Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A Pair of Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Exportware Armorial Dishes With the Arms of Zeeland and Brabant (Qing Dynasty)

Compiled from Arts of Asia Sept - Oct 1991

Emperor Taizu - The Emperor Draped With the Imperial Yellow Robe by His Supporters

Some quick facts about this emperor:

Ø      A rustic born into a military man’s family in turbulent times.
Ø      A rebel at first, he became emperor with the support of his men.
Ø      Reunified a fragmented China and laid the foundation to a prosperous Song Dynasty.
Ø      Implemented a series of political and economic reforms.
Ø      Died unexpectedly at the age of 49.

     Who was he?

Thoughts of the day:

  1. Zhao Kuangyin was unable to unify China during his reign. What happened later?
  2. What steps did Zhao Kuangyin take to prevent a recurrence of a coup which brought him to power?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Featured Items at Our Stall (in Amcorp Mall Flea Market) from Jan - Feb 2015 - Laughing Buddha, Ewer and Vase

Laughing Buddha

B 2


E 1


V 4

 We are on LG floor on Saturdays and 1st floor on Sundays. Should you have any problems locating our stall, please feel free to contact May at 016 3639037 or Peter at 016 3063777. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

How to Tell Real Jade From the Fake By Majorie Chiew

A collector offers tips on how to tell if jade is real.

GENUINE nephrite jade is hard to come by these days, says art and antique dealer W.K. Chui. A beginner who wants to start a jade collection has to have deep pockets and should only buy from the most reputable auction houses and dealers overseas, advises Chui.
He does not know of any nephrite jade collector in Malaysia.
“Perhaps there are jade collectors here but they wish to remain anonymous. The biggest Chinese nephrite jade markets are Hong Kong, London and New York. Nephrite jade is available in China, too, but the auctioneers and dealers are not as honest as the other three markets mentioned earlier,” says Chui. “Even so, be very careful when buying jade in these markets because caveat emptor is still the name of the game.”
The potential buyer must read extensively and familiarise himself with the history of Chinese jade culture which dates back some 10,000 years.
“One can also train the eye by visiting museums, auction houses, private collections, exhibitions and reputable dealers,” he suggests.
The buyer also needs to learn the carving techniques of the different eras.
“Jade pieces from the Tang era are mainly low to mid relief and frequently with foreign figures. Song jade has multi-layered carvings, while typical Ming jade has two-layered carvings, especially for plaques,” he explains.
If the nephrite is genuine, one has to determine if the colours are artificially enhanced and aged to look ancient.
Chui offers some guidelines on how to avoid buying fake jade.
“It’s best to find someone who is knowledgeable to accompany you on a buying spree,” says Chui.
Often, we hear people talk about “injection jade,” a Cantonese term to refer to fake jade.
Chui explains that it meant colours can easily be added to jade via several methods such as heating, coating and diffusion.
Heating jade is a more common and modern treatment to dyeing jade.
“Heating jade causes the colour to lighten, darken or change completely; it also improves clarity and brightness,” explains Chui. “It is hard to detect a gemstone that has been heated to improve its look and grade unless analysed by trained observers in a laboratory. Heating is irreversible and allows for absolute manipulation of colour which can drive the price of jade higher than an unheated, less colourful stone.”
Coating is a dyeing technique used for over 200 years. Chui explains that it involves applying a lacquer or film to improve the general appearance of the jade. This can fill in fractures and alter the colour of the jade item. It is done carefully to fill in cracks so buyers cannot spot them.
Diffusion, Chui explains, is a dyeing technique which was originally used on sapphires. Today, it has been adapted for use on most gemstones. This technique also uses heat as the primary source of transformation. Chemicals added are said to penetrate the gem. The most common chemical used is beryllium.
Chui highlights two tests to check the authenticity of a jade item: the scratch test and the more scientific test.
Jade is a very hard stone, much harder than normal steel. (The hardness of steel is less than 5.0 on the Moh Scale). The scratch test involves scratching the jade with a needle or knife. If the metal object leaves a scratch mark on the jade, then it is not jade which has a hardness of between 6.0 and 7.0 on the Moh Scale.
The scientific test involves measuring the specific gravity (SG) of the stone. Nephrite has a SG of 2.90-3.02 whereas jadeite has a SG of 3.25-3.36. Specific gravity is measured using a formula that takes the weight in air and divides it by the weight in air minus the immersed weight. The immersed weight can be taken using a spring scale and tying the piece with thread, and immersing it in a beaker of water.
“These two tests can be easily carried out but they are by no means conclusive,” says Chui.
However, he says the best definitive tests are X-ray diffraction, refractive index and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
“These tests are time consuming, difficult and expensive, and are reserved for testing very significant pieces found in royal tombs,” adds Chui.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Nephrite Jade and Its Timeless Appeal By Majorie Chiew

