Gotheborg.com FAQ

  1. What is Gotheborg.com?
  2. How much does it cost to use the gotheborg.com website?
  3. Can I consult you regarding things I am considering to buy anywhere in the world?
  4. I use this site a lot, can I sponsor it in some way?
  5. What is the Gotheborg Discussion Board?
  6. Can I email you questions about porcelain?
  7. When is a fake a fake
  8. How do porcelain experts go about telling if something is genuine?
  9. What kind of background do you have?
  10. Do you give courses?
  11. If I want to invest in Chinese porcelain what should I buy
  12. As a new collector, where should I buy?
  13. What kind of pieces are the best buy right now
  14. What kind of pieces should be avoided
  15. Is it possibly to advertise on the gotheborg.com web pages
  16. How about copyright on things I send to the gotheborg.com web page or list?
  17. Copyright and legal disclaimer on service provided
  1. What is Gotheborg.com


  2. The Gotheborg.com help and information page is possible the largest Antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain collector's website on the internet.

    It consists of two major parts. One public part, with around 1,000 pages of information on antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain, written over a period of more then ten years including a section with translated and dated Japanese and Chinese porcelain marks, a glossary of porcelain terms, a section of Chinese porcelain history, Chinese travelogues, Question & Answer pages, etc. The second part is a Discussion Board which by comparison dwarfs the public part, with about 10 times more information, with about 200,000 pictures and messages in about 10,000 discussion threads, about various Chinese and Japanese antique ceramic pieces.

  3. How much does it cost to use the gotheborg.com website

    The public part with its marks section, glossary, stories, questions & answers pages, porcelain history and book recommendations etc is accessible for free.

    To access and participate in the Discussion Board you need to be a member. More info here at the Membership Page

    For personal consultation about only one or a few pieces, you can submit Quick email consultation request

  4. Can I consult you regarding things I am considering to buy?

    Yes. Use the quick consultation form at Quick email consultation request" page.

  5. I use this site a lot, can I sponsor it in some way?


    Yes. Ideally you can just become a member of the Discussion Board on one of the higher "gate levels". The service provided is the same but a sponsorship part is added to the higher levels. By choosing any of the higher levels you are indeed helping me with the costs for running this site. As a thank you, your name can be listed at the Sponsors list if you agree on that.

  6. What is the Gotheborg Discussion Board?


    The Gotheborg Discussion Board is a members forum, where all questions, answers and pictures are saved "forever" in a huge database. A discussion about anything is never concluded and can be opened or added to at any time. Collecting Asian ceramics is as interesting as it is difficult and sometimes we just need to have someone to ask. The number of fakes on the market is baffling and somehow we collectors needs to team up our resources to stand a chance ever knowing what is real or not. My thinking when starting this was that we ourselves as well as our collections would benefit immensely if we could share each others knowledge. So, don't think of this list as an 'appraisal service', but a club or a friendly meeting place where you can get help when you need, if you are prepared to help when you can.

  7. Can I email you questions about porcelain?

    Yes, you can send email questions directly to me via the Ask A Question page, or you can become a full member of the Gotheborg Discussion Board. More info here at the Membership Page

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  8. When is a fake a fake?

    You will eventually understand that the only thing you will ever get from an expert, is an opinion. Some might be more well-founded than other, but if you have found something you like, and someone proclaims it a "fake", you need to keep it anyway until you fully know for yourself what you got, and understand why someone calls it a "fake". To a collector anything is a learning opportunity. Serious collectors of difficult pieces keep track of all opinions they get about their pieces. To read these catalog cards can be quite entertaining and is an interesting part of any collection. It is a mistake to give up too early on things you don't fully understand.

  9. How do porcelain experts go about telling if something is genuine?

    Any expert is only as good as the number of genuine pieces he have got. Mostly this is long time studies combined with lots of hands-on experience. Ideally you need to have handled the same type of items for years. This is also why it is questionable if it is good or bad to handle too many fakes. You might get used to the wrong things.

