Chinese famille verte bowl /tureen base of uncertain date the ovoid lobed shape body tapering to a slightly splayed foot, two opposing lingzhi white handles, the central panel with a bonsai tree, the rim painted in iron-red with a horn filled with flowers with adjacent smaller panels of floral sprays.
This puzzle piece was catalogues by John Axford as being a Kangxi famille verte bowl. One error is that it is not a bowl but a tureen base. The date of Kangxi is controversial. John's attribution is supported by a younger dealer and possibly people who consider themselves to have expert knowledge of Chinese porcelain. However, in my opinion this piece is not Kangxi for the following reasons.
• It is extremely unlikely that there are unique shapes in Kangxi famille verte porcelain.
• There are no examples in the many museums I have looked at of a similar tureen bases that have a provenance indicating they are of the Kangxi period.
• The lingzhi type handles are not in keeping with a Kangxi export piece of porcelain
• Although the detail of the painting is of an acceptable standard overall it is an aesthetic disaster.
• The enamels are pristine and slightly too hard looking.
My opinion that this tureen base is not Kangxi is shared by my sister Anita Gray and fellow veteran enthusiasts of antique Chinese porcelain namely Colin, Richard, and Douglas, who have not yet given me their permission to publish their full names. Collectively, these experts including myself have an experience of handling antique Chinese porcelain of well over two hundred and fifty years. This is not to say we cannot be wrong.
In circumstance I would welcome well-informed comments