Our collection of Chinese Antiques encompasses a wide range of genuine pieces that were crafted in China. It includes:
The porcelain formula was originally discovered in China and was closely guarded by the Chinese. This allowed them to remain the dominant porcelain producer and, subsequently, exporter in the world up until 18th Century. Porcelain produced in China was known as true, or hard-paste, porcelain. It was made by mixing kaolin, a type of Chinese clay, and stone powder which was grounded from either feldspathic rock or petuntse. During the rule of Tang Dynasty, porcelain production spiked. This was largely because the demand for porcelain increased in the west and drinking tea became more popular. The white porcelain produced in the north became the standard due to its colour and durability. Celadon porcelain, which was produced in the south, was another favourite during that period. It was well known for its jade green/blueish green colours, simple but refined shapes, solid substance and a distinctive style. The technique of creating colour glaze has been improved upon during this period.
During the Song Dynasty, the production of porcelain was moved to Jingdezhen and remained there for around 900 years. This is where the famous white and blue porcelain was produced. The technical innovations during the Ming Dynasty allowed to prevent cobalt from bleeding during the heating process and distorting the fine artwork, making porcelain from this period highly recognizable and valuable.
Soapstone is a very soft material, which could easily be carved with the simplest of tools. For that reason, soapstone carvings have been made for over 3000 years by Vikings, Egyptians and Chinese. During the Ming dynasty in China, these carvings became especially popular and were produced at a very high rate. The carvings were not limited to figures either. Dishes, utensils, teapots and plates were also carved. The multi-layer carving techniques became popular during the Song dynasty (960-1279) as artists began working with harder versions of soapstone. Later on, soapstone seals became popularized during the Ming dynasty as the number of scholars increased, however floral motifs continued to be popular. Other things, such as carvings of Buddha and incense burners, were also common.
Jade carvings were highly valued in China due to the belief that the stone represents purity, longevity, and beauty. The statues carved out of jade differ from the rest because of the stone’s glitter and translucent colours. Traditionally, jade was not carved with metal tools, but worn away with carborundum sand and soft tools. This technique was later replaced by rotary tools with diamond bits. The stone’s rarity and technological limitations of the time made jade statues and jewelry something that only the most wealthy and powerful could acquire. Jade carvings often include depictions of characters, flowers, beasts, and animals.
By the time of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), all essential techniques of wood carving have already been in use. These techniques were used for carving furniture, decorating buildings, and crafting statues of religious figures. Fine grain wood was a prerequisite for a truly successful carving, as it had to be smooth and soft to the touch. This made boxwood ideal for wood carving. Other materials, such as incense wood, sandalwood and ebony, were used due to their aroma and hue.
Ultimately, these carvings reflect China’s long history and unique culture, and are prized as highly collectable items in the antique world.
Tang style pottery, or Sancai (meaning three-coloured), has been exclusively used to decorate the tombs of nobility for over 150 years during the reign of Tang dynasty. Nowadays, these charming horses, camels and civil officials, have become popular among collectors and decorators. The three defining colours: green, amber and cream, were achieved by mixing the metal oxides to a lead fluxed glaze. Ultimately, something that originally was meant for the dead has found its place among the living.