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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.

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.

When determining the value and providing you with an appraisal our appraisers will consider the rarity, age, craftsmanship, and condition.

The more rare and older an object is, the more value it will have. 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.

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Overview of Ceramics Collecting

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.

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.

antique ceramics

Whether you buy old ceramics for your own collection or to make money from, this practice has been going on for centuries. As mentioned above, the exquisite artistry involved in making ceramics is part of the reason why it is a collectible item. These items are typically made from ceramic materials such as clay. There are several categories of ceramic art such as tile, figurines, art ware, pottery, sculpture, and tableware, to name a few. They are mostly decorative pieces but there are some of the older pieces of ceramics that were used for functional purposes.


The history of ceramic art in developed cultures can span over 2,000 years. The history of collecting these art forms also has gone on for a long time. In fact, there are many museums all over the world that house ancient ceramic. For individual collectors, antique ceramics can give a boost to their collection and they can also command a high price for these pieces, depending on the history of the item.

What to Look for When Buying Antique Ceramics

If you have decided to collect vintage ceramics, there are a few considerations you would have to make. Follow these guidelines on what to consider when you collect and buy antique ceramics:

  • 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.


Ceramic vs Porcelain Collectibles

Ceramics and porcelain are two terms that are often interchanged. However, there is a distinct difference between the two. If you are collecting these items, it is important to identify that difference so you can get the best value of the items you are collecting.
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. It is a comparatively new art as compared to ceramics. It was mastered and originated in China during the 1300s. There are other finer differences when it comes to the details of ceramic and porcelain art, which is something that only experts can identify. If you are confused about an item, it is best to consult an expert appraisal team to ensure that you have ceramic and not porcelain (or vice versa, depending on what you are looking for).

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