Search for a cup holder's identity
Updated: 2013-10-05 00:33
By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)
From top: Many experts have considered the porcelain titled "Korean Celadon Cup Holder" a real work of Ru Kiln. Photos provided to China Daily
A valuable porcelain cup holder that was auctioned off in Hong Kong recently has a certain amount of controversy surrounding its true origins, as Zhang Zixuan explains in this detailed report.
Four months ago, at the China Guardian Hong Kong Spring Auction for 2013, a porcelain "Korean Celadon Cup Holder" had a final sale price of $HK5,175,000 ($667,575), far above the estimated price of $HK600,000-800,000, or, for that matter, the highest price for Korean celadon ever.
The cup holder is a hollow, bowl-shaped cylinder with a flat five-petal flange and a flared foot. The celadon glaze was well distributed with a few big cracks. The upper rim was inlaid with copper.
The auction catalogue indicates that this Korean celadon, from a Japanese collector, is a fine 12th-century imitation of the celadon of China's Ru Kiln, one of five celebrated kilns during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the others being the Guan, Ding, Jun and Ge.
Then, in mid-August, one of the bidders' friend, Mao Xiaohu, who is the head of Beijing's Huaxia Evidence Identification Center for Ancient Ceramics and a ceramics expert, dropped a bombshell at a seminar dealing exclusively with the porcelain ware, to which the most authoritative experts and connoisseurs from China and South Korea had been invited.
What did Mao say? He revealed the porcelain ware's true identity by saying, "The cup holder is not a Ru Kiln imitation, it's the real deal."