Welcome to idcloisonne.com published since April 2009:
It is designed
to answer your basic questions about Chinese and Japanese cloisonne: what is it and how old is it? These answers
should help you with the value. Specifically, we will cover the identification of Oriental (Far-East)
JAPANESE and CHINESE decorative, or 'free-standing' cloisonne pieces, covering the 1850 to 1950
century of production, by a visual identification method, using actual
item photos, a short description and several pages of marks.
This site is your first step in identifying your
Oriental cloisonne items. If you think that what you have in hand is a rare and valuable piece of cloisonne, I would recommend
you approach educated professionals in this field in your area, and have a formal appraisal done, for insurance and investment
THIS SERVICE IS ON HOLD TILL JULY 1ST. (For
personal evaluations: please email your images at email@example.com AFTER a small payment of $7.25US to my Paypal account to be linked on my last $$$PAY
page. I will respond with an approximate 50 word long description which will include dating information, country of production,
a range in value, and any other available pertinent information. This will
not be a formal appraisal, but will give you a start at identification and evaluating your cloisonne item.)
IN A HURRY?: Use the QUICK CHECK page for identifying the
most common type of cloisonne pieces, vases, jars and boxes.
In 2013, the highest prices on the market are for the best quality Chinese antique and vintage cloisonne pieces,
and signed antique Japanese masterpieces, both rare, most of which are unavailable, either owned by collectors
already, or displayed in museums. Some of these items, damaged, yet still appealing can be found easily enough
on the internet auction sites.
There was and is much more Chinese mass-produced cloisonne items than Japanese, 'supply and demand' dictated that
Japanese cloisonne would usually fetch more. On the other hand, Chinese enamelware and cloisonne values are skyrocketing,
due to China's and other Asian countries newly found interest in these old exports, as well as dealers looking for a profitable
Most of the vintage cloisonne items found at estate sales, flea markets, the internet and live auctions are the
unmarked, mass produced, Chinese and Japanese cloisonne items, exported during the first half of the 20th century, and the
many post 1950s machine-made (assembly line manufactured) cloisonne pieces.
From 1850 to
1950, there was room for innovation and creativity by the Chinese and Japanese cloisonne craftsmen. There are still some rare,
completely hand crafted, unexpected treasures available from that period, those pieces are the most sought
after by the savvy cloisonne collector (including me).
NOT TRUST the vendor/owner to be accurate:
That statement may sound harsh, in light of
the increasing sophistication of sellers regarding Oriental antique exports. Consider that there are many reasons
why their information might be inaccurate. One example is the highly lucrative Chinese antique market right now, with the
Chinese law that prohibits under severe penalty for any antique to be exported or shipped out of the country today, and the
fact that some Chinese sellers are modifying cloisonne items to look much older than they are, or putting together parts
from various pieces for a large seemingly good item.
Some sellers think that
identifying a cloisonne piece as Chinese is a sure fire way of doing well. Even reputable auction houses, we see a steep
increase in pieces described as antique Chinese objects, when they are post 1950, or vintage Japanese. Buyer beware.
What is going on with Ebay prices and
sellers? In the last few years Ebay has changed it's fee structure for sellers. The cost of selling on Ebay is now
driven by sales only not by listings plus sales, a 10% fee is applied to the final sale price and none is applied for listing
the piece of merchandise. This is completely opposite to their approach from 1997 to 2007 when fees were directly applied
to the amount of the initial listing as well as for the final sale price.
For instance in the past, a listing for a $1.00 cost 35 cents, a listing for $100.00
cost $5.00. This explains why many items on Ebay are now sold for hundreds of dollars, many hugely overpriced. If you
want to see what the value should be, go to Ebay's completed sales and check what sold and for what amount. By doing that,
you will notice that most of the those overvalued pieces were ignored.