How to Determine the Value of Antique China

Carmen D. Lade

If you want to start a collection of antique china you need to understand that there is a fair amount of knowledge you should acquire first. Knowledge like how to determine antique china value and how to recognize fakes.

You probably are already aware that the value of true antique china continues to go up. Recognizing the right price or price range for any piece of antique china can be very tricky. So here are some tips on what you should be looking for related to finding real antique china and at a fair price.

The age and style or pattern that is on the china has a strong influence on its price. Some patterns are quite desired and as a result demand a much higher price. Another major influence is if the item is from a particular dynasty, such as from the Ming dynasty where it can fetch an astronomical price. At the same time some items that look relatively the same can be worth very little. The trick is knowing how to tell the difference.

So before beginning buying or selling antique china you should understand that the most important part of trying to establish an antique china value is plenty of research. You need to arm yourself with as much information as you can about

– which kinds are most in demand

– which dynasties are most desired

– which patterns are the most collectable.

When you start looking make sure before you buy anything, that you check each piece to make sure it is undamaged.

Chips and cracks are unacceptable in any piece you are interesting in purchasing. Be aware that even a tiny amount of damage can affect the piece’s value. Maybe in very rare cases a piece’s market value is so high that minor chips and cracks will be overlooked. But most likely the value of the piece will be reduced substantially.

Crazing is also not acceptable for a good piece of antique china. Crazing is those fine cracks on the surface of the glaze. It is the result of temperature change and then as the dish is used these fine cracks are stained by the food and being washed.

Though it is fairly easy to spot scratches, cracks and crazing it is not as easy to tell when repairs have been done to a piece. Sometimes it’s helpful to use a magnifying glass to really check it out. A new tool some people are using to help them find defects is a black light. If pieces are viewed with a black light in a dark room, it can highlight repairs that have been made in the past. And every little imperfection will lower a piece’s value.

Another thing you must be able to do is determine how old a piece is. This is easily done through the piece’s stamp, or emblem which is usually found on the underside of the object. Dating a piece is critical in terms of the piece’s value. It can help you determine if the piece is genuine or a clever fake.

The thought of finding a rare piece is what keeps most collectors looking. Learning to identify antique china correctly will help you find good deals and make sure you are not conned.

After you have heard the ring of a genuine piece of fabulous bone china and felt the softness of its patina you will truly cherish fine antique china and will never be satisfied with less than the real thing!

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