We have a very popular Instagram account, do you follow us?

We hope you like what you see and hope you will follow us on Instagram.

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Starting to collect: Some tips & a great short documentary on the fake antiques industry in China

When you start collecting Chinese antiques you enter a minefield if you are uneducated. This short documentary is an eyeopener for many. The best thing to do when starting to collect is buy & read books, educate yourself online (for example in this excellent facebook group: “Collecting Chinese Ceramics and art”) and find a tutor.

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Some interesting videos about the growth of Amsterdam

Amsterdam played a key role in the trade with China from 1600 onwards. Untill at least 1750 it was the most important porcelain port. In these cool video animations of the Archive of Amsterdam you can follow the growth of Amsterdam from that period onwards.

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A closer look into “Famille Noire” porcelain

Famille Noire is French for the “black family”. This is porclain with a black background. According to Gotheborg most genuine famille noire pieces have been made in the Kangxi reign (1662-1722) have the black color achieved by applying a copper-green lead based enamel over an unfired coating of the dry black cobalt which are also used for black outlines.

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Building a reference collection

In 2013 we started collecting Chinese porcelain. When building a collection one can do this from different perspectives. Often collectors focus on a certain period (for example Kangxi porcelain) or on a certain style (for example Famille Verte). In general there are 4 things collectors tend to focus on. In no particular order:

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Amsterdams Bont Porcelain

We take a look at Amsterdams Bont porcelain from China. A relatively unknown niche of Chinese porcelain from ca 1680-1740 that was partly decorated in Europe. Because mainstream Chinese collectors have yet to discover the historical significance of these wares they are relatively easy to find in Holland. While also being highly interesting and of often super quality and with an amazing array of decorations. Amsterdams Bont is a name given to porcelain partly decorated in the Netherlands (most likely in cities like Delft, Haarlem, Makkum).

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A historical collage

Looking at porcelain in combination with western historical events. We have tried to add pictures of plates from round and about the same time frame. But dating porcelain is often no exact science, so suggetstions on different dating are welcome.

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A closer look into Kraak Porcelain

Today we take a closer look at two very interesting pieces. A charger from around 1600-1630 and a bowl that’s about the same age. They are both “Kraak Porcelain”. In the seventeenth century, the Dutch where not only robbing the folks in the Far East, they were robbing the rest of the world as well. One day they captured two Portuguese merchantmen.

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European Asian hybrid porcelain

here has been significant influence from both east to west and vice versa. The porcelain trade grew rapidly during the 17th c sparking a quest for the “recipe” of porcelain in the west. An example of European attempts to copy Chinese porcelain is the famous Dutch Delftware from the 17th and 18th c (See for exmaple the book by CJA Jorg – Ooster Porselein en Delfts aardewerk, wisselwerking).

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The Bob & Freek Collection

In the past years we have build a huge collection of porcelain, of which we only have been able to catalogue a fraction. As you might know, when you start to collect there is no end to it….. The goal of this collection is to show the rich history of the porcelain trade. The collection can be freely used as reference to other pieces and we hope a lot of people will find help here dating there own porcelain. The core of the collection consists of Hybrid Chinese export ware. Pieces that were potted and partly decorated in China and subsequently decorated in Europe. A symbiosis between east & west! The collection aims to have a piece of any style available and focuses on oddities. These pieces are not for sale, so please do not ask if they are. A full overview of the collection can be found on our Facebook:

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A closer look at Encre de Chine or En Grisaille porcelain

interesting type of porcelain are pieces decorated in “black and white”. They start appearing in the 1740’s as and are in fashion until the 1780’s. This type of porcelain is often called encre de chine or en grisaille. Encre de Chine is a form of ink that was founded in China in the third millennium before Christ. I

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History of the porcelain trade

In 1558, a single Portuguese trading ship returning from Asia carried 1,000 pieces of Chinese porcelain. A Dutch ship making the same journey 50 years later brought 60,000 pieces. And by 1638, about 900,000 pieces of Chinese porcelain were transported via Dutch trading vessels.

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Porcelain & visiting Amsterdam

When visiting Amsterdam some places are worth visiting when one is interested in porcelain or the trade between Amsterdam and Asia. Most important are the Rijksmuseum, the Maritime museum, The museum of Amsterdam

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Historical Picture Database

We have gathered paintings and maps related to the porcelain trade.

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Interesting Museum Collections

Around the world there are some renown musea futuring collections of porcelain. We have made a list of the best ones.

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Reference literature

Many books were written on the topic of Chinese art and porcelain in particular. We have tried to gather the best titles. Please enjoy.

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Marks

An overview of Marks on Chinese porcelain.

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Interesting Websites

A list of interesting websites on the topic of porcelain.

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