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Identifying Antique Collectors Porcelain

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There are two major groups that make up Chinese Porcelain:

Chinese market porcelain, and Chinese export porcelain.

Chinese Taste: This generally refers to all porcelain made chiefly for the Asian market. The pieces usually carry a base mark that can be used to distinguish them from the export porcelain. If the piece is antique and carries a mark at all it is very likely that it is either Imperial porcelain or Ordinary porcelain. (Imperial being made for specifically for the Emperor and household and Ordinary being mostly bowls connected to the Asian way of life.) Although price and value of Imperial ware can vary drastically depending on quality and age, Ordinary ware has a very narrow price range (from $25 to $250).

Chinese Export: Export porcelain is made specifically for use outside of China for either Europe, the US, India, and Japan. These items rarely have base marks to identify them. The Export china made for South East Asia on the other hand often carry base marks. The easiest way to distinguish which region a piece is from is to compare it to textiles from a specific region. The fashion is typically reflected in both and its easy to see the similarities especially when you consider the intended use of the item.

When it comes to collecting antiques there is always the possibility of purchasing a fake but luckily export pieces from the last two centuries are easily found. The only pieces to practice caution with are extraordinarily expensive pieces such as figure (which are difficult to date) and some late 18thcentury armorial pieces, which have been copied both at Samson in France and during the 20thcentury in China and Hong Kong.


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