posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 06:54 PM
Firstly, under no circumstances should he have it "cleaned and polished" by anyone, professional or otherwise. Ever. If it's authentic, he could
potentially knock it down in value from the thousands to the hundreds that way. More than a few people on Antiques Roadshow have gotten nasty shocks
like that. Even if it's a repro the patina's part of the appeal, so he could still be shaving the aforementiond $100 down to 50.
Now, I know just enough about antiques and artifacts to be dangerous, so if I might offer my assessment as an interested amateur:
The piece is almost certainly asian in style. I'm leaning toward Chinese, though the seeming inconsistencies in the design suggest possibly a later
Korean or Japanese copy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I won't rule out a more western origin though the style is wrong. A modern repro
isn't out of the question either. Period bronzes for instance are usually cast in one piece. If it was sweat soldered as he implies, that plus the
apparent lack of a makers mark doesn't look good.
A couple questions,
1. Is the apparent "bottom" open and hollow or closed?
2. Is the carbon crust toward the wide parts of the tripod section or the thin
If the former to both, then he does indeed have it upside down. Carbon forms above flames, not below them. Note the tripod beaker thing someone posted
earlier. IIRC, It's a wine vessel intended to be placed over a flame to heat the wine, much as the Japanese still serve saki. I believe what he has
may be a variation on the same form. (the use marks don't mean it's authentic either. forgers have been known to fake those too.)
In terms of "X didn't know what it was", I should point out It makes a big difference where he took it. "Experts" vary and I'd be wary of
placing too much weight on professional opinions outside the high-end.