How To Find a Chinese or Asian Antique Dealer In Your Area
Posted by: plcombs Dealers Chinese Art – Antiques
Fairly often we get calls or emails from folks who are on a quest of trying to find a Chinese or Asian antique dealer. They are either in need of an appraisal, seeking a specific item or they are trying to find a way to sell a collection they have either built over time or inherited. Its no easy task.
While putting a term as generic as "Find a Chinese or Asian Antique Dealer" in Google may seem like a logical first step, it's only a first step and is probably how you found this article. The reality
is, the web is filled with businesses advertising some form or expertise with Asian antiques. Some you will no doubt see are paid ads and over a million more, quite literally, just turn up. It's bewildering.
So before you pull a needle from the haystack, there are a few things you should know before doing anything else. So slow down and get some information first.
The Chinese and Asian Antique Market Is Massive and Confusing
In the last 35 years we've watched as the demand for good and fine quality Chinese antiques has skyrocketed, a vase that cost perhaps $1,500 in 1978, is today often worth anywhere from 10 to 50 times that amount, maybe more. Fine jades that sold during the 1960's for $800 can today be worth over $400,000. While Japanese porcelains on the other hand that were worth $10,000 during the early 1990's are today often worth under $2,000. Crazy huh?
The reasons for these wide variations in value are many and all due to global economics. Contrary to what many people think however, antiques do go down as well as up in value. In other words it's not a one way street all of the time to the upside. So the good news is, if you have fine Chinese antiques be very happy, if you own good Japanese antiques you can be happy too, as it will cost a lot less to insure, but they just haven't performed well in the last 25 years.
While Chinese antiques have risen wildly in value over the last couple decades the Chinese collectors who have driven this market are starting to buy in other categories. In the last 24 months
Chinese buyer's have been buying-investing in European paintings, furniture and accessories, this will no doubt impact prices for Chinese things as disposable money from China get's put into other areas. Will the Chinese art market collapse? No, but the rapid rises in price will not likely continue as they have.
Decide First What Your Objectives Are
When it comes to doing almost anything regarding Asian antiques, whether it's an appraisal for insurance or estate purposes you must find a specialist. Trying to find a Chinese or Asian antique dealer with decades of experience is harder than it looks. A generic antique dealer will not in 99% of the cases be able to help you. I am not saying they won't try, but the information will likely be wrong and not worth the paper it's printed on and could end up costing you a vast sum of money. Additionally, if you are trying to sell something from an estate collection the non-specialist dealer will simply not have access to the real and best buyer's, 75% of them are in China.
To find a good appraiser or dealer to handle a sale of Asian antiques, look for a dealer who has been in the business as a specialist for at least 20 years. Not someone who switched to the area in the last few because it's a hot market. Check their website and see if they SHARE information willingly beyond offering to buy your things. A good dealer will have information on their site and won't have limited number's of images and will NOT describe things as "Museum Quality" or claim to have "The Finest Collection Available anywhere" etc.. If you see terminology like this, run for your life.
If you live near a good museum with a nice Asian art collection call and ask if they know any Asian dealers in your area, ask them WHO does their appraisals for their own insurance. Never be afraid to ask for a suggestion or referral. You can call an auction house with an Asian department, but frankly less than 7 in the Unites States actually have a real one that's knowledgeable.
You can always check the dealer lists of the MAJOR antiques shows, such as Asia Week in New York.
Do You Need A Referral in Your Area, Let Us know
In the end, you may find their simply isn't anyone in your area that you've been able to find. If this is the case, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to try and point you in the right direction. We know dozens of very fine dealers from around the world and we would be happy to offer you their names.