Feb 16, 2009

Connoisseurship of Chinese & Japanese Art--Selected References

Copies and forgeries abound in Chinese and Japanese arts and indeed, they have been made since premodern times. The problem has gotten worse in recent years as forgers have begun to make use of sophisticated technical production means. Collectors would be wise to familiarize themselves with some of the thorny issues about forgeries, and at the same time learn that in the context of Chinese and Japanese art, not all copies have been created as fakes.

Recommended Bookseller for titles listed below:
Paragon  Book Gallery, Chicago

Linda, Mary F. ed. The Real, the Fake, and the Masterpiece. New York: Asia Society, 1988. Catalogue of an exhibition, with thematic essays.

Allen, Anthony J., a Chinese art dealer in Auckland, New Zealand, has self-published the following:
Allen’s Authentication of Ancient Chinese Ceramics, 2006.
Allen’s Authentication of Ancient Chinese Bronzes, 2001.
Allen’s Authentication of Later Chinese Porcelain 1796AD – 1999AD, 2000.
Allen’s Introduction to Later Chinese Porcelain, 1996.

Chang, Arnold. "'The Small Manifested in the Large: The Large Manifested in the Small: the Connoisseurship of Chinese Painting." Kaikodo Journal 12 (Autumn 1999): 43-54.

Chang, Qing. "Genuine or Forged: Methods of Identifying Forgeries of Chinese Buddhist Sculptures," Ars Orientalis 36 (2009): pp. 79-109.

Clunas, Craig. "Connoisseurs and aficionados: the real and the fake in Ming China (1368-1644)," in Why Fakes Matter: Essays on Problems of Authenticity, edited by Mark Jones. London: British Museum Press, 1992, pp. 151-156.

Fu, Marilyn and Shen Fu. Studies in Connoisseurship: Chinese Paintings from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection in New York and Princeton. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973.

van Gulik, Robert Hans. Chinese Pictorial Art as Viewed by the Connoisseur. Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1958 (rare but authoritative)

Kerr, Rose and Jon Ayers. Blanc de Chine: Porcelain from Dehua. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.

Page, Amy. "Spotting Fake Chinese Bronzes." Art & Antiques 2/2 (Feb. 18, 2002).

Stuart, Jan. Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2001.

Stuart, Jan and Chang Qing. "Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light at the Freer Gallery of Art," Orientations April 2002: pp. 29-37.

Wilson, Ming. Chinese Jades. London: Victoria and Albert Museum Publications, 2004.

"Chinese Forgers Take Aim at Japanese Market." Taipei Times, April 4, 2009. Regarding Chinese copies of Japanese netsuke. Available online at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2009/04/04/2003440165

Clark, Timothy. Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1992. See especially section on forgeries in the chapter: "The Study, Collecting, and Forging of Ukiyo-e Paintings," pp. 36-46 and the appendix on fakes, pp. 233-240 (with illustrations).

Cox, Rupert, ed. The Culture of Copying in Japan: Critical and Historical Perspectives. London: Routledge, 2008.

Graham, Patricia J. Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art, 1600-2005. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007. Chap. 8 discusses forgeries of Buddhist painting and sculpture.

Graham, Patricia J. Tea of the Sages: The Art of Sencha. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998. Discusses Japanese copies of Chinese ceramic wares, basketry, and metalwork.

Nisemono, honmono, kobijutsu kantei (Forgeries or originals, judgment on antiques). Taiyō (The Sun, monthly magazine), special issue #190 (February 1979). In Japanese only.

Uhlenbeck, Chris. "Collecting Ukiyo-e Prints: Issues of Quality, Condition, Rarity," in The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints, edited by Amy Reigle Newland. Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005, pp. 366-376.

Wilson, Richard L. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2001.
Extensively illustrates and discusses issues of authenticity of ceramics by Kenzan.

Schneider Japanese Cloisonne, the personal website of Fredric Schneider, a passionate collector of cloisonne and author of an authoritive volume on the subject.

James Cahill.info. The website of James Cahill, the renowned emeritus professor of Chinese painting at the University of California, Berkeley. His posts include an article and musings about the nefarious forger Chang Dai-chien.

Gotheborg.com. An excellent database of Chinese and Japanese ceramics, with marks.

Viewing Japanese Prints. On issues of authenticity in Japanese prints (editions, Meiji recuts, deceptive copies, imitations), see specific sections of the FAQ and TOPICS page of the web site

Watanabe Publisher Seals. For examples of seals for modern Japanese prints published by Watanabe Shōzaburō

Explanation of tests & equipment for dating of artifacts:
Smithsonian Institution
Getty Conservation Institute