Beginners Guide Collecting Chinese Porcelain A Fascinating Journey | Be Patient
Beginners Guide Collecting Chinese Porcelain; Being a good collector involves a true willingness to learn, understanding what not to do, where to start and who to talk to. Learning enough about Chinese porcelain to date, understand and accurately authenticate pieces takes decades, Learning enough about Chinese porcelain to date, understand and accurately authenticate pieces takes decades, there are no shortcuts. I know you're probably smart, however being SMART and having knowledge are two very different things.
If you're new to collecting and aren't working together regularly with a seasoned collector or dealer you will have your work cut out for you. Most importantly to new collectors is learning to control your impulses, being patient is absolutely crucial. Otherwise, you will have a closet full of costly mistakes and disappointments, instead of a collection you cannot take your eyes off of.
A Bit About BidAmount
Become a BidAmount.com user, join the FORUM, FREE subscription to the Weekly News Letter, FREE Access to piles of Auction Catalogs all online, Subscribe to our You-Tube channel for weekly videos!!
...........we can help you learn, make new friends and have fun.
A Few Thoughts After 35 Years of Dealing and Collecting | What you're up against
No area of collecting presents a sharper or more difficult learning curve than Chinese antiques. This is particularly true with porcelains and pottery. Today's Chinese art market, unlike decades ago when I began, is flooded with superb examples of copies and outright fakes. These knock-offs are solely intended to dupe the overly optimistic and inexperienced buyer. The are also everywhere today, including antique shops and auction halls in every price range from coast to coast. How about the local antique dealer? 99% of experienced generalist antique dealers know nothing about Asian art. With the exception of perhaps the most rudimentary 19th C. Export porcelain.
Additionally, vast quantities can be found 24 hours a day on websites like "Live Auctioneers", "Invaluable", "eBay", "Ruby Lane" to name a few. The overwhelming majority of which are not authentic most often described based on faulty knowledge or were done intentionally to deceive.
- Currently, on eBay, there are over 325,000 "antiques" listed in the Chinese category. Less than 2% of them are antique by our estimate. Falsely claiming something is an antique is not a crime in the United States or anyplace else in the world online. Similar problem examples are to be found on the sites mentioned above.
- In the United States today there are roughly 89,000 auctioneers of which around 30,000 are actively in the trade, less than a dozen of them actually know anything about Chinese art. Never forget this, no matter what an auctioneer tells you.
The intent of this little "Beginners Guide Collecting Chinese Porcelain" is only to provide some basics to get you started. As a resource, we welcome you to use the Bidamount.com site as much as possible.
Beginners Guide Collecting Chinese Porcelain | Where to start
Get to know reputable dealer(s).
If you live in a metropolitan area, scout around and find a few dealers who specialize only in Asian or Chinese art. Check them out online, see if they are quoted often as authoritative sources of information, most are. Get to know them, tell them you're interested in learning and knowing more. Ask questions and be prepared to buy when you see something you really like and can reasonably afford.
- A good, hopefully local, dealer is worth his or her weight in gold if you're serious about building a really good collection. The fact is, a good dealer see's more in a month than you'll see in years. Do not become a tire kicker, buy from the dealer who's teaching you. Otherwise, you will quickly wear out your welcome.
- eBay, a lot of very good dealers sell on the mega-site. However, they are a very small minority. We currently have a list of over 230 sellers we like, trust and track. They can be found often in our Weekly News Letter, so sign up today. Many are also featured on our "On eBay Today" pages.
Join a good Museum.
Find a museum with a good solid collection in you area of Chinese porcelains and Asian antiques. Sign up for lectures, get to know the curator who handles the Asian collection. If they have great things out on display all the time, visit regularly and STUDY the pieces. Pay close attention to the examples that thrill your eye.
Subscribe to Arts of Asia Magazine.
Then take the time to read every article, even the ones not pertaining to specifically Chinese porcelain. You will develop a better "eye" and deeper understanding of Asian art in general.
Books, Books, Books.
Build a good solid reference library. Today, a wide range of very specific books can be bought focussing only on your area of interest. Avoid generalist volumes trying to cover multiple periods with overly broad titles like "Chinese Ceramics, From Tang to Late Qing". The later are good for coffee tables but not much else. Buy only books with lots of color illustrations as well as extensive texts. Avoid books written more than 40 years ago, they often have inaccuracies and mediocre pictures. Be ready and willing to invest in them, great Chinese porcelain reference books range in price from $35 to $150 each. Fine art reference books are typically printed in fairly small runs and have top quality images. This makes them fairly expensive. Buy them anyway, the price will soon enough be forgotten.
- The BidAMount Book Store: A list of BOOKS available on AMAZON we recommend and have selected for dealers and collectors, we have nearly all of them. Also some other cool collector stuff, like magnifying glasses, strong flashlights and blacklights for detecting repairs.
Auction Houses Worth Knowing.
Most auctions houses know nothing about Chinese and Asian art. However a few have extraordinary amounts of information to share. In particular are, Christie's, Sothebys and Bonhams. Their websites offer a wealth of information with lot entries and articles written by recognized and highly regarded scholars. Get familiar with their sites, pay attention to auction schedules and read as much as possible from their posts.
Note: On this site in the "Site Navigation Page" (On Menu Bar) is a link to a page of Christies and Bonhams online catalogs under "Research Desk."
All Items below were sold on eBay and Featured in our BidAmount "Weekly News Letter"
All Items below were sold on eBay and Featured in our BidAmount "Weekly News Letter"
Keeping your collecting and expectations real
Beginners Guide Collecting Chinese Porcelain | What you might and won't likely find, TRUST ME
Nearly every day, sometimes several times we get eMail's with images from an excited new collector certain they've found a great rarity at a local antique shop "just sitting there." Other times it was bought through some auctioneer "who didn't know what they had". The email often includes links to similar authentic examples in museums or on Christie's website. It then becomes our sad duty, to inform them the piece is a modern copy and is only a decoration.
I've lost track of how many people we've had to tell the Song "Ru" ware bowl, dish or vase they bought is less than a couple years old. The same goes for the proud owners of Qianlong imperial enamel bowls, vases, jars, and chargers, all fakes.
Can you Find Authentic Examples? Let us at BidAmount help you, as we have for thousands of collectors
Yes, you can absolutely buy and find some terrific pieces. However, you won't find a steady source through local antique shops, unless the dealer is a reputable Asian art specialist.
Fortunately, there are a large number of good dealers around the world you do have access to. Many of them sell on eBay. We know because we know the sellers on eBay better than any site in the world. Currently we actively track over 225 sellers around the world every week.
As a matter of fact, if you Google "Chinese Porcelain Dealers on eBay" or "Chinese Antiques News on eBay", BidAmount often appears ahead of eBay itself. Our weekly "Asian Antiques News Letter" come up number one in the world on Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex.
Also, Check our You Tube Video's on learning about Chinese porcelain and antiques. They are listed under our dealer name "plcombs Asian Art" .
Feel free to email us with any questions through our "Contact Us" option.
Leave a Reply