If you are or have been embarking onto a collection of Chinese antiques, then there are certain elements that you must take note of. This is very important because while Chinese porcelain items can be very aesthetically pleasing and valuable, there are also reproductions and fakes which would be worthless to your collection.
Hence, knowing what you are buying and their specific elements would allow you to enjoy your collection better and would help you to avoid being ‘cheated’. It does not matter where you buy your Chinese antiques from they are widely available in antique shops, flea markets, auctions and such. It works both ways where you might find a ‘real’ Chinese antique in a flea market while you might also come across a fake antique at a prestigious auction.
The rule of thumb is that reproductions are NOT antiques. However, you cannot regard them as fake either because a fake item means that they are trying to be passed off as the real thing. On the other hand, a reproduction one that is made to resemble the original one and is sold as a ‘reproduction’. A fake is one that is made like the original and is sold as the original.
A reproduction of an old Ming vase will make the original more valuable. Sellers will often tell you that the item is antique. Typically, they obtained this information from the ones they bought from and hence, they do not have much information about the item. If you are buying an antique, make sure that the seller is aware of what they are selling, otherwise do not buy from them.
When buying an item, you must ensure that you get your dollars worth. This means that there should be some form of guarantee from the buyer which means that you should be able return if you discover that it is actually a fake. On top of that, you could also request to take a photo of the item you are about to buy and then consult a professional before making your decision.
Another rule of thumb is to disregard any mention of provenance. This means that you should accept everything the seller tells you about where the item comes from with a pinch of salt because chances are they are baseless.
A lot of sellers would like to tell you stories about where the particular item comes from like shipwrecks, burial grounds and such and this is where you have to be very careful not to believe everything they tell you.
Ultimately, common sense must be applied and the usual principles of antiques should be used here. Rare items would surely cost a lot more than those that are not as rare. There is no such thing as a high quality item which is cheap when it comes to antique. In fact there is no such thing as a cheap antique. And there would never be an antique which is flawless and yet low priced so do not get carried away with such promises.