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Advice. When and why did you start collecting?
Hi all. Im very new to the forums so I apologize if this is already a topic on another board but I’m curious what got folks started down the path of collecting Asian antiques and how old you were when the fascination began?
I’m also seeking any advice for someone hoping to start down the path of serious learning and collecting. I’ve been collecting, buying and selling in a very casual and general way since I was a teen but as of late I really desire to refine and focus my efforts.
I started collecting/dealing in Asian art/other when I first bought my shop (central loan co) in 1981. I was 21 at the time. It was a hell of a time back then 😋
Primarily I had interest in nephrite jade and jadeite jade along with ivory.
It has only been since joining this forum that my interest has expanded to porcelain/other.
Things Chinese have fascinated me very early. Still a child I bought my first antique on a flea market: a late Qing turtle seal that I still have. Then there was nothing for decades until I had a bit of money at my disposition and thought about investing in something nice that I could enjoy every day. Together with some items from renowned auction houses I bought some books. When the sum was spent I bought only books for a while. This is my advice: read books. The other good advice has already be given by Springmeier: buy from reliable sources. Don’t go for bargains until you have a bit of experience.
I joined the US Navy in 1964 when I was 19 in part to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam war. Was sent to Taipei Taiwan for a three year tour of duty and spent most times dealing with military who had fled mainland in 1949. Noticed the reaction of Chinese military when I spoke with them (or tried) in Mandarin. Following up at university with language courses and a bit of history and culture thrown in began bargain hunting in San Francisco’s Chinatown and antique shops in 1969 began collecting porcelain and artwork. Bought and sold in the 1980s and now retired. Search the charity shops as I have been doing and you never know what will show up. Lately I have found Ming porcelain, Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and porcelain at bargain prices.
I had a deep interest in art, pottery and history at school in the 70's, and would wonder around London's Portobello market on Saturday's, occasion buying the odd mediocre/damage specimens. It was not until the mid 90's, when finances were more available and I was fortunate to meet some very good/knowledgeable dealers/collectors, that my interest and collecting really deepend. This also coincided with my first visit to Hong Kong, whose museums and numerous antique shops were/are an education in themselves.
I would concur with the very good advice already given. The only things I would add is try and attend as many auctions/sales as possible to look closely at/handle as much as possible, go to museums to see there collections, you can learn much from this and, if there are any good Asian/Oriental Societies/groups near which you can attend, these can be worth joining for the lectures and meeting/getting to know like minded individuals.
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Topics and categories on The BidAmount Asian Art Forum | Chinese Art
Kangxi vases, Kangxi dishes and chargers, Kangxi ritual pieces, Kangxi scholar's objects, Qianlong famille rose, Qianlong enamels, Qianlong period paintings, Qianlong Emporer's court, Fine porcelain of the Yongzheng period. Chinese imperial art, Ming porcelain including Jiajing, Wanli, Xuande, Chenghua as well as Ming jades and bronzes.
The BidAmount Asian Art Forum | Chinese Art
A free Asian art discussion board and Asian art message board for dealers and collectors of art and antiques from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the rest of Asia. Linked to all of the BidAmount Asian art reference areas, with videos from plcombs Asian Art and Bidamount on YouTube. Sign up also for the weekly BidAmount newsletter and catalogs of active eBay listing of Chinese porcelain, bronze, jades, robes, and paintings.
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