    Basically this is because every period has its particular aesthetics and technology. The periods differ in their ways of looking at things and how this technically and artistically was interpreted into ways, shapes and forms that persons of the period could identify with and appreciate. Any piece is 'wrong' if it does not follow the aesthetics of the period.

    To know the shapes, colors and decorations common to a period and the rhythm in which these harmonized with each other, that usually gives the best clues we can have to discriminate the period and the true from the false. If you then also understand the available technology of the time, and how things was done at different periods, that is even better. Still, to only look at technicalities and not the 'art' aspects can be very misleading.

  10. How come you know so much about porcelain?

    I am bound to say that I don't know anything about porcelain. Where did you got that idea? The field is a long time interest of mine though and I have been intrigued by Asian porcelain since childhood.

    Eventually I got to study Arts History at the University of Gothenburg. I then had the great fortune to get to know Professor Bo Gyllensvärd, founder and former head of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm who was very patient with me over the years.

    During the first part of the East Indiaman Gothenburg ship replica project which I for several years took a part in, I was head of research and one of the three members of the Consultative Board of Science as expert on the 18th century Swedish East India company trade.

    Professionally I succeeded on his recommendation, Professor Gyllensvärds position as a consultative appraiser of Oriental Pottery and Porcelain to one of the larger auction houses in Sweden.

    As a curio I enjoy remembering is that I during one summer now long ago was asked to officially stand-in at one time, for Professor of Oriental Art; Bo Gyllensvärd, introducing a Museum exhibition of Chinese porcelain in Malmoe, and at another occasion, for the Professor of History; Jörgen Weibull, giving a lecture on the Swedish East India Company (1731-1813) and its trade, in Helsingborg. Theirs were very large shoes to step into and great inspirational personalities. They are both now gone and dearly missed. Through this site, I am trying to some extent to carry on their legacy in scholarly generosity and helpfulness.

    A most valuable experience was also to spend a number of weeks in Jingdezhen, enjoying the guidance and hospitality of the Jingdezhen Archaeological Institute during a few weeks in 1991 and 1992 together with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd and two collecting friends I really admire for their dedication and integrity - Jarl Vansvik and Erik Engel. It wasn't conclusive in any way but it was good to study and handle a significant number of excavated genuine items of very rare Ming porcelains and get to understand what the porcelain capital of China looked like in reality, and to get a first hand experience of the geography and the setting of many old kilns.

  11. Do you give courses?

    Yes. Contact me for any need or suggestion you might have.

  12. If I want to invest in Chinese porcelain what should I buy


    For investment purposes condition, quality and rarity are all important. Go only for first class. They are hard to find but that is also the reason why they will turn out to be good investments. Then STUDY whatever you buy. Then, if you take care of your collection, your investment will take care of itself.

  13. As a new collector, where should I buy?

    Buy from folks you know and folks you trust and build a relationship with them. Then, you can settle all questions that might occur in the future on friendly terms and maybe even get help when you one day want to trade in or even sell some part of your collection.

    To be a 'collector' with very little knowledge about the items you want to collect is not wise. So before you collect antiques you need to collect knowledge and that you can do by doing business with established dealers who have been in business for maybe generations, or from any of the international auction houses such as Sotheby's or Christie's. This in most cases means that you beside the piece also will pay for their expertise and guarantees much as you would for the service of a doctor or a lawyer.

    Then, when you have become an expert in your own area of collecting, you can start bargain hunting on your own. Then you will just love flea markets, garage sales, local auctions and even eBay. They are fun and are gold mines to the knowledgeable as much as financial death traps for the unwary.

  14. What kind of pieces are the best buy right now


    I would say that the picture are changing every sixth month and that this is impossible to tell. For the beginner collector I think the best is to just not bother to think about that but just go for pieces that you think looks nice and are within budget. The future is very hard to have any opinion on. It usually tends to surprise us all. Probably most areas within Antique Chinese Porcelain will continue to be a good investment. Areas we do not even think of as collectable will probably surprise us. It is extremely important to look at the quality though, for it is not enough with the right period if the quality are not there.

