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by Andrew

Hi Peter,
all that info makes it very challenging for the collector of Asian porcelain.
I know I'll make a lot of mistakes on the way in this collecting field, but hope that especially with some of the modern jingdezhen flambe wares I purchased not too long ago, that they'll show up as investment potential in another 30 years or so...who knows.
From the way everything is cloned & copied today,they may only retain their decorative value only, but I'm counting that it takes effort & cost to be able to even produce some of the more beautiful, once imperial glazes.
It seems to me when I look at major auction lots in Chinese porcelain, nearly all,have catalogue notes & previous auction provenance & that genuine unsigned pieces might not be considered worth the risk in putting to a BIG auction, considering the high stake commissions involved & the buyers preferences are well catered for at present,but I have heard of genuine unsigned pieces rejected as too recent, when in fact they are not, but they just do not have the preferred 'right provenance'.
Perhaps in the future, previously auctioned high end pieces may be all that will be left to recycle themselves for resale;
to what end who knows, perhaps the Chinese will be able to buy up what would remain in free circulation & regather most of it's cultural artifacts & the modern era pieces including the republican copies could turn out to be worthless once all the excitement ends.

On the internet, I frequently compare auction prices realized on various pieces of porcelain sold over the years worldwide & sometimes I wonder how a particular piece of Chinese porcelain is sold at a lower end AUCTION house or in a low interest AREA for four figures or five figures & then find it again in search results sometime later on, say six months later & the very same piece is resold in six figures at the BIG auction houses
Anyhow, many of my thoughts, but it is going to get tougher on the collector & perhaps newer ways need to be found that can reliably predict AGE & IT'S IMPLICATIONS that could become a standard norm of testing & for it to be done economically....maybe one day in the far far future.
regards Andrew.
PS: the red dust stuff on the bottom of the tea dust vase looks like some brick coloured sandy, high spots, that were ground away so it would not interfere with the vase standing properly, don't think it was meant to deceive as its not really visible everywhere around the base, mostly just in patches to the inner space on the side bottom...put in one macro image of it so it can be seen better anyway...can't seem to find it anywhere else either on the vase.
regards, Andrew.


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May 24, 2011
Chinese porclain market
by: adept

I have been at this for some 40 years and so a few tips. The fakes being commisioned today by wealthy chinese collectors are almost undetectable if not completely so! High players known to me who have been in it a very long time have been stung badly in recent times.One ploy I have seen is for a seller to mix in some genuine old low end pieces with yongcheng or other marks of recent make and then throw the ball in your court by playing dumb and putting the hat of expert on your head in a very self effacing way and sitting back to let the greed factor and buyers optimisim to take over. many sales in this fashion add up quickly when the seller of such buys for under 100 US and sells for two or three thousand a fake that if it had been genuine would sell for hundreds of thousands or more! Caveat emptor! Also why not look into what is being made in China today as art quality pieces? Look into the pieces of the HanGuang Ceramic co. for the great collector pieces of the future, their very small art line. Disclosure- I have a Chinese Friend who is an investor, I do not ,and am White and reside in sothern Ca.The studio I believe is in West Wuqiao co. Fengxian. Collecting in the old days wasn't the minefield it is today and the competion for good material not so fierce!

May 06, 2011
knowledge is power
by: Stan

Thanks for web site's like this one, we can learn how to spot fakes and how to discern what is the best porcelain to collect, I have always collected Chinese and Japanese porcelain because I liked the looks of it, it is beautiful art, I collected with the idea that I will enjoy a piece for years to come, you have got to like it or why even bother, that is how I have purchased all my art, if it just happens to go up in value then good for me, but now that I have a lot of pieces I thought, maybe I might be lucky and have one of the valuable pieces that the Chinese are willing to pay a lot of money for so I started to educate my self, thanks to the internet and web sites like this one, I found out that most of the Chinese porcelain and Chinese art are really not the valuable, but who knows for sure what the future holds, maybe some of the pieces that are not so valuable now will be extremely valuable later, but I will have to say that what I have learned in a short time would have influenced my past purchases, now I look at everything with a critical eye and not just the beauty of the piece, unfortunately for me my taste exceeds my pocket book most of the time. but knowledge is power, if I had the same knowledge back then that I have now, I would have collected the better pieces, read all you can and learn, it is best if you can handle the real items, to me their is nothing better than a hands on inspection, after awhile you start to get the feel of and look of the old you can spot a fake almost instantly, I have a long way to go before I can do that on my own, lots of thanks to peter for helping us amateurs stay on the right track, thanks again from Stan.

May 06, 2011
the future
by: peter

Hi Andrew,
I'm sure you are right with many of the things that you say.
We here think that 99% (or more) of Chinese porcelain are fakes, that is less than one in a hundred would be a genuine antique. Incredible ...

My view of provenance is that it is only good if it is documented (in writing) provenance from a reliable, well known source. Otherwise it isn't any good. Too many tell false stories of how an item was in their family for generations, when it couldn't possibly be a hundred years old.
One can't blame the auction houses if they are extremely careful and require provenance, it just is an additional step to ensure an item is genuine. After all, even museums, etc. get it wrong sometimes and buy fakes, despite their experts. Unfortunately, marks don't help much, except that they raise the value attributed to an item. They can and have always been copied, even by the imperial kiln, in some instances.

Even in China there are top experts who think that scientific authentication is the only way to go, in the long run. I agree, but I don't think TL testing is reliable enough. Spectrum analysis is probably a better way; there is a huge database necessary, though, with sample data from hundreds of kilns. That data will take quite some time and effort to accumulate.

In the meantime we have to go it slowly and must not buy antiques impulsively, otherwise we easily pay too much tuition (in the form of fakes).


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