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Originally Posted On: https://www.weisbrodcollection.com/blogs/news/chinese-antique-appraisal-guide-how-to-find-the-value-of-your-art
Some of the oldest pottery fragments discovered so far are around 19,200 to 20,900 years old. These fragments were discovered in China and show that Chinese pottery has been around for a very long time, perhaps longer than any other type of pottery in the world. Chinese pottery is not only old but also very varied, especially over the years and different dynasties.
And of course, the Chinese are also known for antique arts other than pottery, such as jade carvings, porcelain sculptures, and more. Chinese antique appraisal is important if you happen to have an antique Chinese artifact of some kind. Whether you have a painting, a piece of pottery, or anything else, it is important to know how much the antique is worth.
But how can you find out its price? After all, there are many things that could affect an object’s price. Your artifact might be incredibly valuable, and you might not even be aware of it. Or, your antique might actually be very common and not worth much at all.
But where should you start? Keep reading and learn more about what you should consider when finding the true value of your Chinese art and antiques.
Look for a Professional Chinese Antiques Specialist
The main way (and easiest way) that most people determine the price of their antiques is to go and find a Chinese antique specialist. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of these around, so you will have to do a bit of research before you can find one with enough experience to help you. Such a specialist, of course, will have years of experience in identifying and appraising Chinese antiques of all kinds.
This includes not only pottery but also antique Chinese paintings, Chinese ceramic pieces and fragments, jewelry, and more. Such a specialist often has years of training and education behind him, so it should be easy for the specialist to identify whatever antique you happen to have. Of course, there are some specialists that only deal with certain forms of antiques.
Many Chinese antique specialists only appraise and identify pieces of pottery. Others may only know about Chinese paintings or calligraphy. Whatever the case, it is important that you find a specialist that knows about the particular type of antique you have.
Preferably, you should try to find a specialist in your area. That way, you can bring the antique to him so he can look at it and examine it in person. Of course, if there isn’t a Chinese antique specialist in your area, you might have to opt for one who does appraisal work online.
This can also be useful, but it may be harder for the specialist to get a full look at the antique without seeing and touching it in person. Whatever the case, it is always a good idea to bring your antique to a specialist. That way, the specialist can examine it and tell you about its history and what it might be worth.
Keep in mind that just because an object is old doesn’t mean that it’s worth something. The value of Chinese antiques depends on a variety of factors. For example, if your antique is very rare and only a few were produced, this would make it very valuable. Also, if it has any special variations from normal products of its time, the variation may also make it valuable.
Often, what makes an antique valuable is hidden in the slightest detail. Chinese antiques often use many symbols, especially pieces of pottery. If these symbols differ in any way or if there is something extra or something missing, this may make the piece especially valuable.
By analyzing the history of the piece, the specialist should be able to understand what it might be worth. Depending on its age, rarity, and other factors, the specialist will give you an estimate as to what your antique is worth. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t automatically accept the specialist’s appraisal at face value.
While the specialist is sure to be telling the truth, you should always be careful when dealing with antiques. To be sure that the antique is worth as much as the specialist says, you should do some research online to make sure the price estimate matches up.
Research the Chinese Antique on Your Own
While researching the value of your Chinese antique on your own is helpful, you should not rely on it as your sole method of valuation. After all, if you don’t have any training or education involving Chinese antiques, then you won’t know what to look for when doing your research.
Even if you do find out some permanent information, you should always consult with a professional.
This is because you can easily miss important details that may make your antique extremely valuable. There have been many people in the past who have made this mistake. For example, there was once a person who owned a piece of pottery from China, but that person did not know the worth of that pottery and ended up using the vase as an umbrella stand for many years.
Little did that person know that the vase was actually a very rare dragon jar from the Ming Dynasty. This jar sold for a whopping $20 million when it was put up for auction. It took the work of two knowledgable specialists to determine that this old umbrella stand was in fact a very valuable piece of Chinese art and culture.
