their piece and its value. Furthermore, it provides an appraisal value in US dollars, as well as advice on how to proceed if the owner wishes to sell the item. It should be noted that this report is not intended to encourage the owner to sell their antique item; instead, it seeks to provide information on its value so that the owner can make an informed decision.

Description, identification, provenance reconstruction, age estimation, style and similar items used for comparison.

Identification

Identifying a specific antique item, such as a hand-carved dragon motif tea table that resembles Qianlong-era cinnabar lacquer craftsmanship from a photograph, involves a multilayered process that combines visual analysis with historical and technical knowledge. As a professional antique appraiser, I would begin by examining the photograph for visual cues: the style and intricacy of the dragon motifs, the color and texture of the lacquer, and the overall shape and proportions of the table. These elements can reveal much about the period and region of origin, as they are often characteristic of a certain era's aesthetic preferences and technological capabilities. I would compare the photographed item with documented examples of genuine Qianlong-era pieces, noting similarities and differences. The depth and layering of lacquer, which should show a build-up of numerous applications, is a telltale sign of authenticity and quality in pieces from that time. Techniques used to carve the dragons, such as the undercutting and the level of detail, would also be examined, as Qianlong craftsmanship was known for its precision and intricacy. Additionally, I would consider the historical context, as certain design elements and materials were popular during particular times. The Qianlong period, for example, saw a love for luxurious items and intricate design, and the presence of dragons would resonate well with the emperor's taste, who favored dragon motifs. I would also look for signs of wear and patina appropriate for a late 19th-century item—too little wear could suggest a reproduction, while too much or uneven wear might indicate artificial aging. Finally, the use of advanced methods such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for material analysis might be employed, should the photograph and initial evaluation warrant further investigation. Such analysis could authenticate the composition of the lacquer and pigments used, comparing them to those prevalent during the late 19th century. Establishing provenance through existing records or previous sales and examining the piece in person, if possible, for signs of tool marks, construction techniques, and restoration would all contribute to a comprehensive appraisal of the tea table. Through this diligent process of examination and comparison, I would deduce the nature and authenticity of the antique tea table.

Provenance

As a professional antique appraiser tasked with determining the provenance of a specific antique tea table, which is purported to resemble Qianlong-era cinnabar lacquer craftsmanship and is claimed to be of late 19th-century origin, I would begin by meticulously analyzing the photograph provided. The provenance of such an item hinges on a detailed examination of design elements, craftsmanship, material composition, and any signs of aging or wear that can offer clues to its authenticity and history. I would initially focus on the stylistic features and quality of workmanship evident in the hand-carved dragon motif. The motifs and decorative techniques are compared to known examples from the Qing dynasty's Qianlong period (1735-1796), where cinnabar lacquer ware was highly sought after and widely produced. This comparison would involve analyzing the intricacy of the carving, the depth of the lacquer layers, and the patina that should have developed over time. Additionally, signs of tooling and hand workmanship would be significant indicators of the period's methods. The historical context plays a crucial role in the appraisal process. I would research the artistic trends and manufacturing processes of the late 19th century, understanding that this period marked a time of cultural revivals and reproductions. Cross-referencing the style and construction technique with archival records, museum collections, and scholarly literature could provide confirmation of the era's characteristics and potentially reveal similar items that may have been produced by the same workshop or artisan. Furthermore, established provenance would ideally be supported by documentation or provenance records such as receipts, auction records, previous appraisals, or ownership history. In instances where direct documentation is scarce, I would seek to construct a circumstantial provenance through any inscriptions, labels, or distinctive markings on the piece that may point to its origin, history, and former ownership. In absence of physical examination, the photograph must be of high quality to allow for a detailed visual inspection. However, I would note to the client that assessing provenance solely from a photograph is less definitive and that further hands-on examination might be required to authenticate the piece fully and determine its true value and origin. This could include scientific tests such as radiocarbon dating, pigment analysis, and X-ray fluorescence which can authenticate materials consistent with the claimed period. By integrating all these factors—design analysis, craftsmanship scrutiny, historical context study, and available documentation or lack thereof—I aim to provide a carefully reasoned and as accurate as possible assessment of the tea table's provenance.

