Difficult Collectibles – Ep 1


Weird material? Dodgy surface alteration? Crude carvings? Too plain looking? Poor condition? Resembles excavated piece?

As collectors filter through tons of pieces claiming to be Chinese Archaic Jade relics, it is advisable to add one more criterion and avoid what I call difficult collectibles. 很难说, 不太开门.

I would not classify these jade pieces as fakes or modern reproductions immediately, but it is simply too tricky. Essentially, I am trying to reduce the potential controversy in future if I wish to seek a second opinion on acquired jade pieces. In the absence of reliable provenance, exquisite carvings, workmanship and correct nephrite material would certainly help a great deal. If there are too many questions, it might not be worth collecting.

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One response to “Difficult Collectibles – Ep 1

  1. Dave, I enjoyed your article “Difficult Collectibles – EP 1”. Again your keen eye has triggered justifiable suspicion with the jades illustrated, especially the first three & the last one. These jades are far better than the fakes seen on Ebay, however, none of them look convincing. The light colored Hongshan “cloud scroll” pendant with two pierced holes looks the least convincing. As you suggest, the piece looks stiff & the proportions do not look correct, & the color looks like nothing I’ve seen in a Hongshan jade. The first Hongshan pendant looks pretty good except for the fine-line engraving on the piece. Has any Hongshan jade been unearthed in a controlled excavation that shows engraving like this? The third Hongshan pendant has a very course finish, unlike the beautiful sheen one expects to see on a period jade. The last jade reminds me of the Han dancing courtisan pendants, however, the composition looks odd. Thanks again for your insights.

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