Chinese Antiques to get electronic ID cards

microchipAntique enthusiasts may soon be able to stop worrying about ending up with counterfeit items, as the planned introduction of an electronic identity card to help them to distinguish between genuine pieces and fakes.

Without damaging the antiques, the electronic ID card – a chip that can barely be seen with the naked eye – will be inserted in the pieces’ seals or stamps.

“A scan of the chip will show whether the piece is genuine or a fake, in addition to all its information, such as its name, author, and its transaction records,” said Sun Tingting, a business assistant at Liulichangchina.com, a website that trades antique art.

In addition to paintings and calligraphy works, the computer chips can also be inserted into porcelain items and other pieces, Sun told the first day of the Seventh China Beijing International Cultural and Creative Industry Expo.

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China to clamp down on online relics trading

relicsChina’s political advisors on Thursday called for enhanced supervision over online antique trading, after millions of cultural relics were sent abroad illegally. Statistics from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage show that over one million antiquities, worth a total of more than 1 billion yuan (152 million U.S. dollars), were sold online last year.

China has lost 17 million pieces of cultural relics abroad, according to the government survey.  In 2007, customs officials found 47 pieces of cultural relics in 10 packages mailed to a French buyer by a relics dealer surnamed Liao of Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei Province. Liao began selling antiques abroad via e-mail in 2005.

In 2009, another dealer surnamed Ding of Chengdu, the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was caught selling ancient coins to foreign buyers through his shop on eBay.com, a well-known e-commerce website. Ding sent 66 precious coins abroad by registered mail, including two under State protection.

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Million-dollar Yuan jar leads I.M. Chait Mar. 17 Asia Week

yuan-dynasty-vase

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The excitement of Asia Week New York, with its multitude of lectures, exhibitions and other special events, has attracted knowledgeable buyers from the Far East to Manhattan for the past seven years. Now dedicated Asian art aficionados who spend as long as 16 hours on an airplane to reach the US East Coast have a very tempting reason to add a Los Angeles layover to their itineraries. The I.M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills will be hosting a March 17 auction of Important Chinese Ceramics and Asian Works of Art to welcome those travelers to US shores.

“Many outbound flights from Asia to New York make a stop in California along the way. Since we were unable to participate in Asia Week this year due to the unavailability of a suitable auction space in New York, we decided to conduct our annual Asia Week sale right here in our Beverly Hills gallery,” said Chait founder Isadore M. Chait.

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Chinese Antique Export Silver

chinese-export-silverThe market for Chinese antique export silver is having a dramatic reversal of fortune. Export silver, as the name suggests, originally catered to a Western audience, and included royalty and aristocrats. Catherine the Great was an avid collector of Chinese export silver, as was Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, along with most European royal households, as well as maharajahs, potentates and wealthy banking families. New York’s Tiffany & Co discovered China’s export silver masters in Shanghai in the latter part of the 19th century, and commissioned pieces for its Fifth Avenue showrooms. Yet despite a lack of knowledge, and in many cases total ignorance, of the phenomenon, the roughly 200-year-long Chinese export silver market has become the most lucrative and desirable metallic category around.

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