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Subject:Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Fri, May 11, 2018 IP: 108.45.137.199

need help at text translation.For age of tablet Zoom on ZhiZheng Text JPG .

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Sun, May 13, 2018

Photo of stele chinese text



Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Bill H Tue, May 15, 2018

I notice that a similar stele with different date and content was ignored at this recent auction in Massachusetts.

Bill H.

URL Title :Yuan stele


Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudint Wed, May 16, 2018

Thanks for the info.According to Harvard Auction Boston MA this stele actually old for $3750.00 + 23% Buyer's premium on Feb 20,2018.https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59784698_a-blue-and-white-stele-yuan-dynasty-1271-1368.
At first glance it is fair to observe that the text has suffered damages and many characters are now missing.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Bill H Thu, May 17, 2018

After Live Auctioneers revamped their site a few years ago, I continued to use the original online archive portal, which indicates "Lot Passed" without showing competitive bids for any of the items in this sale (I was signed in and could see prices in results for other auctioneers).

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Fri, May 18, 2018

Here is the link clearly showing the bidding on this stele.(scroll down to the bottom of the page).


https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59784698_a-blue-and-white-stele-yuan-dynasty-1271-1368

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Bill H Sat, May 19, 2018

Never had a doubt about what you and I both saw, only wished to alert anyone else who'd stuck with the old live auction website that there might be more than met their eye there.

BH

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: peter Mon, May 21, 2018

I'm afraid this might not be what it seems to be. "Epitaph" is written on it, but authentic epitaphs do not normally have written this on the epitaph. Further, most authentic epitaphs seem to be rectangular or round.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Tue, May 22, 2018

Thank you very much for your response.
The existing record of these tablets/steles is not a simple rectangular or round as can be seen by the two examples enclosed.The oldest examples so far are from the Ming dynasty and depending on the rank/status of individuals as in the enclosed photos they exhibited a wealth of richer details (dragons,collar clouds and floral
designs) well as shape variations (Arch like steles)This blue and white stele dated from the Yuan dynasty has all the motifs characteristics found on blue and white porcelains of the Yuan period.I am also sending you a very clear scanned photos in which the age is fully in evidence.





Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Wed, May 23, 2018

Putting 2 and 2 together:

The significance of this Stele/tablet does not rest with its text or its shape for that matter but rather with its date :Yuan ZhiZheng 1352" in conjunction with the fact that it is a blue and white underglaze porcelain artifact.
The significance of the ZhiZheng date is twofold.
1/This period in Chinese history marks the true beginning of blue and white porcelain wares technical mastery.
2/None of the blue and white porcelain wares of that period are either marked or dated except for one famous exception known as the "David vases"now in the british museum and dated Yuan ZhiZheng 1351 thru an inscription.
From these two vases and the motifs found on them,the american historian John Alexander Pope in the 50's developed a standard of identification of the blue and white yuan porcelain.
These motifs included first and foremost the Yuan serpentlike horned dragon surrounded by collar clouds as well as its floral design.

And these motifs are exactly the same ones present in this dated Yuan"ZhiZheng 1352"underglaze blue and white stele exactly one year after the David vases.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Thu, May 24, 2018

Addressing the specific shape of this stele:
Since one commentor made the "one shape fits all'statement" either round or rectangular"regarding tablets of this kind in general (perhaps hoping for a monkey wrench effect)It should be noted that this stele is a rectangular stele fitted with a roof ie a Buddhist temple roof design.Documented examples of this kind of design go back to at least the Liao/Song dynasty(see photos).As the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: peter_ Thu, May 24, 2018

I can see only one image. I would classify this as rectangular, although you are right, the cut corners makes it something else.
I have recently seen two similar epitaphs on the web and showed pictures of one to a collector specialized on such, and who had them exhibited by the country's Historical Museum. I have seen some of them. There are many fakes, I heard. As I said, the strange is that "epitaph" is written on the item itself, because it usually is not.
The other thing is why there should be an item from the Yuan dynasty with so much writing. All other BW porcelain items with writing from that period amount only to a handful, including those with marks. This handful are the only ones which are currently considered authentic by China's museum authorities. If any other authentic ones exist they would have to be from tomb robbery.

PS: Identification of a painted decoration does not make an item authentic. Making sure that it is not a later imitation is a different matter.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Fri, May 25, 2018

Here are some pictures(for the origin of shapes ie:Temple roof fitted on top of rectangular stele) that were included in the post but for some reason went missing.
It never was implied that the Yuan motifs were the sole determinant of identification and authenticity.The age factor as present in the stele leaves no doubt as to its age.Another factor rests with the content of the text for which I originally posted the stele given my limited understanding of chinese characters.One remarkable fact as it relates to the date 1352 is that it places us in the midst of the red turban rebellion "Song/Han versus Yuan/Mongols.Amazingly enough I can detect in the text a clear mention of the children/seed of the Song Dynasty(and blood).If you leave a workable email address I can send a clear picture of the age factor of the stele.(too big for the post according to their limit) You can ask Bill about it for He has one.
As far as "robbery",I have no control in so far as its origin.







Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: peter_ Sun, May 27, 2018

Hi again,
I do not doubt that the shape exists. I Iive in the Far East where I can see old and new Chinese temples in large numbers
But a stele, or what this is called above, is not an epitaph. Your original item shows an epitaph. The text in the epitaph contains the name of the deceased, even sometimes that of family members, place of origin, accomplishments like rank in the imperial examinations or official positions, relocated whereto, and more. In other words, it is a simple biography of the dead. An epitaph is interred with the deceased in his grave.

