Collecting Only Unique Chinese Antiques - The What, How and Why.
A personal view by John Neville Cohen
Firstly, we had decided that we would only collect antiques that we considered to be beautiful, secondly, the craftsmanship had to be outstanding and thirdly we preferred to collect really unique treasures! By unique, we mean hand crafted, rather than mass-produced antiques such as rare postage stamps. We also were inclined to prefer the small Asian antiques that could easily be safely stored without taking up too much space.
Photographed is a chalcedony well hollowed cameo carved picture snuff bottle with an amethyst and metal stopper. Chalcedony, pale grey with a creamy opaque white skin, simply carved to represent a duck, its head looking back over its shoulders, its eye simply incised, below the duck the waves cut from the grey material; the bottle of flattened form with raised oval foot rim and concave mouth. Chinese, 1750-1850. Stopper: amethyst on metal collar. Provenance: Joan Wasserman collection.
But how and why did we end up collecting pendants and jade carvings having started with snuff bottles? The real reason was due to what I call the constant changing of comparative values. These are what one evaluates by trying to compare the craftsmanship involved with the current relative value.
The pendant photographed is a pure white nephrite pendant carved and pierced through out with an elaborate design of two birds feeding, and a complicated design of leaves and ruyi fungus,
with leaves to one side. Chinese, 1780 - 1850. Attachments: Green glass bead, seed pearls and green cord.
Provenance: Roger Keverne
The pendant photographed is a pure white nephrite pendant carved and pierced through out with an elaborate design of two birds feeding, and a complicated design of leaves and ruyi fungus, with leaves to one side. Chinese, 1780 - 1850. Attachments: Green glass bead, seed pearls and green cord. Provenance: Roger Keverne
Just as with snuff bottles there are lots of poor quality pendants (and modern copies) that are very easy to find. But in this specialised antique collecting area, it is only the finest of the antiques that are really worth collecting, both from the satisfaction and pleasure derived from appreciating the superior quality of these carvings but also from the investment point of view.
Photographed is a large pale celadon jade stone box. Carved as a double gourd box, surrounded by foliage, and young gourds. Chinese, 18th century. Provenance: Bill Spiers.
Some fine pieces are of a good colour and flawless material, others make good use of natural colours and markings found in the stone. The quality of the carving in the 18th century of jade was really superb and even some of the early 19th century pieces are very fine, and in my view this is an area where there are still some good antique carvings available to buy.
Neville Cohen: An international award winning photographer
who also became a well known Asian antiques collector and an
enthusiast of Jensen British classic cars.
Other interests are skiing and Salsa dancing.
The author has been a very keen
collector for many years in helping to create ‘The Cohen
Please have a look at: - http://www.jncohen.com
To see other articles, with photographs, please use the following link: http://www.jncohen.com/Articles/articles.htm
Keywords: Collecting Only Unique Chinese Antiques - The What, How and Why, by John Neville Cohen, Collecting, Asian antiques, Snuff Bottles, Chinese Pendants, Jade, jade carvings, well hollowed.