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Asian Celadon Porcelain

Reviewing: Assorted  |  Rating:
laurel1 By laurel1 on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 9 | Hobbies & Crafts Expertise:
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I'm not by nature a collector, although I do have inherited packrat tendencies. Like my mother and grandmother and sisters, I tend to keep almost everything, which in a small house can become difficult. But after purchasing one piece of Korean celadon from eBay, I knew I'd found something I wanted to collect.

One of the wonderful things about celadon porcelain is the variety of shapes and sizes it comes in. I have everything from a pre-WWII Japanese bird-shaped whistle, to a large pre-WWI Japanese vase (pictured) to a pair of modern Korean celadon jars (one is pictured). I didn't photograph them, but two of my favorite pieces are a tumbler (like a drinking glass, but porcelain) and matching small vase with enormous koi with grouchy faces (sorry, couldn't get a good photo that showed the details of that).

I've got about 20 pieces, and aside from the tall vase pictured, which is worth about $250 (I got it for $20!), nothing is valuable. I got them because they're pretty. I'd love to have some of the really old and collectible pieces -- you know, the ones that cost $5000 to, oh, $500, 000, but my budget doesn't stretch that far, and frankly, I'm just as happy with a pair of Thai celadon vases as I would be with a 2000 year old (fill-in-the-blank) dynasty Chinese vase. For one thing, I'm less concerned about breaking them, which with a large active dog in a small house is always a possibility. I have as many as would fit in a china hutch that was my grandmother's. She collected china cups and saucers, and I inherited entirely too many them; they're boxed in my basement now, and will go to whichever of my nieces or nephews may want them once they're settled in their own homes. And I have MY collection displayed in the hutch and on the top of my piano. (Some of the vases were too tall to fit in the hutch.)

I got most of them on eBay, some from people who didn't know what they had. I was lucky with the $250 vase; I was the only bidder. I took it to an Asian art expert who appraised it for me, so I do know its value. I purchased a Chinese celadon pot that was listed as a "yellow-green plant pot with fish on it" -- I did the "Buy it Now" option and got it for $6; it's worth, according to the appraiser, about $75, as it's late 19th century Chinese but not really rare. The seller simply didn't know what she had. I felt a little guilty about it, but if you're going to sell on eBay, you really should know what you're selling! I've also picked up a couple at garage sales and antique/junk stores in small towns.

I'm not actively collecting right now, as I'm uncertain about future income, but I hope to find more pretty pieces in the future. And if I ever win the lottery, I may look for a Ming vase!