Asian Art Appraisal Services

The Demand for Asian Art Imports

Those of us with an appreciation for imported Asian art objects have been in good company since the Silk Road linked China with the Roman Empire in the 1st century BCE. However, exporting fine Asian art objects didn’t hit its full stride until the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This was due to significant advancements in porcelain production techniques as well as official government support for an open market economy. Porcelain was the primary export item to which tea and opium were added during the early to mid Qing Dynasty (1644-1910). Later, jade and ivory carvings, scroll paintings, woodblock prints, cloisonné, clothing and accessories, burial site artifacts, and architectural elements became popular as well.

Trade with Europe and America was then severely curtailed in the early to mid 19th century due to political and economic concerns and the Opium Wars. It picked up again in the late 1800’s, with demand for additional fine and decorative art objects from China, Japan, and other Asian countries growing steadily. These imports hit a peak in the mid 20th century and have been tapering off ever since for a number of reasons.


When Do You Need an Asian Art Appraisal?

Certain types of fine Asian art objects specifically made for use in the royal courts can be quite valuable. Some have even exceeded the $1 million mark.

IndonesiaObjects made for the export trade, though, can have widely varying values depending on the region of manufacture, the specific kilns and the talent of the artisans making them. The best grace the shelves of museums around the world. Others are worthy of inclusion in the collections of knowledgeable Asian art enthusiasts. And some lower quality, mass produced items can be found in tourist shops everywhere at bargain basement prices.

Distinguishing rare antiquities from collectible pieces and ordinary souvenirs may require an Asian art appraisal from a knowledgeable Asian art specialist.

Items Covered in a WorthWise Asian Art Appraisal

WorthWise has provided Asian art appraisal services for hundreds of items originating throughout the five regions of Asia. Sample countries include China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. Whether contemporary, vintage, or ancient, WorthWise can perform Asian art appraisals for the following types or items:


Chinese spinach jade censer, late Qing DynastyCarvings:
agate, amethyst, bone, carnelian, ivory, jade, resin, serpentine, stone, and wood belt hooks, bi-disks, bowls, boxes, bracelets, censers, chess sets, chimes, figurines, hairpins, netsukes, okimonos, pendants, plaques, pocket pieces, scholars’ objects, snuff bottles, sword fittings, urns, and vessels.

bronze, brass, enamel and cloisonné boxes, Buddhist and Hindu devotional objects, figurines, incense burners, urns, and vessels.


earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain bowls, figurines, plates, roof tiles, teapots, tea bowls, tomb figures, vases, and other vessels.


embroidered, painted, and woven dolls, kimonos, landscapes, rugs. silk robes, shawls, screens, and tapestries.
woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai, c 1830, JapanesePrints:
 Japanese woodblock and other types of signed and numbered fine art prints

When Additional Research is Required

In the vast majority of cases, identifying the appraised object is enough to be able to conduct an accurate and defensible Asian art appraisal for it. Sometimes, though, interpreting characters or seals, or confirming the age or origin of an object may be required before proceeding with the appraisal. In these cases, WorthWise Art and Antiques Appraisers will consult with its network of outside experts to establish that information. If additional charges are involved, we will always let you know beforehand.

A Word About Ivory

Buying, selling and owning objects made with ivory content is becoming increasingly complex and regulated by state, national and international laws. Because of this, the market for, and thus the value of objects made of ivory from endangered species, is diminishing rapidly. For this reason, WorthWise no longer offers Asian art appraisal services for ivory from endangered species.



Many Asian objects, especially porcelain, have characters or marks indicating the reign during which the item was made. These reign marks are often faked or simply used by legitimate potters wishing to pay homage to masters from previous reign periods. Do not assume that the reign mark on your item is a proof of its age!

“The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.“

~ Francis Bacon