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How much is my ceramic or porcelain item worth?

Have you recently inherited or purchased a ceramic or porcelain item and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of ceramics and porcelain. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your ceramic or porcelain item. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your ceramic or porcelain item? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered. 

Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.

Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.

Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.

Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.

Mearto evaluates hundreds of similar items each month.

What is the difference between ceramics and porcelain?

Ceramics and porcelain are two terms that are often interchanged. However, there is a distinct difference between the two. Ceramic and porcelain are both various types of objects made from clay and each has their own unique characteristics and uses. Ceramic is a more general term that describes a piece made of natural clay and mixed with various materials and water that is shaped, decorated and usually glazed and hardened by heat. Ceramics is an ancient art. It started thousands of years ago. The earliest productions of ceramic art were for the ornamental purpose; hence, antique ceramics that showcase their aesthetic qualities are highly valued. Over time, their purpose has evolved into something practical.
 
Porcelain, on the other hand, is a specific type of ceramic art. Porcelain is a specific type of ceramic made from white clay that is usually fired at a high temperature. The surface is smooth and has a signifying translucence - allowing light to pass through. Porcelain is also identifiable by its distinctive bell-like sound when gently tapped. It is a comparatively new art as compared to ceramics. It was mastered and originated in China during the 1300s. 

Ceramics and porcelain closest to the creative process are the most desirable amongst collectors, with Chinese porcelain having a particular popularity and significance. The tradition of Chinese porcelain goes back many centuries and is primarily connected with the art of tea ceremonies.

What do appraisers look for in ceramics and porcelain?

An important component of ceramic and porcelain pieces are any identifying marks or seals. These characteristics allow appraisers to determine the origin, date, specific artist or kiln from which the piece originated. Markings and seals are also important as the counterfeit market for ceramics is quite robust. Any documentation such as a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and an invoice or receipt showing where a piece was purchased is useful for appraisal purposes.
As with other fine and decorative art objects, the condition is a key factor in assigning the value to a ceramic piece. Any damage in the form is chips, cracks or crazing, plus any previous repairs or restorations can have a significant effect on the value.

  • Authenticity: Look for marks of authenticity. This the most important factor to look for when buying vintage ceramics. Most of the ceramic marks will be printed, painted, incised, or impressed. If your ceramic contain these marks, they are a good indication of the item’s authenticity.
  • Condition: The condition of the item is the next factor that will have an impact on its value in the market. Old ceramics that are in perfect condition will be considerably more valuable than those that are damaged and distressed. However, do not count an item out when it has some damage or wear. Some buyers will consider the signs of age and wear as a mark of the item’s authenticity.
  • History: The history and/or provenance of an antique item will help the item command a higher market price. The history can determine the maker of the ceramic art. On the other hand, the possibility of the item having link to any notable personality or story can give its value a boost. Make sure that you have some documentation to prove the history and provenance of said items.

What makes ceramics and porcelain desirable to collectors?

Antique ceramics are one of the most sought-after pieces by antique collectors. There are many types of ceramics that were produced over the years, but Chinese and Asian ceramics are among the most popular. These artworks are known and prized for their exquisite level of detail, craftsmanship, and artistic showcase. In fact, some of the most coveted Chinese ceramics are valued at millions in auctions. If you can identify valuable vintage ceramics, then you could potentially earn lots of money from them, especially to those who are real ceramic enthusiasts.

Lindsey

Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

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