Antique Chinese sculpture Guan Yu

Discussion in 'Art' started by SSlava, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    What is the dating of this sculpture?
    Are there any similar analogues?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
    Any Jewelry likes this.
  2. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    He looks nice, but all that grey stuff in the crevices doesn't look right to me. Unfortunately there are many fakes, especially since the Chinese market opened up.

    Can we see the bottom please?
     
  3. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    7.jpeg
    The wood is old. On top of the sculpture there are two layers of gold, below the ornaments are painted in gray crumbling paint.
     
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Thanks, SSlava.:)
    It is the grey stuff that worries me. I have seen many Chinese antique gilded carvings, but never seen this on an old one. But let's wait for the others.
     
  5. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    Well, if you look at the bottom of the sculpture - "gray stuff" - this is such a layer of soil, which is applied in places on top of gold and ornaments, on this layer of soil there are also remnants of a layer of painting. There, somewhere, painting on levkas was rewritten 2-3 times, and all layers were partially crumbled
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  6. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    And in places, the gray color is at the top - it looks like it's just a dirty levkas, as I looked closely.
     
  7. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    If an item was dirty, a Chinese craftsperson of the old days would never apply gold paint over the dirt.

    Here are some Qing dynasty pieces in an 2018 exhibition in Hongkong:
    https://www.scmp.com/presented/life...cle/2177736/gilded-glory-chaozhou-woodcarving

    More antique Chinese gilded woodcarvings:
    https://www.pinterest.com/dermogopher/chinese-wooden-gods/

    https://egidimadeinitaly.com/en/product/antiques/asian-art/wei-tuo-pusa-wood-sculpture/
     
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  8. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    So the sculpture was not dirty when it was created. But I do not know what is left of the original layer of painting. Most likely, someone tried to unprofessionally restore the sculpture in the 19th and 20th centuries. But there are definitely several layers of gold and painting applied to the sculpture, at least 2 layers, or even three.

    I am almost sure that the sculpture is authentic. But I don't know about the dating)).
     
  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Where did you buy it, SSlava?
     
  10. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/19827059_a-chinese-wood-figure-of-zhu-rong

    I definitely see "gray stuff" on this sculpture, as well as on mine)). As I looked closely, these are just places where the colorful layer crumbled, and then over time the white levkas became dirty and turned gray. The white color has turned into gray. Perhaps the flash also distorts the color.

    But it is probably necessary to examine the sculpture even more closely under a magnifying glass. The wood of the sculpture also looks very old.
     
  11. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Not nearly as much as on yours, and in a much more natural way. There is no proof that is an antique one though, I don't know if that particular New Orleans auction house knows anything about Chinese antique sculptures. If you want to find other gilded woodcarvings, it is best to search for museums and reputable dealers who know this subject.
     
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  12. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member


    Generally most of the "gray stuff" on the sculpture is a layer of undercoat OVER the gold. This is clearly seen when magnified. That is, the remnants of a layer of undercoat, which was applied for some reason on top of the sculpture. There are still two layers of gold under this layer. I will probably try to take photographs through a magnifying glass later, it will be clearly visible. And in some places the gray color is just dirty levkas. Apparently, the flash still distorts the color rendition.
     
  13. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    By the way, some black layers on the sculpture also lie ON TOP of gold. It seems that the sculpture was simply rewritten several times for some reason. But the thing looks old)). In any case, the network of craquelure on paint and gold looks natural and it is problematic to fake such a thing
     
  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    No, it isn't. It is even done on modern pieces that are not intended as fakes, but just for the look of it.;)

    Where did you buy it?
     
  15. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    :happy:
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  16. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member


    Most likely, the sculpture was covered with gold twice, and these golden layers lost their appearance over time. Then someone just decided to paint the sculpture with colored paints, not gold. But then this layer of colored paints crumbled and turned black, revealing gold again. These layers are clearly visible on the leg. craquelure and aging of gold looks very natural, it is difficult to fake this.

    8.jpeg
     
  17. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    Most of the black layers, red and gray lie ON TOP of the gold. If the culture is cleared, there will be clearly more gold.The top layer looks like a painting blackened by time (not gold, but just different colors).This is how it looks under a magnifying glass.
     
  18. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    The sculpture has been in Russia for an indefinite long time. I exchanged the sculpture with an antique dealer I know. And most likely, the sculpture was brought to him by familiar Buddhists. Next to me, 150 kilometers away is the Republic of Kalmykia - Buddhists have been living there for about 800 years)). I just have experience with antiques already (although I can often make mistakes until now). I had a lot of original icons from the 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, I can say here that the wood of the sculpture has all the signs of natural aging, gold looks exactly the same as on old icons of the 18th century and the aging of gold looks absolutely natural. Where is the new gold or old fakes, I can already distinguish it)). Therefore, I am 95 percent sure that the item is genuine. As for the strangeness of the restoration - since the sculpture was in Russia, we could record it completely. Icons were restored in the same way in the 19th century. Therefore, we could even write down a golden sculpture with something unclear)).
     
  19. SSlava

    SSlava Well-Known Member

    I think that if I give it to a restorer I know (a former museum worker, now retired), he will be able to clean this sculpture from late layers and strengthen the levkas. Perhaps the sculpture will look exactly the same as on the links you provided)). He charges for the work is not very expensive - I think it will cost me in the range of 100 dollars.
    :happy:
    I'm pretty sure that the item is old. But the only thing is that I can't understand the exact dating. Is it the 19th century, the 18th or the 17th?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  20. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Since you deleted the photos, there is nothing more I can say about it.
     
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