    On the top level, it looks to me that the 19th century Imperial pieces are under priced.

    On the medium level I believe that 18th century export porcelain will continue to have a steady market. The most intricate decorations from around 1780-90's are most likely to take off since this is appreciated in China too. That the prices on good Kangxi have quadrupled over the last year might have escaped some of the lesser dealers and some local auction houses, so in this segment there might still be bargain possibilities. Unfortunately the market has also been flooded with good copies, so beware.

    In the low end of the market, nicely hand painted enameled pieces from around 1890 until the mid 1940's are being sought after in Asia which has its implications in the West too, since much of this has been exported. Prices from a few $ a year ago are now up into the hundred at least in some cases. From 1950 and later I have a hard time thinking anything will ever be worth anything since so much is printed and machine made, but sooner or later this will probably be collected too, so lets give it a few more decades.

    On the current low end I think that hand painted Japanese export porcelains as in the numerous eggshell tea cups and coffee sets from the 1890's up until well into the 1950's might become the next big surprise. Some of it are remarkable good. It is hand painted, it is cheap, there are tons of it easily available, there are no fakes, and nobody seems to think it will ever amount to anything. My bet is, just wait and see.

  15. What kind of pieces should be avoided


    Avoid recent fakes that are intentionally made to deceive. You might think they are great learning pieces or decorative items or whatever but honestly, they are worth nothing and they will always irritate you and everybody else. From an investment point of view you should consider your total financial situation and go for as expensive pieces you can find and still make it into an interesting collection. Look for rare pieces, high artistic value and good condition. Avoid common shapes and too worn pieces. Anything specifically manufactured and sold as 'collectors items', numbered and signed in gift boxes, are usually a really bad investment. Please, please, please, browse one or two real auction catalogs before you start getting excited about how cheap real antiques are on the Internet. They are not. Good collectors items cost pretty much the same everywhere. The market is international, global and very transparent. Some might be closer to the sources and some might be better at cutting costs, but on the whole, same pieces cost the same anywhere. If not, you might be better off assuming they are "not the same" after all, even if they might look the same.

  16. Is it possibly to advertise on the gotheborg.com web pages

    No, the site is non-commercial to its nature and don't accept advertising.

  17. How about copyright on texts and pictures I send to the gotheborg.com web page or list?


    If it is yours, the copyright remains with you. However, don't submit anything to the Discussion Board or site if you don't own it, if the pictures are not yours, if you are not comfortable with having the item at hand discussed inside and out, and if you don't want your text or pictures appearing in the list archive or at the gotheborg.com web site or in any derivate form that might occur. As the owner of this site, I must assume that I can publish and use whatever you submit even if the copyright is and remain yours.

  18. Copyright and legal disclaimer on service provided


    The sole purpose of all information found on gotheborg.com list or web page are for entertainment or educational purposes only.

    By accessing the information offered at the gotheborg.com list or web page you expressly agree that any use of the gotheborg.com list or web page is at your own risk. Gotheborg.com expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind. Nor does gotheborg.com make any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from the use of Gotheborg.com or as to the accuracy or reliability of any information obtained through the Gotheborg.com discussion list or web page. Any user must evaluate and bear the risk associated with the accuracy or lack thereof of any content published on the gotheborg.com list or web page.

    You also agree that you will not upload or transmit any content to the gotheborg.com list or web page that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any party.

    By submitting content in any form you automatically grant or warrant that the owner of the content has expressly granted gotheborg.com the royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute and display such content in whole or part worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content.

    Gotheborg.com is not responsible for any messages or their attachments intentionally or unintentionally violating any applicable local, state, national or international law, including but not limited to any regulations having the force of law.

  19. How do we get in contact with you?


    E-mail me at