Basic porcelain knowledge protects you...from the fake antique trade
Your own basic porcelain knowledge may help you with identifying crude fakes, just in case you get in contact with a dealer involved in the fake antiques trade.
It will become clear how important some basic knowledge of antique china porcelain is, if you are going to visit antique shops and antique (flea) markets in Asia. But, many dealers in the west also knowingly or unknowingly deal with fakes.
If you acquire porcelain directly in or from certain Asian countries, where fakes are rampant, then you are open to deception. You need to be aware of the "sharp" business practices you expose yourself to if you do not know your wares. Not knowing the wares makes vulnerable and you are more likely to buy fakes than real antiques. In many places ethics have no place in business. Many sellers will first try to find out how much you know, and then sell you a fake.
Sellers involved in the fake antiques trade sometimes use surprising tactics to convince an eager but unknowing buyer that they have got the real thing. Often they will tell you a story to justify possession (provenance) of a rare piece of ancient porcelain or pottery. Or, they will ask for exorbitant pricces in order to make you believe an item is genuine.
It may be somewhat surprising, but fragments of antique porcelain are also sought after. Shards would usually be considered to be archaeological artifacts only, but in China there is considerable demand for shards of antique porcelain, and there is both a legitimate and an illegal reason for this. Actually, the trade of fake antiques has to lead to a new value of antique shards too, especially the bottoms.
The legitimate reason is that collectors desire shards as standard samples for comparison purposes. With shards they can be sure that they have got something genuine and reliable to compare with ... or do they?
Unfortunately, that is not so anymore.
Apart from collectors desiring shards for the above purpose, forgers want them too, mainly the bottoms, and that is probably why the bottoms have a higher price than other shards.
Old bottoms can be fit on new porcelain bodies to fake age. The forgers know that the bottom is oa key point when checking antique porcelain - thus the old bottoms get another use (life).
But, all this has has now developed even further. Rumors say that even fake shards are now sold to unsuspecting buyers. It makes you wonder where we are getting to...