The B/W type you showed on the top would be extremely expensive, because making or firing a single item to order would have been costly in those times. Average people would not have been able to afford it.
Epitaphs of average people can be found inscribed on plates, inside porcelain boxes, etc. These items were put too in the grave of the deceased. These porcelain items were occasionally new when insscribed, but often they were items used by the deceased during their life. The writing with these is added by punching many tiny holes with a tool into the glaze of finished, existing porcelain items.

FYI, I just have seen another, similar such 'Yuan' epitaph for sale, the third this month, all in the same online site, and all have written "epitaph" on them. There were none for years, before that.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Tue, May 29, 2018

These pictures were posted for illustrative purpose only to document the cultural/religious/historical adoption overtime of shapes given to material objects.In this case a blue and white rectangular stele with a Buddhist temple roof design.
Even the forgers have to know these things to practice their craft.
They were not posted as evidence of authenticity or lack thereof.
Pleease note that when I posted this stele on May 11th (18 days ago),the stated and expressed purpose was straight forward:"Need help at Text Translation".As of today the only translation so far has amounted to one word "Epitaph" said to be present in the text.
Would you be kind enough to point where in the text the 3/4 chinese characters "墓志铭" "Mu Zhi Ming""Epitaph"are actually located.
The text from right to left has 12 lines and 142 characters,So it would be easy to zoom in as to their location as for example line so and so,character number so and so.
Thanking you in advance,
Thierry gaudin

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: peter_ Sun, May 27, 2018

If the bottom picture above is the back of a porcelain epitaph, there is a problem. The larger ones I have seen had no flat back. They had reinforcements.
Flat items were difficult to produce in ancient times, and items like porcelain plaques with dimensions of over 25cm were only possible in the late Qing dynasty.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Thu, May 31, 2018

These pictures were posted for illustrative purpose only to document the cultural/religious/historical adoption overtime of shapes given to material objects.In this case a blue and white rectangular stele with a Buddhist temple roof design.
Even the forgers have to know these things to practice their craft.
They were not posted as evidence of authenticity or lack thereof.
Pleease note that when I posted this stele on May 11th (18 days ago),the stated and expressed purpose was straight forward:"Need help at Text Translation".As of today the only translation so far has amounted to one word "Epitaph" said to be present in the text.
Would you be kind enough to point where in the text the 3/4 chinese characters "墓志铭" "Mu Zhi Ming""Epitaph"are actually located.
The text from right to left has 12 lines and 142 characters,So it would be easy to zoom in as to their location as for example line so and so,character number so and so.
Thanking you in advance,
Thierry gaudin
P.S: Please provide the web address where these 3 steles are for sale.

Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Mon, Jun 04, 2018

Lot 50
A BLUE AND WHITE EPITAPH TABLET
Ming Dynasty, cyclically dated by inscription 'Auspicious Day of the Winter Twelfth Month of the bingchen Year of the Jiajing Period' (1556-7)
From Bonhams auction May 14th 2018.

A blue and white epitaph tablet
Ming Dynasty, cyclically dated by inscription 'Auspicious Day of the Winter Twelfth Month of the bingchen Year of the Jiajing Period' (1556-7)
Decorated with an upper frieze depicting confronting phoenix amongst cloud scrolls, flanking a flaming pearl, above one horizontal and sixteen vertical lines of calligraphy, the reverse unglazed.
29.25cm (11.1/2in) long.
The title inscription may be read and translated as:
ming gu zubi huang ruren tong xianbi cheng ruren mufen ji
'Memorial Grave Inscription Elucidating the histories of my Deceased Grandmother Lady Huang, and of my deceased Mother Lady Cheng, (who is buried with her).




Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Wed, Jun 06, 2018

From Bonhams'auction house description of this blue and white Ming porcelain epitaph stele/tablet,it is crystal clear that their asian art experts should have consulted our "Authoritative" criterias on this post regarding epitaph steles in ancient China as in our example of the blue and white porcelain Zhi-Zheng stele dated 1352.

In doing so,they would have learned:
"This tablet might not be what it seems": "As its Title it has "Memorial grave inscription" Ming Gu Zubi written on it as in chinese Epitaph Mu Zhi Ming.(the word Ming meaning inscription).
Per the criteria,"Authentic epitaphs do not normally have written this on it.
"Further,most authentic Epitaphs seem to be rectangular".This tablet has an upper round shaped frieze on top (the Yuan stele a Buddhist roof) with confronting phoenix amongst clouds scrolls.(2 confronting dragons amongst clouds in the Yuan stele).
Per the criteria,"Painted decoraton does not make them authentic".
Per the criteria:"There is a problem" the tablet is flat without "reinforcements".This tablet is over 25cm and dated Ming whereas "Large tablets of this size (30cm)were only possible in the late Qing dynasty and with reinforcements".
The other thing is",this tablet has 17 lines of text with 371 characters."Why should there be an item of the Ming (or Yuan) Dynasty with so much writings ???" (the Yuan stele has 12 lines and 142 characters).





Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Sat, Jun 09, 2018

Almost 700 years later to this day,fake tablets/steles with this specific design are still being made in China.



Subject:Re: Yuan Blue and white stele "Da yuan Guo Zhi Zheng Shi Er Nian"1352
Posted By: Thierry Gaudin Tue, May 22, 2018

Please note that the email address given with this message has an "unable to deliver message"when you try to respond to it.Is it a spam???


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