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Researching antiques on the Internet

I often get questions like this:

From your description I can tell this piece is not Chinese. It could possibly be Japanese, from mid 20th century, but I have no way to tell. The treatment of the mark does not sounds like the Japanese practice.

Researching pieces is otherwise part of the fun, but I feel you need to have some really good books yourself to start with. Books you could find through my book links. I think "The Scholar's Bookshelf" might have some inexpensive books on marks and possibly some special ones on decorative figures.

Then you need more people to discuss with. On my LINKS page you find addresses to USENET news-groups who can help on all kinds of antiques and collectibles.

I think Kowel's have something on line too, and you will also find a link to "Heartland Discoveries" expert panel.

eBay also have a pottery discussion group, and to search eBay for something similar - once you have got a clue what to search for - is always a good idea.

If you feel your porcelain piece could be Chinese or Japanese you are always welcome to me.

Finally - came to think of it - one way to collect is to just buy whatever you like, and sort the pieces up afterwards. I have done some of that, when I visit China. It is quite fun to buy things that looks interesting but you have absolutely NO idea about what it is, who made it, when and - why - and then try to figure that out later.

You would not believe the amount of trash that might accumulate after some of that kind of shopping - but - it's fun.

Thank you for your interest.

Best regards,
Jan-Erik Nilsson