The Chinese began their mastery of ceramics around the year 1523 BC, but it was not until midway through the 14th century that the traditional blue and white porcelain that is popular around the world came into existence. It quickly became a worldwide trend, and the demand for the blue and white china made it the primary product of the ceramic industry in China.
Pieces of antique china that date back centuries are passed down through generations of families and are prized for their gorgeous decorative patterns and utilitarian porcelain forms.
Collecting antique china is a worthwhile hobby to invest your time and money in. There have been times when the value of china has outperformed bonds, stocks and the money market in general. One example of the value of antique china is a 14th century Ming dynasty Chinese porcelain pilgrim flask which went for the astounding price of $5.8 million at a Doyle auction in 2003.
The most popular collectors' items are pieces of antique china from the early Ming dynasty that have the classic blue and white design. They usually reflect their popularity by bearing the highest price, however. For those new to collecting china, these are not usually the pieces to start a collection with.
It is indeed possible to begin your antique china collection without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Build your china collection with a few blue and white pieces from the end of the Ming and beginning of the Ch'ing dynasties from the 17th century. These are beautiful pieces that will only gain value in the future.
There also many great pieces that are more affordable from 1800s Germany. Antique Bavarian china is highly prized for quality and beauty. A good set can easily be found at an antique auction for a few hundred dollars.
Once you begin your antique china collection, you have to have somewhere to store your fine goods. What more logical choice do you have for storage than antique china cabinets? These beautiful pieces of antique furniture are the perfect choice for antique china storage.
Made from the same quality porcelain of china as the antique china dish, antique china dolls are a great way to expand your collection once you have it established. China dolls typically have a glazed porcelain face that is shiny in appearance. These dolls can become prized heirlooms that should be passed down from generation to generation.