Monday, January 21, 2013

Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England | Boston

Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England | Boston

Appraising Chinese and Asian Art, Requires a Specialist, not a Generalist

Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England
Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England
As regular part of settling an estate or for getting insurance coverage one requirement is getting a written appraisal which accurately describes the tangible property with their proper values based on the current market.  Getting accurate Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England can be difficult. Not only here, but almost anywhere as well. 

For the typical contents of a house with western antiques an appraiser is just a call away, virtually any competent Estate Lawyer or local Bank Trust Department can help you. 

When it comes to Chinese and other types of antiques, its a different issue, very different. 

Chinese and Asian Antiques Are A Special Category ...

If you are in need of knowing how much your Chinese objects are worth and whats the best way to sell for any reason, give us a call. 
  • Often evaluations are sought by people who simply have things they've bought or inherited over the years and want to know their values. 

    Appraising Ming bronzes

    Ming Period Gilt Bronze with Base Mark

  • FREE Verbal Appraisals. We will gladly give you a verbal appraisal for no charge, we do it all the time. Call for an appointment or Email us some pictures with good clear views including the bottom and top, please include dimensions and note any condition issues, they do effect value. 

  • Fine Porcelains, Jades and other Chinese Works of Decorative Art have appreciated more in value during the last 20 years than any other tangible asset including; gold, real estate, rare gem stones, American and European paintings . 

A Local Antiques Appraiser May Not Be Enough
plcombs, Asian Antiques Bought-Sold-Appraised
plcombs, Asian Antiques Bought-Sold-Appraised, since 1970

Experienced antique or fine art dealers and auctioneers can handle the typical appraisal consisting of American or European: furniture, paintings, silver, decorative art, lamps, porcelain etc...with little problem.

However when it comes to Asian antiques and art, its virtually impossible for the average  experienced appraiser to do an appraisal with any accuracy.

It requires an understanding of an entirely different culture, history and artistic evolution over several thousand years. Which is why for example on the PBS Roadshow they have only a couple of specialists able to do the job, while they have many dozens and dozens handling jewelry, fine art, furniture and decorative arts.

Chinese Art Estate Appraisals in New England
Few Dealers and Appraisers know little  about Asian antiques is pretty simple. Learning about them is very  time consuming and the opportunity to learn about them doesn't happen often enough for the typical appraiser.

Why Asian Art and Antiques Are Different 

The difficulty with Asian works of art and antiques is hiring someone who is able to identify the age, verify authenticity, determine the rarity.  You need someone who knows Asian history and has handled thousands of pieces over many years.  Someone who knows why the decorative arts of 19th C. Asian antiques are the direct result of the culmination of cultures whose written language and earliest known art dates back 20,000 years.

Blanc de Chine Porcelain Appraisal Results

Blanc de Chine Statue, 18th C. 25 Inches Tall

Determining periods and values for Chinese porcelains, bronzes, paintings, silk robes, jades and textiles are likely the most difficult  arena of all tangible property to appraise for an estate or insurance coverage.  An appraiser without a significant understanding and experience can quickly become a real problem as rarities will simply be overlooked or severely undervalued.


Chinese Painting Appraisal Sample

Song Dynasty Pen and Ink Landscape

Green Nephrite Incense Burner Collection

Qianlong Period Nephrite Jade Incense Burner, 18th C.

 Other Issues and Misconceptions 

Adding to the difficulty in determining authenticity and age, are dealing with questions regarding rarity and value issues.

Evaluating Asian works of art improperly can be a very expensive exercise...and most likely you'll never know it happened.

How we at plcombs Asian Art Can Help

If you're an attorney, an executor or an heir and need an appraisal, or a referral to an expert in your area, let us know, get in touch . If you're simply not sure what you need, call us...for over 30 years we've been appraising, dealing and and advising owners and attorneys about Asian antique collections and individual objects.  We do appraisals but we also know where you can go to get answers and solid help regardless of where you happen to be. Its a small world..

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chinese Art Heist Shocks Norway Objects Heading to China?

Chinese Art Heist Shocks Norway | The Secret History of Art |

On Saturday, 5 January, 23 rare Chinese artifacts and artworks were stolen in a daring heist at the Bergens Industrial Arts Museum in Norway.  Once home to one of Europe’s largest collections of Chinese art, the private collection of a Norwegian general who fought with the Chinese Imperial Army, the theft has shocked Norway, and is strangely reminiscent of a pair of heists of Chinese art in Cambridge and Durham, England last year, as well as another theft, of 53 Chinese artifacts, from the same museum two years ago—suggesting that the same criminal group may be involved.  The entire theft took just 90 seconds, and can be viewed here.

The Secret History of Art was interviewed for a Norwegian national newspaper, and the Q&A is reproduced here.
** Since the raids in Bergen are so similar to those in the UK, do you believe that the stolen artifacts are headed to China right now? If so, why?
I would guess that the artifacts are en route to China.  There is a specific niche market for Chinese artifacts, unlike other periods and styles, like Impressionist painting or Old Masters, which have broad general appeal.  Western collectors of Chinese art are a small, passionate group, but the greatest value for Chinese art is among the nouveau riche in China.  China is also an unusual case study.  Chinese laws on everything from theft to Intellectual Properties are very different from those in the West, and therefore stolen or forged artworks find a market far more easily there than abroad.  A certain type of Chinese collector would be far less shy about purchasing a knowingly stolen artwork than a Western collector would.  Chinese collectors could purchase stolen Chinese art and still have the pride of display, perhaps with the rationale that, whether or not the object was stolen, it should be in China, and therefore the collector was somehow aiding its liberation.  This rationale does not function among Western collectors, but sometimes can in China.