An antique dealer is bowled over by the understated beauty and rich history of Chinese jade.
ART and antique dealer W.K. Chui was mesmerised by jade when he visited the museums in London 20 years ago. The intricate carvings, understated beauty and rich history of the jade exhibits fascinated Chui, and prompted him to start his own collection.
Chui, 64, says he collects Chinese jade or nephrite, not Burmese jade which most people wear as jewellery.
“Before the introduction of Burmese jade (jadeite) into the royal courts of China about 300 years ago, both men and women wore Chinese jade as a symbol of authority, status and social standing. These days, many people do not know the history of Chinese jade; that’s a shame,” says Chui.
Before he discovered Chinese nephrite, Chui wore a couple of Burmese jade rings given by his late father. “Although I do wear Burmese jade, I collect only Chinese nephrite because of its rich history and subtle beauty.”
Nowadays, Chui is always seen with his Chinese jade pendants, jadeite rings, and a jade item dangling from his belt.
When his hands are free, he would be rubbing a jade article with his palms. It is almost second nature to him. “That’s what nephrite jade collectors do,” Chui explains. “It allows a collector to train his fingers to get a tactile feel of jade, and gauge the heft of genuine nephrite. It has a calming effect, too, but that’s secondary.”
Some nephrite jade pieces in Chui’s collection: A snuff bottle, a cylinder, a thumb ring and a jade carved like a spear head.
Some nephrite jade pieces in Chui’s collection: A snuff bottle, a cylinder, a thumb ring and a jade carved like a spear head.
“Many are simply not aware of the history and significance of Chinese nephrite to Chinese culture and society,” Chui points out, mindful of the local market’s preference for Burmese jade. “Men generally go for Burmese jade as they deem it fashionable.”
Superstitions surrounding jade endure to this day. Legend has it that Taoist alchemists believed jade to be the philosopher’s stone.
“During the Han Dynasty, emperors were buried in jade gowns and jade cicadas were placed on the tongues of dead emperors to prevent decomposition and safeguard qi or energy,” explains Chui. “A jade disc symbolising the moon or the sun was placed on the head of the dead, purportedly for a good rebirth.”
The cicada is regarded as a summer insect in Japan and China, and can live up to 20 years. These insects bury themselves under the soil during winter, and emerge in summer. Hence, the cicada is a symbol of rebirth.
Hard as it may be, jade jewellery can chip or crack, warns Chui. “One should not knock jade jewellery against hard surfaces. The most common belief is that jade protects the wearer from illness and misfortune. So when a jade article breaks, it is seen as taking on misfortune, in place of its wearer.”
A nephrite ring worn on the thumb.
A nephrite ring worn on the thumb.
“Burmese jade is waxed to give it a shine. It should not be exposed to harsh, caustic chemicals which may dissolve the protective wax layer.”
Chui points out that some of the most valuable jade pieces were from the tombs of kings and royalties. “I have a small piece of jade purportedly from the Warring States (475-221 BC).”
He rubbishes the suggestion that it is bad luck to turn pieces of broken jade into smaller articles. “As a matter of fact, some very old jade jewellery were fairly large, so they were broken into smaller pieces of beautifully carved items to fetch higher prices.”
Another common belief is that jade changes colour and turns greener if it “likes” the wearer.
Well, Chui does not subscribe to this. However, he proffers: “I believe jade may change colour slightly if worn against the body for a long time. This could be due to the warmth of the body and/or chemicals released by the body. I have jade pieces which have changed colour, especially antique jade.”
Chui, who owns an antique shop in Petaling Jaya, has no intention of selling his prized jade collection.
“I want to bequeath them to my sons,” says the father of three boys.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Details of Emperors Antique's Seventh Exhibition

Date: 17th January 2015
Time: 8pm-11pm
Venue: Unit B-3-02 (3rd Floor) Neo Damansara, 
           Jalan PJU 8/1, Damansara Perdana, 
           47820 Petaling Jaya,
           Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Please go to   to view the map to our gallery.
*We also offer FREE evaluation for guests, so please feel free to bring along your pieces. 

We hope to see you there!

The Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279)

Compiled from Great Chinese Emperors

Featured Items at Our Stall (in Amcorp Mall Flea Market) from Jan - Feb 2015 - Vase, Buddha and Guan Yin


V 3


B 1

                                               Guan Yin

GY 1

GY 2

GY 3

 We are on LG floor on Saturdays and 1st floor on Sundays. Should you have any problems locating our stall, please feel free to contact May at 016 3639037 or Peter at 016 3063777. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Featured Items at Our Stall (in Amcorp Mall Flea Market) from Jan - Feb 2015 - Teapots and Wooden Brush Holder

TP 6

TP 7

TP 8

TP 9

TP 10

BH 1

We are on LG floor on Saturdays and 1st floor on Sundays. Should you have any problems locating our stall, please feel free to contact May at  016 3639037 or Peter at 016 3063777.