Chinese antiques have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more people than ever buying them. Of course there is nothing wrong with buying antique Chinese, but there are many fakes out there that are very difficult to distinguish from the real thing. This has resulted in a whole new market for Chinese antiques, making it important to learn how to spot the real ones from the fakes. Here are some of the telltale signs to look for when purchasing Chinese antiques:
Chinese antique dealers are harder to find than authentic Chinese traders, and these rare China dealers tend to focus on higher-end products, such as flatware and ceramics rather than everyday household goods. This can be good news for buyers as many fakes are found in high-end stores and are therefore much harder to detect. However, this does mean that some fake dealers also exist, making it important to research and shop around.
A popular area of interest for collectors looking to buy rare Chinese antiques is the Hong Kong area. There are many full-scale shops that showcase traditional Japanese pieces and there are also many small, private sellers who can sell their old, collectible items directly to collectors. Some of the smaller traders are able to buy their jadeite pieces in bulk and sell them individually at auctions or through internet auction sites. This can be especially convenient for people who do not want to spend a large amount of money on buying a single piece and then have to keep track of it and monitor its value as an item of value.
Collectors should also avoid buying rare metal or stone pieces unless they are authentically made. This is because there is no guarantee that a genuine antique piece will still be in great condition in twenty years time when it is bought. Many dealers also falsely represent the value of their items by using words like mint, rare, or collectible. Genuine antique items are usually only worth a fraction of the original price, simply because the word rare has been overused and is often used to con people.
One final tip when looking for a rare piece is to consider working with a Chinese antiques based dealer. Chinese collectors are not as scattered as European or American collectors and it can be difficult for a collector based in the United States to find a collector based in China. However, Chinese collectors do have their own online websites, which make it easy for collectors in the United States or Europe to find antique China in China. Working with a Chinese antique based dealer will allow collectors to make a reasonable attempt to obtain authentic jadeite or kinsmen as well as rare wood types, such as Maoming tea bowls. Working directly with a Chinese dealer can also be beneficial because they will often know more about the history of the piece than any other collector.
For any collectors, the most important thing is to stick with reputable dealers. Chinese antique dealers can provide valuable insight into the sourcing and manufacturing of a particular piece. Furthermore, Chinese dealers will usually allow a collector to inspect a piece first hand, meaning that a collector can see for himself or herself if the piece is a forgery or authentic. When dealing directly with a Chinese based dealer, however, it should be noted that many of these same dealers will also work with auction houses and other third party financial institutions, so it is very important to deal with a dealer who is trustworthy.