BASICS OF AUTHENTICATION:
In ancient times, all Ceramic works were constructed by hand. Working conditions in those days would probably not always meet the quality benchmarks of today -- or the health & safety standards.
It is not difficult to imagine that there could be impurities and other imperfections in products that resulted. There were 2 actions that were taken when items had imperfections, they were either thrown away or sold to less demanding customers.
It was this decision that often marked the difference between Imperial and Tradeware Ceramics.
Imperial Ceramics were those produced for the court of the emperor of China or for his various government officials, military commanders and so on. Being the most advanced people in the world at the time, their works of art had to meet exacting standards. Items not measuring up were simply smashed to pieces.
Tradeware Ceramics, on the other hand, were designed to meet the tastes and requirements of the elite of Southeast Asia whose demands were not quite as sophisticated as the Chinese. Therefore, Tradeware Ceramics sometimes has impurities embedded into surfaces that add character and authenticity.
Foot rims were often placed in sand during firing and some of the material attached to the bottom. On other pieces, ash and other materials flying around during firing became implanted in the surface.
A simple test of a dealer�s knowledge and/or integrity is hold up an imperfect piece -- they are not hard to find in most shops -- and ask whether it is an Imperial Chinese item. If the answer is �yes,� then you are off to a bad start.
See more examples of embedded materials below from pieces of the Chalre Collection.
Go to the
of Asian Ceramic Art