Asian Art Objects Appraisal Services

A Long History Of Asian Art Imports

Those of us who have an appreciation for items imported from Asia have been in good company since the Silk Road linked China with the Roman Empire in the 1st century BCE. The export of fine quality Chinese porcelain exploded during the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) thanks to significant advances in production techniques as well as official support for a market economy. Porcelain continued to be a primary export item to which tea and opium were added during early the early to mid Qing Dynasty (1644-1910).

Trade with Europe and America was 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. Import of items such as antique and contemporary jade and ivory carvings, scroll paintings, prints, cloisonné, clothing and accessories, burial sites artifacts, and temple and architectural elements hit a peak in the mid 20th century.

 

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.

Objects 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. Some grace the shelves of museums around the world. Some 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 at bargain basement prices.

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

Items Covered In WorthWise Asian Art Appraisals

WorthWise has provided Asian art appraisal services for the following types of items originating in China, Japan, Thailand, Tibet, Nepal, Indian and Egypt from contemporary to Han, Song, Tang, Ming, Qing, and Republic periods:

Carvings:

jade, agate, carnelian, amethyst, stone, wood, resin and ivory figurines, figural groups, plaques, pendants, boxes, scholars’ objects, snuff bottles, netsukes, sword fittings, hairpins, chimes, garment and belt hooks, bracelets, pocket pieces, bi-disks, chess sets, etc.

Castings:

bronze, brass, enamel and cloisonné figurines, vases, urns, teapots, boxes, and Buddhist and Hindu statues and devotional objects

Firings:

earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, vases, plates, bowls, teapots, and figurines

Textiles:

embroidered silk robes, shawls, screens, tapestries, and figurines

When Additional Research is Required

In the vast majority of circumstances, 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 confirming the age or origin of an object may be required before proceeding with the appraisal. In these cases, WorthWise will consult with its network of outside experts to establish that information with your advance permission.

A Word About Ivory

Appraising, along with 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.

 

Tip

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