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This has to be hands down the best find in my rounds to the thrift shops. Sitting on the shelf at a Goodwill training store. These are very small sometimes out of the way places compared to the usual large stores and are used for training their employees. I don't usually go there because they have only two little shelves of housewares , but something made me turn in at the last minute. At first I thought this 11" W x 5" H bowl was just a decorative piece. I love Asian ceramics especially the hand painted vases. I thought "hello...what are you doing here ! " I was a bit skeptical but I liked it and the price was right. It had a small orange lustre ware pitcher sitting in it which I also bought. Once I got home I took pictures of it and put it on an Asian art forum I use.  Yes..... it was real !!  I was told by the experts it does have some rather old and failing crack restoration along with repainting probably around a 100 years ago. It could be restored to like new but the cost is beyond it's value and would have to be done as a labor of love. I honestly don't think it looks that bad. It rings like a bell when you tap it, but I'm not an expert. I was told to enjoy it for it's historical value and owning a piece of porcelain history.  Now if I only knew who originally owned it and it's history that would really be something. -Mike-

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The curators at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, near Boston, are among the best when it comes to Chinese export porcelain. I would try to consult with somebody there. One question to ask would be is this scene (obviously a fox hunt) typical of Chinese porcelain made for the European market, or was it a special order? Another expert that could help might be Lark Mason (you may have seen him as an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow) and he can be reached through igavel.com.

I personally specialize in German porcelain and have no expertise when it comes to Asian ceramics, so that's all the help I can provide.

I just spoke with Lark Mason who is the Asian art expert for "Antiques Roadshow" this afternoon. I sent him the pictures and his comment was..."Looks good to me" in it's current state his estimate was 2000-3000 dollars. If it were unrestored and perfect 5000 and up/ He also said he would be glad to include it in his upcoming auction in April if I wished to sell it. This was quite a bit more than a previous appraisal of only 900-1500 dollars which I had to pay for. Looks like I'll be going to New York in the Spring ! -Mike-

Mike, good luck at the auction! The latest issue of the Magazine Antiques (just came in the mail) has an article covering European hunting scenes on Chinese export porcelain decorated at the Purple Foliage Workshop in Canton during the late 18th century. The Workshop operating under the auspices of the (British) Honorable East India Company also undertook special commissions. Ask Lark if an attribution to this workshop is possible based on the style of painting. That could jack up the price even higher.

Thank you Nicholas, I will do that. He was very nice and actually quite matter of fact about the whole thing. Have to admit I was a bit nervous . I even asked him about another vase I had. Which wasn't worth much but I thought it looked interesting when I bought it. We are only talking a few dollars here. Same with the bowl. Which I'm sure will be my only once in a lifetime find !  I knew just enough about Chinese porcelain that it looked good and not to pass it up. Am I correct to assume you know him personally ? I'd like to mention that you referred me if that is ok.  By the way I have some German porcelain that I need an opinion on as well. - Mike-

I have only spoken to him on the phone a couple of times. I am a so-called associate, meaning a seller, with igavel.com though my selling there has been infrequent. I hope to  try and sell more through that venue in the future, provided my time permits it. I think he might remember my name, but then again he might not. I don't think mentioning me will open many doors...

I know, I did not get back to you on the Schierholz items.

That's fine. I just thought you might have met in person at some point. I removed the pictures of the Von Schierholz pieces from here because it was basically off topic. If you have time I'd still appreciate you looking at them and maybe you could date and value them for me. Thanks again -Mike-

Thanks Kathy....Wow get a load of that price ! Didn't notice an auction date though. Prices have dropped a bit in the last few years . That one looks perfect though and is a bit larger at 13". My bowl is only 11" and has restoration to it. Still you never know till it hits the auction block as to what it will bring. -Mike-

Nicholas......I finally heard back from Mr. Mason this is what he told me.

I am not knowledgeable enough about this particular workshop to make an attribution, but it sounds very plausible. Most of the China trade porcelain decoration was in a very different style from that of these hunting scene bowls. The workmanship is much looser and stylized, very much inspired by English oil paintings of fox hunting scenes of the late 18th c. Would not surprise me at all.  Estimates etc. would remain the same. best, Lark

The person who wrote the Magazine Antiques article is an antique dealer from England by the name of Michael Cohen. He is one half of Cohen and Cohen, and currently the chairman of the British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA). He will also be exhibiting at the very upscale Winter Antiques Show in New York City, January 24-February 2. According to the same article he is actively and enthusiastically buying pieces attributable to this workshop. His e-mail is: info@cohenandcohen.co.uk.

My wife and will be going to the Winter Antiques Show on the 24th in the afternoon, we'll spend the morning at the New York Ceramics Fair, just looking I'm afraid, perhaps attend a couple of the seminars. I'll be tweeting (@meissenman) from both shows, follow me if you are  interested.

Also if you write to Cohen perhaps you might want to send somewhat better images (with fewer reflections and more vibrant colors), the angles from which the pictures were taken are fine.

Thanks Nicholas,This sounds very interesting. I've never been to or sold anything at auction before so this is all a new experience for me. Of course I've watched them on TV so I have some idea how it all works. Nervous about shipping this bowl too. I still have some time it doesn't have to be there till March. I will try and contact Michael and see if I get a response. Not everyone is as nice or prompt with replies as you and Lark. I sent another e-mail to investigate a painting I have of a clipper ship to another associate gallery on igavel and haven't heard anything as of yet. Hopefully I will. Thanks for the photo tips as well. -Mike-

Nicholas, I heard back from Michael Cohen this morning. His reply: "This is a standard production hunt bowl from 1780 " Best Regards Michael Cohen . So everything stays the same just a bit more verification. It's always helpful to have more than one expert's opinion. You've been a great help. Thanks for the connections.  -Mike-

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