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Prized ceramic wares

KUALA LUMPUR (Capital of Malaysia)
They came with their prized ceramic wares and a broad smile but returned home with a frown. What they thought were genuine antiques in their possession turned out to be just clever imitations.

Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum director Peter Lam gave his verdict on most of the 50 pottery items – with and without glaze – and stoneware that he scrutinised during a public lecture here yesterday.

Among other things, he pointed out a computer printed stamp at the base of a vase and a cover of a hexagon ceramic bowl that did not fit its body.

To avoid buying fakes, antique lovers would need to have their own memory database chart of original pieces, he told about 200 people who attended his lecture for the West Malaysia Chapter of the South-East Asian Ceramic Society.


The Real McCoy: Lam showing collectors
how to identify antiques in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday.

The world-renowned expert on Chinese antiquities added: “You have to examine original objects by going to Sotheby's or Christie's auctions.

Visit trusted dealers' shops and read auction houses' catalogues and textbooks, especially those with illustrations".

“Then, you make comparisons. You train your eyes to know what is the real thing,”... Said Lam, who has conducted authentication tests on antiquities over the past 30 years and belonged to Hong Kong's exclusive Min Chiu Society of prominent ceramics and Chinese art collectors.

Collectors should also feel the difference in weight and texture of the object, he said. Beyond the naked eyes, he added, ceramic pieces could be examined with the use of penlights and loupes.


Another method of identifying fakes is through scientific examination,
such as with the use of thermo-luminescence dating, where radiation in a ceramic piece is measured to identify its age.

Authentic ceramic pieces are mostly found in shipwrecks, he said.

On ceramic items that are much sought-after, he said collectors in Hong Kong were currently looking for 18th century Ching Dynasty imperial pieces.

Before this, they sought pieces from the 15th century Sung Dynasty. The society's vice-president, Anthony Tan, said there were too few good dealers in Malaysia.

Acknowledgment of information source:
N E W S Sunday June 24, 2007 Title: Train your eyes to detect fakes By LOH FOON FONG

Ancient treasures ceramic ware


Artifacts from sunken ships to go on display

OVER 600 artifacts recovered from sunken ships in the South-China Sea was exhibited in Penang from Dec 29 to Jan 6 - 2007 The artifacts, some over 1,000 years old, were salvaged from 10 historical shipwrecks and originated from China, Thailand and Portugal. 

Themed ‘Treasures of the Nanhai’, the exhibition at Traders Hotel is jointly organised by Vel Art Collections Sdn Bhd (VACSB) and Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd (NMASB). 

“Since the primary remains from the shipwrecks are their cargoes of ceramics, the wrecks offer an insight into the types of wares traded in the South China Sea over nine centuries,” NMASB managing director Sten Sjostrand told a press conference yesterday.

“Each of these old ships and their cargoes represent a time capsule since everything on board comes from one specific time in history,” he added. “There are clues that the Chinese enjoyed a virtual mono-poly on ceramic trade until the 14th century. 

“And the Chinese who migrated to South East Asia later dominated the business following Emperor Hongwu’s ban on foreign trade in 1369,” he added. 

Acknowledgment of information source:
Article by: The Star M E T R O
Thursday December 20, 2007






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