Age

As a professional appraiser tasked with determining the age of a hand-carved dragon motif tea table that resembles Qianlong-era cinnabar lacquer craftsmanship, I would begin my evaluation by conducting a thorough inspection of the item's construction techniques and materials. For a piece asserting to be of late 19th-century origin, I would expect to find evidence of hand tool marks, dowel joints, or mortise and tenon construction rather than machine-made components or modern adhesives that would indicate a more recent production. The quality and composition of the lacquer—a painstakingly applied substance derived from the sap of the Rhus verniciflua tree—would be scrutinized for authenticity and indicative wear patterns. True cinnabar lacquer, often found in Qianlong period antiques, is noted for its deep, rich hue and layered application, which should show signs of natural craquelure (fine cracking) consistent with age rather than synthetic or chemical aging processes. I would further examine the tea table's design elements, noting the intricacy, depth, and style of the dragon motif carving. During the Qianlong period (1736-1795), dragon motifs typically exhibit stylistic traits reflective of imperial tastes and symbolism, such as the number of claws and the positioning within auspicious clouds. Discrepancies in these design elements could hint at a later interpretation or reproduction effort. Additionally, historical context is essential in appraising such items. The Qianlong era was renowned for exquisite craftsmanship and lavish artistry, so a table of this make should align with the known artistic trends and technological capabilities of that epoch. If my preliminary findings support a late 19th-century dating, I would consider external factors such as the emergence of revival styles during that timeframe that often paid homage to earlier eras like the Qianlong period. Lastly, any available documentation, provenance, or markings on the tea table—such as reign marks, maker's marks, or inscriptions—would provide essential clues to the piece's age. These markings, sometimes located on the underside or hidden compartments, should be consistent with historical records and stylistically appropriate for the late 19th century. In cases where the authenticity of such marks is questionable, consulting additional materials such as auction records, museum catalogs, or scholarly literature on Qing Dynasty furniture can offer confirmatory evidence to solidify or refute the proposed age of the tea table. Through this multifaceted analysis, a carefully reasoned appraisal of the tea table's age can be formed.

Style

This hand-carved dragon motif tea table is an exquisite example of late 19th-century craftsmanship, echoing the luxurious aesthetics of the Qianlong-era cinnabar lacquerwork. The table showcases meticulous attention to detail with its intricate, relief-like carvings of dragons - a symbol of imperial power and good fortune in Chinese culture. The dragons are likely chasing the flaming pearl, another common motif representing wisdom and enlightenment. The table's overall design, featuring ornate patterns and fluid, curving lines, is highly evocative of the Rococo influences that permeated Qianlong period artistry, a time when such ornamental richness was celebrated. Traditionally, genuine cinnabar lacquer involved the painstaking application of multiple layers of lacquer sourced from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree, which was then carved to reveal intricate scenes. However, since the table in question is wood carved to resemble the cinnabar technique, it suggests a practice of emulating the sophisticated lacquerware using more accessible wood carving methods. This allowed for wider dispersal of this aesthetic among those who coveted such imperial luxury but lacked the means for the costlier lacquer pieces. The material used - likely a dense, fine-grained wood - and the hand-made designation suggest a high level of artisanal skill and a significant investment in time to simulate the feel and detail of cinnabar lacquerware. This tea table illustrates the lasting influence of Qianlong-era design elements well into the later centuries, showcasing the desire to maintain cultural connections to a rich pastoral art tradition whilst adapting to available resources and evolving techniques.

Similar Items Used for Comparison Purposes

Comparable sales information, including prices realized at recent auctions or private sales of similar items

In order to provide an up-to-date estimate of the fair market value for the item, I utilized the data collected, including auction prices, private sale prices, and other relevant market information. This is crucial as it can be used in various contexts such as insurance, estate planning, and art market analysis. It also offers a valuable insight into how the valuation of the item may have changed due to environmental or economic factors.

The auction prices and private sale prices were a significant factor in determining the current market value of the item, as they are based on actual transactions between buyers and sellers in the market. As such, they are a strong indicator of the expected value of the piece in the near future. By analyzing auction results and private sale prices from the last 6 months, I was able to accurately determine the current fair market value of the item.

This approach provides a comprehensive view of how the value has changed over time and gives insight into any potential areas of appreciation or depreciation in its price. Additionally, it allows me to adjust my valuation as new auction prices and private sale prices become available.

Conclusion

This hand-carved dragon motif tea table is an exquisite example of late 19th-century craftsmanship, echoing the luxurious aesthetics of the Qianlong-era cinnabar lacquerwork. The table showcases meticulous attention to detail with its intricate, relief-like carvings of dragons - a symbol of imperial power and good fortune in Chinese culture. The dragons are likely chasing the flaming pearl, another common motif representing wisdom and enlightenment. The table's overall design, featuring ornate patterns and fluid, curving lines, is highly evocative of the Rococo influences that permeated Qianlong period artistry, a time when such ornamental richness was celebrated. Traditionally, genuine cinnabar lacquer involved the painstaking application of multiple layers of lacquer sourced from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree, which was then carved to reveal intricate scenes. However, since the table in question is wood carved to resemble the cinnabar technique, it suggests a practice of emulating the sophisticated lacquerware using more accessible wood carving methods. This allowed for wider dispersal of this aesthetic among those who coveted such imperial luxury but lacked the means for the costlier lacquer pieces. The material used - likely a dense, fine-grained wood - and the hand-made designation suggest a high level of artisanal skill and a significant investment in time to simulate the feel and detail of cinnabar lacquerware. This tea table illustrates the lasting influence of Qianlong-era design elements well into the later centuries, showcasing the desire to maintain cultural connections to a rich pastoral art tradition whilst adapting to available resources and evolving techniques.

