Collecting and Investing Straits Chinese Peranakan antique Porcelain
A pair of rare and highly desirable Chupus, with Zhou Shun Ding Zhao marked. I would grade them as investment grade. Courtesy of a Private Collection from Kuala Lumpur.
The Issues Encountered
Most Straits Chinese antique porcelain collectors are primarily collectors and to a lesser extent investors, it is habitual to collect/hoard but not habitual to sell for a profit. New collectors investing in Straits Chinese antique porcelain (aka “Nyonyawares”) frequently encounter obstacles and issues and some have learned the hard way by dishing out “tuition fees” to unscrupulous antique dealers or sellers. Not knowing if a piece of Nonyaware is authentic is a problem for all collectors wanting to buy an original antique and if a collector buys a reproduction or fake, the collector will lose all the invested money the very moment the transaction is completed.
Reproduction and “Vintage”
Reproductions only have antique value if they were made in imperial times to replicate earlier designs produced in earlier imperial periods, for an example during the Kangxi period some blue and white wares were made to replicate early Ming blue and white wares. This will not be possible for Nyonyawares because the porcelain made for the Straits Chinese Peranakan communities started in the 1850s and ended in the 1930s as such the period of production was very short as compared to Chinese porcelain, any Nyonyawares purport to be made after World War 2 are deemed as reproductions. Some dealers and sellers have tried to create a consumer market by labelling Nyonyaware reproductions as “Vintage Nyonyawares” and these were made in the late 1970s to 80s, although not antiques but the dealers are demanding a price much higher than recent reproductions made in the 1990s onwards...
Come to our SCAA preview on 23 & 24 August 2019 to collect your copy of our limited auction catalogue featuring our Guest Curator Glen Chee’s full article. Do not miss out!
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About the Contributor and writer
Glen is the Director/partner of DWF Compliance a division of DWF LLP an international UK law firm. He specializes in Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism compliance, Financial regulatory compliance and Data Protection. Glen has collected and researched Straits Chinese Porcelain since 1998 and his passion has led him to many porcelain hunting trips in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore adding rare and exquisite pieces into G.C Art & Heritage Collection, his private collection. In his career he also had the opportunity to participate as an administrator/trustee for various old families as such fortunate to gained first-hand experience managing heirlooms, including “Nyonyawares”. He is passionate about his hobby and truly believes that obtaining a piece of “Nyonyaware” is not the ultimate joy but believes the obtainment of friendships and knowledge is the goal. His collecting journey has given him rich encounters with the Straits Chinese culture and history.