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Author Topic: Chinese signature cane  (Read 1487 times)

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Offline marc

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Chinese signature cane
« on: April 29, 2010, 02:54:05 PM »
Hello.
Anne Metcalfe in her paperweight's  book talks about this siganture cane,
a red rose. Anybody know something about this company?
Best regards. Marc 

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Offline tropdevin

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 01:35:43 PM »
***

Hi Marc

I have been trying to find out the answer to your question for about 10 years, with no success! The great majority of the weights of this particular design (which turn up fairly often) have the miniature rose cane at the edge, sometimes in a very distorted form.

I think Anne M was perhaps using the words 'signature cane' a little loosely, as that suggests it was put there specifically to identify the factory - a conclusion for which we have no hard evidence.

Alan
Alan  (The Paperweight People  http://www.pwts.co.uk)

"There are two rules for ultimate success in life. Number 1: Never tell everything you know."

The comments in this posting reflect the opinion of the author, Alan Thornton, and not that of the owners, administrators or moderators of this board. Comments are copyright Alan Thornton.

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Offline Lily of the Valley

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 04:23:58 PM »
As I recall--which may very well be incorrectly :P --there was a Chinese White fairly recently on eBay that had one of these canes on the underside which may lend more weight to this rose cane being specific to an artist or group of artists working at the time.  Maybe someone on the GMB also saw this weight.  I think the scene may have been of a seaside cottage :huh:

Alan, I so enjoyed your article regarding Chinese Whites in the 2010 PCA Annual Bulletin.  I find these weights most enjoyable and,  like you, wish we knew more about them and their artists.

My best ..... Lily :)

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Offline alpha

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 04:37:12 PM »
I agree with Alan as to the possible unproven signficance of this cane and that the cane appearsc only in weights of this design. As to the Chinese White with the cane on the bottom that was recently on ebay, it very well could have been the rose cane but it was so very distorted and the seller's pictures not so great that the proof is inconclusive. The seller did send me a photo of the cane which had also been posted on the listing. I saved it for future reference. I reviewed it for purposes of this post and it clearly is too distorted to draw any affirmative conclusions. It could well have been a rose cane but I cannot say so with any degree of authority. Perhaps if the buyer of the weight is a reader of this post, he or she could try for a better photo for us by submersing it in tepid water to reduce the glass distortion.

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Offline Lily of the Valley

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 06:45:10 PM »
Alpha, would you post the photo(s) of the cane in the base of that weight, please.

Many thanks .... Lily :)

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Offline alpha

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 11:30:13 PM »

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Offline alpha

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 04:22:51 PM »
The existence of a rose picture cane on the underside of a Chinese White, also raises interesting implications regarding the dating of the Chinese Whites. The brightly colored weights in which the rose canes do appear are not, as far as I know, from the early 20th century grouping of Chinese paperweights. I put their time frame in the post 1970's.

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Offline SophieB

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 08:00:36 PM »
Hi everybody,

I forgo the pleasure of reading this board for 48h and I return to find a lively discussion concerning one of my weights!!

OK, I was the buyer of this weight. I liked the design (in Chinese whites I often prefer the landscapes) and I was curious about the alleged 'signature at the back.' It felt oddly familiar and reminded me also of the identifying marks one finds on the underside of Chinese porcelain.

Alan (Thorton) and I have already had an email exchange about the weight and its alleged signature. I send him some (poor) pictures and these did not convince him (unsurprisingly). Personally, having handled the weight, I think that there is something going on but I am not sure what. To me, it does look like a distorted flower cane. Moreover, under a magnifying glass, it would seem that it is indeed a separate cane (a very thin one) and not a drawing/mark on the underside of the opaque white plaque. Now, this does not mean that it is used purposedly as a signature cane; it could have been picked up accidentally during the production process. Still, it is odd.

I must admit that I found Alpha's comments regarding the date of this weight really interesting. I myself wondered whether this weight was a later (i.e. more modern) production. This is just an inkling but I will try and articulate my reasons: the glass itself is of better quality (bright & clear glass + no inclusion at all) than the other Chinese whites I have handled and the design while being Chinese is not so overtly traditional. I could see something like this produced after the cultural revolution when traditional Chinese 'things' were no longer acceptable. Having said all this, I only have five Chinese whites in my collection and I have only handled a few more. Consequently, I have very limited experience of these weights. It is difficult if not dangerous to theorise on the basis of such knowledge.

Actually when it comes to Chinese whites, I am starting to think that may be we should draw from Chinese art more widely (hence my reference to Chinese porcelain/ceramics). If I ever come across an oriental specialist, I may venture to ask this question to him/her.

I would attach my pictures to this post but as I said they are poor. I had to borrow somebody else's camera and the result is not great. I doubt they are going to help. Unfortunately, I will not be able to post any better pictures for a while as my (small) Chinese whites collection is not with me in Birmingham (don't ask!!!) and I will not be reunited with it for a while.

Still, I'd love to unravel this (small) mystery of the 'signed' (?) Chinese white.

SophieB

PS: the picture posted by Alpha is actually quite good. I will find it difficult to do a lot better as one needs to take the picture from an odd angle to avoid interference from the matt finish of the underside.

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Offline tropdevin

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 09:18:41 PM »
Hi All

Regarding photographing an object under the matt base, try either submerging the weight in water, or rubbing some glycerol on the surface (the later has a refractive index quite close to this type of glass, and can help hide the roughness).

Incidentally, my article on Chinese Whites in the 2010 PCA Bulletin (and my forthcoming talk at Wheaton Village Paperweight Fest) do touch upon the possible time period of manufacture of Chinese Whites, and also the deep linkage with the history of Chinese art and symbolism on their ceramics more widely. But more on that anon.

Alan

Alan  (The Paperweight People  http://www.pwts.co.uk)

"There are two rules for ultimate success in life. Number 1: Never tell everything you know."

The comments in this posting reflect the opinion of the author, Alan Thornton, and not that of the owners, administrators or moderators of this board. Comments are copyright Alan Thornton.

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Offline SophieB

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Re: Chinese signature cane
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 09:30:39 PM »
Hi Alan,

I look forward to reading your PCA article ;D.

Thanks for the photographic tips, too.  

SophieB

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