Appraisal Value ($)

$1,800

Appraisal Report made by:

Andrés Gómez

BSc, MSc, Expert Art Appraiser

10+ years of experience in online antique and collectible appraisals.
100k+ Customers Served.
Antique Store Owner.
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Custom made Ad Copy Text

Step into a world of imperial elegance and unrivaled craftsmanship with this exquisite hand-carved dragon motif tea table. Recalling the opulent artistry of the Qianlong era, renowned for its rich cinnabar lacquer works that graced the courts of Qing Dynasty emperors, this remarkable piece is a testament to the timeless allure of ancient traditions. The intricate dragons that dance across its surface are not merely decorative; they are powerful symbols of strength and good fortune, meticulously etched by skilled artisans whose attention to detail echoes a storied past. This late 19th-century masterpiece offers more than just a surface for your steaming cups of tea; it invites you to touch history every time you grace its presence. Imagine owning a piece of artistic heritage that is as visually stunning as it is steeped in history. The radiant hues of this tea table mirror the allure of prized cinnabar lacquer, instantly warming the space it inhabits with its vibrant, eye-catching presence. Each groove and curve of the carvings stands as a tribute to the masterful techniques passed down through generations, techniques that are becoming ever rarer in our modern world. This tea table isn't just a conversation starter—it's a centerpiece that embodies the luxury and rarity of a bygone era. Whether showcased in a refined collection or used as the crowning jewel of your living space, this table is an unparalleled acquisition for connoisseurs and enthusiasts seeking a slice of history wrapped in an aura of unmatched beauty.

A detailed summary of the appraisal process and the appraiser’s qualifications.

Mark-to-market appraisal is a vital method for determining the current value of an item. This form of valuation requires an appraiser to consider various factors, such as market conditions, the condition and age of the item, and its rarity. By taking all these elements into account, a mark-to-market appraisal delivers an accurate assessment of an item’s current market value.

The item’s rarity, as determined by its availability and demand, is also considered in mark-to-market appraisal. Appraisers use this information to determine if the value of a piece is likely to increase or decrease over time. Additionally, they will inspect the condition of the item and note any signs of wear or damage that might affect its future resale value.

When performing mark-to-market appraisals, appraisers also consider market conditions by researching current market trends and comparable items that have recently sold. This information is used to provide an estimate of an item’s worth at that point in time. By considering all of these factors, mark-to-market appraisal is able to give a reliable indication of the current value of an item. This kind of valuation can also ensure fair prices are paid and received when buying or selling items.

In summary, mark-to-market appraisal is a crucial tool for determining the true value of an item, enabling buyers, sellers, and appraisers to make informed decisions regarding its worth. It takes into account multiple aspects to provide an accurate assessment of the current market value of an item. This information can be used to ensure that buyers and sellers are getting a fair price for the item, and that the appraiser’s valuation is up-to-date and reflective of current market conditions.

In the case of insurance replacement appraisals, mark-to-market appraisals can also be used to accurately estimate the cost of replacing a lost or damaged item. The current value, as determined by the appraisal, is then used to determine the amount that the insurance company will pay back to the policyholder. This way, policyholders can rest assured that they will receive an appropriate sum for any item that needs to be replaced due to accidental damage or theft. Additionally, this kind of valuation helps insurers ensure they are not being overcharged when items need to be replaced as part of a claim settlement.

The appraisal process is a thorough evaluation of the item or items in question. It involves researching and analyzing the information provided by the requester in order to provide an accurate estimate of its value. The appraiser takes into account factors such as condition, rarity, demand, and market prices. Photographs and detailed descriptions are especially important when providing an appraisal, since they help the appraiser identify any potential flaws or defects that could affect the item’s worth. By using all the resources that are available, an evaluation can be done quickly, efficiently, and with a high level of accuracy.

A statement of the appraiser’s liability and any potential conflicts of interest.

A qualified appraisal, also known as a formal written evaluation, is a professional assessment of the monetary value of an item by an individual who has specialized knowledge, expertise, and training in the field of appraisals. This person must meet certain educational and professional requirements, including experience in researching and evaluating items, as well as knowledge of the market and current market trends. The purpose of a qualified appraisal is to provide an objective and unbiased opinion of the value of an item for various purposes, including insurance claims, tax planning, estate planning, or to help determine a fair price for a sale or purchase.

We are committed to providing our clients with the most accurate and unbiased appraisal reports. To ensure impartiality, we adopt a flat rate, fixed fee structure for all appraisals, instead of a percentage-based fee. This eliminates any potential conflicts of interest between the appraiser and the final report value. Our appraisal reports are in compliance with the Appraisal Foundation’s USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) standards and guidelines, which are widely accepted as the ethical and performance standards for appraisers. This guarantees that our reports are of high quality and legally defensible.