|Title:||Oriental dressing screen|
|Description:||Appears to be an Oriental black lacquered wood screen which appears in some cases to be even made of ebony or stained walnut. The screen appears to be composed of 6 individual but distinct panels which are in turn divided into separate section each divided by a dado. The carving appear to be applied to the wood, which includes, jade, color, harder stones like onyx and quartz, each exquisitely carved. The back side is black laquer with scroll-like designs done in gold. They are 15 1/2" wide and roughly 74" tall. The panels weigh 30 lbs each. Each panel has a different design at the top.
The designs of the small pieces which have been carved onto the panels are most important because they reflect the period of time in which the entire piece was made. These screens do endure a lot of wear and are quite fragile. Sometimes the wood bends making it difficult to keep them standing up. Often times the pieces will chip and fall off. For the most part the pieces appear to be scenes of floral arrangements and plants, in a highly abstract style. Most interestingly is the decoration on the otherside which is highly abstract and ornate pieces that have been incised and applied through gilting. At the top of each of the panels is a decorated ornamentation from wood. The interesting thing about the screen is that it is perfectly symmetrical and proportionate intended to be a panel that would have been bent in half for separation of a room. Excellent and brilliant condition.
|Condition:||the item has only a few small cracks in the black laquer|
|Origin:||inherited from family|
|Appraised By:||Rachael Goldman|
|Appraiser Comments:||These coromandel screens are often important to our study of oriental culture.The Chinese screen is lacquered wood and not a 'coromandel' type. Coromandel, a port on the west coast of India where Western ships trading with China stopped, is a name usually referred to early screens with carved and colored decoration. Later (usually 20th century) screens with soft stone inlay are also 'coromandel.' Coromandel screens are extremely popular especially with the advent of colonialism and the exportation of items to the new world. It is extremely important to realize that each coromandel screen was handmade and is vulnerable.Coromandel screens are folding screens made of wooden panels covered with carved Chinese lacquer.The lacquer surface is carved away exposing a sub-stratum of white gesso which is painted to make a design. Screens often have as many as twelve leaves hinged-together to form one vast, integrated composition.
Why are Oriental lacquered screens called "Coromandel"?The screens became popular in Europe starting in the 17th century. They were shipped to Europe by way of India's Coromandel coast. The name derives from this point on theCountry Trade Route.Are all Coromandel screens old?No. Coromandel screens and other pieces of similarly carved & painted furniture are still being produced today with black, cinnabar red or white backgrounds. They can be found in shops for as little as $800 for a small, 4-panel screen.How do I judge the quality/value of a Coromandel screen?First consider the overall design: does the piece read well as whole? Next, look at the details: A complex, finely-detailed screen is usually considered of better quality than a simple, plain one. (Most Coromandels are carved both front and back with a detailed scene on the recto side and a simpler--often floral scene--on the verso.) Finally, look at its age: fine, large 17th or 18th century pieces with subtle patinas and rich colors are considered very desirable and will trade for six figures.
The information on each coromandel screen is extremely personal and should not be considered an imitation of each other piece.
Your screen appears to be in excellent condition with absolutely not bending and no stones having fallen off. Given that it appears to be a typical fashion and made within the last 150 years, the value is rather average and cannot be expected to climb exponentially. Give it another 100 years! In order to keep the piece in the best possible condition, I would not be laying them vertically or in any such way. Keep the screens together as a unit and do not keep them in the path of direct sunlight that could further destroy the carving and gilding on the back.
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