Friday, December 30, 2011

All About Collecting Chinese Antiques

Possessing Chinese antiques is a great way to enlarge your antique collection. Some unique Chinese antiques that can be your prized possessions are:-


Pendants are among one of the Chinese antiques that are extraordinary. You will find some beautifully undercut pendants with the same kind of intricate carvings that you will find in snuff bottles. Another good thing is that the pendants may not cost you much. If you are lucky you may discover some very rare beauties as well.

Snuff Bottles

The Chinese snuff boxes are unique masterpieces with beautifully carved designs. The snuff bottles which were used to store snuff now are considered as invaluable pieces of art and are in high demand. The snuff bottles are made up of different materials like jade, ivory, wood, glass, metal, ceramic, porcelain and tortoiseshells. The unique feature of these snuff bottles is the exquisite paintings and calligraphy is done in the inside of the bottles


Any Chinese item made of jade like snuff bottles and pendants are costlier than large jade carvings because of the amount of effort that is put in to create these articles. You will be astonished by the innumerable jade carvings that you can find such as sculptures of animals, bowls, figures, screens, boxes and boulder carvings. Some items will leave you wonderstruck such as vases that have lids attached by chains which may have several links and all these are carved out of a single piece of rock. Jade is a very difficult material to work with. Thus these jade carvings are truly remarkable and deserving pieces of Chinese antiques.

Chinese Cinnabar Lacquerware

When an item is coated with lacquer they are referred to as lacquerware. The lacquer is a product of a tree that gives a long lasting finish and does not get spoilt by water, acid or scratches. The art of lacquerware is an age old tradition in Chinese history. The Chinese added a red color pigment called Cinnabar to the lacquer for coating the items That is how the name Chinese Cinnabar lacquerware came into being. You may not often find these unique Chinese antiques displayed regularly because they react negatively to light which can cause the browning of the item.

It is said that 500 coats of lacquer are applied depending on the size of the item and the artwork that would be done. Only after the first coat gets dried the second coat is applied and it may take several years to get the required coats. After the object is duly coated the artisan carves intricate designs on them and since lacquer is hard it requires sharp tools and high proficiency. Sometimes there are different colored layers of lacquer and the artisan has to display his carving skills to make the contrasting colors visible. The ancient cinnabar lacquerware consisted of any type and size of object but in modern days the items that you will find are small boxes, plates, trays, beaded jewelry and other smaller objects.