Around the world, more and more people are losing money over fake Asian antiques. As a matter of fact, experts recognize fakes really easily. However, high-end fakes are hard to recognize even by experts. In fact, some fakes even have a fake certificate of authenticity, believe it or not. This makes it hard to tell whether it is an original antique or a fake antique. Forgers will create antique-looking Asian pieces that look almost like the real thing.
If you are like most people, you might find that deciding whether Asian antiques are fake or not is easier said than done. That’s right; most people think it is tough to determine authenticity. After all, when dates go back almost two centuries ago in various styles, how do you not lose money over fake Asian antiques?
A Straightforward Process
Believe it or not, spotting a fake is a pretty straightforward process, as long as you know what to look out for. Before anything else, figuring out the application or the printing technique is the first thing to do. You can use your fingers to do this. Check to see whether it is painted, transfer printed or printed? If it is transfer printed and you can feel the evenness of the transfer print. If it was painted by hand, you will be able to feel the brushstrokes of the maker.
Checking the weight of the piece is another guide. You will know the difference between slipware, bone china or porcelain just by how heavy it is. Another feature to become familiar with is the shape. Different eras involved different shapes. Find the maker’s mark and look at it.
Check the Maker’s Mark
In fact, the maker’s mark will tell you everything. Just like .925silver, the marks of the maker are dated. If you are looking at bone china or porcelain, all you need to do is to buy a book of marks and you will very quickly find what you are looking for. You will see that the maker’s mark needs to be flowing and light rather than heavy and thick. The effect should be heaped and piled. There is never a heavy effect on the mark even if there are heavier strokes elsewhere on the piece. Blue underglaze cobalt needs to be a deep Mohammedan rich blue. Anything that falls short of a rich, deep blue is a fake. The same characteristics on the reign mark and the decoration indicate that the same hands created one piece. Knowledge of Chinese calligraphy is also important. Knowing that a character that only has four strokes was made with six strokes is an indication of a fake.
When buying Asian antiques, bring a magnifying glass. This will help you see the maker’s mark. True experts are able to differentiate between different kinds of white and pinpoint authenticity this way.