Antique Chinese Porcelain Items
Assessing: The Most Challenging Part
Antique Chinese porcelain are pricey and I saw lots of news reports revealing that the seller gained thousands of dollar for just one piece in an auction.
I remember that I saw several pieces of authentic Chinese Porcelain in my parents' home. When I visited them this summer, I saw these pieces still there on the shelves where they are hidden from view. I asked my mom if she will sell these items if someone offers to buy them at good price. Her answer was one that I expected: "It depends on how "good" is the good price offered. These collections are rare. Most of those you see in shops now are imitation even if they are labelled as "antique".
There were four bowls, three plates and a big jar with lid that is traditionally used by folks to make rice wine. The photo shows the jar that I am talking about. My father weaved and put that rattan holder. I took several photos of these items. My purpose is to find a good buyer but I know the job is not easy. I have to research on how old these items are. This is not within my line of interest so it might be a bit challenging.
I tried contacting appraisers but until now, I have not received a satisfactory reply.
Photo Credit: All pictures here are mine
Guide Books - Read and Learn from the experts
I need to buy one of these books. Online search results were not comprehensive enough to give me all the information I need. Most of the blogs I read are showcasing items or referring to an auction sale. Some focused only on what were the most expensive China ware that was ever sold on auction. There were sites that mentioned several tips in checking on what era a particular design was more commonly used but the images are not comprehensive enough.
Antique Chinese Porcelain
A comprehensive reference with lots of illustrations to showcase the different Chinese ceramics over the centuries. This book is a must have for people who want to deal with antique Chinese porcelain.
Why Do People Keep Things
I thought that it was because of my sister's death that led my mom to keep things
My mother loves keeping things - even old things that are not useful. One day last year, my sister volunteered to clean their house and ended up with sacks of "throw away" things. My mother did not comment but I guess, just when my sister stepped out of the door, she started putting all those items back.
I thought that she started keeping things when we loss my sister. I was twelve years old then, she was fifteen. She died of kidney trouble that led to several complicated illnesses. She was a very active and a respectful child; a talented student and a great sister. During her funeral, literally, the whole town was there. The classes in the high school where we were studying were suspended.
Mom, gave some of my sisters' artworks to my aunts who asked for it. When she regained her thoughts and started looking back, she regretted it much that she gave away those pieces of art. From then, I observed that she collects things. She would keep even old items that had already lost its maximum efficiency. She keeps my high school notebook, my projects in trade drawing, etc.
Looking back now, I think that the event had just enhanced her tendency to keep things. I see these plates, bowls and a big jar with lid still there. They were there since I was a child; kept away and unused. I asked my father where these items came from and he said that he inherited it from his eldest sister who was an antique collector. Her sister did not have descendants so when she died, the brothers were the beneficiaries of her estate.
I wondered why plates, bowls and jars would be considered in the division of someone's estate. Then I came upon several auction results online. It is shocking to note the prices of some antique Chinese porcelain sold at astonishingly high prices.
Why do people spend for such an old item?
Photo shows one of the plates.
Although I do not personally appreciate collecting antique pieces, I respect those who are collecting it.
It is not because I do not like antiques. In fact, I love visiting museums and it mesmerizes me to see old items that are cute and obviously handcrafted with intricate beauty. I always note the date and I am incredibly impressed how these items were done when sophisticated tools were not available. They are surely master pieces. But, I am satisfied seeing these items in Museums, I do not collect them.
Are you an antique collector?
There are writings on the bowls - Can anyone help in deciphering it?
I think that these characters on the body of the bowls can help in knowing how old these pieces are. I am not expecting that these pieces are thousands of years old. Maybe just about a hundred or hundreds of years old. I say at least approximating a hundred because these antique pieces were those that were used in barter trades when money was not common.
People from the village, where my father grew up, hike hundreds of miles to reach the communities near the port. They exchange live animals (wild or domesticated), agricultural products and sometimes gold, for the items found there. Mostly, they barter for salt and dried fishes. At times, they exchange gold ores for more valuable things. Owners of these pieces in the village are respected to belong to the higher class. At those times, assets are not counted by how much you have in your bank account. It was a very remote town with very traditional and simplistic lifestyle. Assets are counted by the Chinese porcelain you have, the antique beaded necklace (amazingly, one bead may be equivalent to the price of a cow), the land you own and till, and of course, the livestock or agricultural animals you have.
Pictures say it all
I am not eloquent in describing what I see
so I'll just present the photos
More Photos of the Jar with Lid - Shots at different anglesClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Three Plates - Two have the same fish design on itClick thumbnail to view full-size
Bowls 1 and 2 - I tried to get as much details as I couldClick thumbnail to view full-size
Bowls 3 and 4 - Looks the same with the first two but look closelyClick thumbnail to view full-size
How Can A Buyer Identify a Fake from a Real Antique?
I am still searching more info about these, but let me share you what I read
I say again that I am not an authority when it comes to gauging the authenticity of antiques. At the moment, I listed it as one of my "to do " activities to research thoroughly on this matter.
Online, I read about some relevant information. The bottom line: It is difficult to spot the authentic from the fake. Some of the very old potteries that created the items which we now consider "antiques" still exist. Hand painting is still one of the favorite arts in China. So, how can you identify it?
Check the bottom part. I read this in one blog.
See some signs that it is old. I say: "how"?
Check the design. Some designs are prevalent in one era. My question: How can I be sure that the design is not simply replicated?
A lot of items
Keep or Sell
If you find an antique Chinese porcelain, will you keep it or sell it?
Thanks a lot for visiting and for leaving a comment.