Of course, this is the last mistake you want to make when it comes to your own antiques. For that reason, doing your own research on your antique will only take you so far. However, doing your own research can be somewhat useful in certain areas.
For one, you can start to become familiar with the unique antique you have, and you can check to see if anyone else has anything similar online. Often, you will find at least a few antiques that match yours. This is especially true if the antique is only 100 or 200 years old.
What You Need to Know
During this time period, it was starting to become more common for objects to be mass-produced. Many hundreds of years ago, however, this was less common, and objects were often one-of-a-kind. If you search online and find that other people are listing the same antique online, you can check how much the antique might be selling for.
If there are many copies of that antique, it likely won’t sell for very much as it isn’t rare. However, if there are very few antiques like yours listed online and you see that the prices for those that are available are quite high, there is a good chance that your antique will be quite valuable as well. But again, you should not automatically trust the prices you happen to see online.
Your antique might be worth much more than the prices listed online. Or, on the other hand, your antique might not be very valuable at all. If you can’t find any other antique that matches yours online, this may mean that yours is very rare and unique.
In this case, if you can’t find any information concerning your antique online, it is best to bring it to a specialist as soon as possible. That way, the specialist might have a better idea of the history and value behind your unique antique. At that point, you can compare what the specialist says with whatever information you might be able to find on the internet.
Put Your Chinese Antique up for Auction
If you can’t figure out how much your Chinese antique is worth and don’t know what to do, you might want to consider putting it up for auction. Before auctioning off the piece, the auction house may have some specialists on hand that can appraise the object for you. This is what happened with the Chinese vase that was used as an umbrella stand.
Two specialists took their time to examine the vase and found that the vase had some very unique characteristics for its time which made it very rare and very valuable. If you have some specialists do this for you before you put the object up for auction, the specialists may discover that your antique is worth something as well.
Of course, it is unlikely that your antique is secretly worth millions of dollars, but you never know with Chinese antiques. An antique might seem relatively ordinary and simple, but it might be extremely valuable. Whatever the case, the specialists with the auction house should be able to give your antique a good price to start at.
The Selling Price
However, the appraisal is not necessarily the true price of the object. Many stand by the belief that the true price of an object is the price at which it sells at an auction. For example, a Chinese antique specialist might only value your antique at $5,000.
However, when it is time to start bidding on the object, you might find that people are so interested in the object that they keep raising the price. So, your object might sell for as much as $20,000, even when it was only valued at $5,000.
Of course, the opposite can also be true. Your antique object might be valued at $10,000, but if bidders don’t find the object to be very valuable or attractive, it might only sell for a fraction of the price. Whatever the case, putting your antique up for auction is a great way to see its true value, and it is also a fast way to get rid of it if you don’t want to own it anymore.
Of course, this is not a good option if you want to keep the antique but instead just want to know its value. In that case, it is still a good idea to go to a specialist and see what he has to say about the object.
How To Find a Good Chinese Antique Specialist
What many people don’t know is that there are a few important factors you should consider when choosing a Chinese antique specialist. While you can choose any specialist at random, if you do that, you won’t know how professional that specialist is or not. In some cases, a person might pretend to know the true value of your antique without really knowing the value at all.
Or, a specialist may try to tell you that your antique isn’t worth as much as it really is. For that reason, you should do some research when choosing a specialist to make sure that the specialist is as professional as he or she seems. If a specialist has many years of experience, then this is a good sign that the specialist is knowledgeable and cares about the work at hand.
To be on the safe side, you can also get your antique appraised by several different specialists. That way, you can see if all the specialists give you more or less the same price or if one gave you a price that is drastically incorrect.
Everything You Need To Know About Chinese Antique Appraisal
Chinese antique appraisal is very important if you want to know the true value of your antique. Bringing the antique to a specialist is a sure way to get an idea of the real price of your antique. You can also do some research on your own online, but you may not discover very much.
Putting the item up for auction is also a good way to see the price at which it sells. But if you want to keep the item, getting it appraised by a specialist is your best bet. To learn more about Chinese antiques, click here.