Identifying Antiques

Antique porcelain and pottery made in China

Identifying antiques made in China is not that difficult once some basic knowledge is acquired. The identification cannot be made via the mark, as with some other porcelain.


Introduction to Chinese Porcelain

Consider acquiring the necessary knowledge for porcelain identification yourself. Obtain books, CDs, etc., and use every opportunity to inspect relevant pieces of porcelain closely. This will give you the foundation to verify or authenticate antique porcelain to some degree on your own.

If you happen to read Chinese, you can obtain good reference books in Chinese language at very reasonable prices on this type of subject online, directly from China. Some of these books have lots of pictures and may even be bilingual.

What is required for deciding the age and authenticity of porcelain?

  • Key is knowing unique qualities and features of shape, color, etc. of each period.
  • In each period the decoration was somewhat different, unique.
  • Then there are age signs and production (quality) flaws that differ depending on the period and kiln an item was made in.

CDs with sample item pictures, shards for identifying the decoration, and visiting porcelain collections in museums will all help to deepen your knowledge and experience.
If you are in a location where you do not have ready access to museums with a ceramics department, you can view fakes and some genuine items online. Check out the website mentioned near the bottom of this page. This collector's private collection is the real stuff!

With time, as you become more and more experienced you will begin to recognize some of the features genuine, antique porcelain invariably has. You will be able also detect the telltale signs of fakes and reproductions.

Learning about Chinese porcelain is an ongoing process. And, the more you learn the less you seem to know. There is really no quick method to getting to know antique Chinese porcelain!

18th century porcelain plate

Learn more about identifying Chinese porcelain.

From Identifying Antiques back to Antique Porcelain Authentication

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