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Common Misconceptions About Porcelain that Could Cost You Thousands.

I often buy Chinese export porcelain and have found restoration and repairs increasingly good. A black light while still an essential tool no longer is good enough. Tapping a piece of porcelain is also not good enough. The rise of polymers which allow for room temperature curing while at the same time capturing the refractive properties of porcelain have changed the game. 

 

Tapping

At one time (think staple restorations) you could tap a piece of porcelain and the ring ( or lack there of) would tell you quite a bit about the condition. Now a clear ring only tells you to need to get out the loupe and a bright flashlight. The types of epoxy now used in porcelain restoration do a wonderful job of allowing a broken piece to ring like new when properly applied. 

 

Black-lighting 

Many people ( myself included) carry and use a black light to look for restoration. This often means looking for overspray, glue, and new fabricated parts of the piece. The trick is, the new materials used to glue and replace porcelain react to black lights in the same way porcelain does. This means there is no color shift between materials the way there used to be.  I should also note that if the whole back of a plate is sprayed the consistent nature of the paint prevents you from recognizing the color shift. 

 

Tapping and black lighting will help you find old repairs, but they will not help you find new repairs and that can mean thousands of dollars lost if you don't adapt your inspection procedures at auctions and sales. 

 

I would love to answer questions and hear feedback about this, my first blog post. 

 

 

Cheers, 

Sean 

 

 

Find antique shows, auctions and shops all on one map: www.AntiquesNearMe.com

 

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Tags: art, asian, picking, porcelain, restoration

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