Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations


I think the world of Lee Young (Dore & Reece), we have had some good dealings in the past, and he really is one of the good guys among the majority of crooked auctioneers operating in the UK and the world for that matter.

He always does his utter best to put a good sale together and always describes each item to the best of his ability, unlike the other suited crooks waving their worthless art decrees in the air that are not worth the paper they are written on.

A quick mention of fakes, fakes are a double-edged sword for me, on one hand I love the marketplace being so flooded with fakes as it allows one to pick up amazing pieces for next to nothing that get buried under the sheer volume of crap in each sale, on the other hand I hate the blatant on going obvious fraud being committed daily which is aimed directly at mainland Chinese buyers, the crooks know there is an unlimited pool of people to do over with their deceptive photography and their ambiguous sneaky worded descriptions that ensure no recourse back to the auction house who sold the item. I know the old saying BUYER BEWARE but what’s going on here is next level.

Anyway onto the vase being offered for sale by Dore And Reece on the 7th of November in their up-and-coming Asian Art sale. A bit more about fakes later on.

The Dore And Reece Vase


Here is the official description of the Dore And Reece vase

Auctioneer’s estimate 30,000 GBP – 50,000 GBP

LOT 251 – RARE IMPERIAL FAMILLE ROSE ‘DRAGON’ MOONFLASK, BIANHU QIANLONG BLUE SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD the flattened globular body finely enamelled on each side with an iron-red bat in flight above three peaches issuing from a flowering foliate branch on the raised centre boss, flanked by two pink-scaly confronted five-clawed dragons between lotus blossoms all amidst flowering foliate scrolls, the sides with further flowering sprays beneath a pair of iron-red gilt enriched chilong handles, the flared neck with a famille rose double-peony flower on either side, all ending on a spreading foot decorated with lappets 22cm high PROVENANCE: Private Dorset Collection NOTES: For an identical vase sold at auction see: Bonham’s London, Fine Chinese Art, 15th May 2014, Lot 84.


The Bonham’s Vase

Fine Chinese Art, 15th May 2014, Lot 84. Bonham’s sold an identical vase to the one being offered by Dore & Reece the difference being the Bonham’s vase was a genuine Qianlong Imperial piece that sold for (US$ 252,819).

More On Fakes

I will not bang on about fakes as I have covered them extensively on this site. All I will say is I went out of my way to befriend some of the best fakers in Jingdezhen for the simple reason I wanted to learn their techniques to help me during the course of my dealing, the fakes being produced are so good they can not be differentiated from genuine pieces unless you know the techniques used and the tell-tale signs which not a lot of people in the world are privy too. The top auction houses and leading experts in the world have all been caught out as the fakes are first class, and anyone top level who says otherwise is lying.

‘Study the past, if you would define the future.’ — Confucius.

Let’s Compare Both Vases

The Dore And Reece vase in my opinion in an obvious fake for a number of reason, the piece itself, the provenance or lack of and the deliberate unnatural damage.

Looking at the gilding around the mouth of the Dore And Reece vase you can see the gilding is bright and not rubbed, a genuine vase from the Qianlong period WOULD without question be rubbed around the mouth and the gilding would NEVER be this bright. There would be 100% signs of wear to the gilding if this were a period vase.

The shade of underglaze blue on the Dore And Reece vase is too strong, it is blocky with no shading unlike the Bonham’s vase. Also notice the poor use of negative space on the Dore And Reece vase compared to the Bonham’s vase.

The marks speak for themselves, no need for to comment here.

The enamels used on the Dore And Reece vase are too watery, too thin unlike thicker Qianlong enamels. The decoration on the Dore and Reece vase looks laboured and not free flowing, as if the faker is trying too hard to get the piece right and is cautious with his brush work.

Look at the light reflection on the green enamel, I can tell you as a matter of FACT after studying enamels under a USB microscope for years that ALL enamels break down over time and show many signs of ageing such as cracks and scratches. The older the piece the more obvious to see. Lastly, the green enamel on the Dore And Reece vase does not have that 18th iridescence that is typical of period pieces.

Notice the natural breakdown in the enamels below on these two genuine Qianlong pieces.


The Dore And Reece vase is in my opinion is an obvious fake for all of the above reasons and the following. The vase comes with no provenance whatsoever, other than (A PRIVATE DORSET COLLECTION). The vase has what looks to be a very recent chip to the mouth. If you knew what this vase was and its potential value would you not take more care of it?

As well as having a recent chip to the mouth it also has a chip to the foot which also looks fairly recent to me as it has sharp edges, we have all owned chipped pieces before, and you know if a chip is recent or not, older chips are smooth, both these are sharp and in my opinion recent and deliberate.

The owner of this vase would have surely peddled this vase around the big London auctions houses for the big bucks. Did they reject it? If so I wonder WHY?

Will the vase sell at Dore And Reece? If it is not pulled from the auction, probably. As the saying goes THERE IS ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE.

The only ray of light I see is the fact Lee has described this vase as MARK AND PERIOD, so the buyer can get a refund further on down the road should he be later advised by Poly Action (As this is undoubtedly where this piece will end up) that this piece is sorry, not for us.

No good the buyer asking for a refund on the strength of this article as WHO AM I TO SAY WHAT’S FAKE AND WHAT’S NOT?

Also, you can read about my adventure in China HERE

Chinese Antique Valuations And Appraisals

Do you own a piece of Chinese porcelain or an oriental work of art that you would like to know more about, such as age, history and value?

Then you should really consider using our Chinese Antique Valuation Service as the last thing you want to do is risk under selling the piece due to lack of knowledge or ill gotten advice.