China

Chinese aesthetic trends order artistic creations according to a hierarchy that is profoundly different from that of the West: they take into account their more or less direct link with the mind.

Taking advantage of its numerous mineral and clay deposits, China is the cradle of many technical and artistic innovations and has been producing everyday or ornamental objects of rare quality since the dawn of time.
The oldest remains of pottery discovered to date, more than 20,000 years old, have been found in a cave in Jiangxi province. These ceramics have evolved over the centuries, and the first porcelains appeared as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty in the early modern era. At the same time, Chinese artists also excelled in carving figurines in jade, a stone reserved for the imperial family.
Similarly, the Chinese quickly mastered the bronze work to offer us true masterpieces as early as the second millennium before the Common Era. Vases of various shapes and motifs were originally associated with funeral rites and testify to the social rank of the deceased, and they also developed the technique of lacquer, initially intended to protect the wood of the coffins before being enriched with mother-of-pearl inlays and gold powder or being finely chiselled.

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China is also the birthplace of silk, which was already manufactured around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, and of cellulose fibre paper, also known as rice paper, which was to become the ideal medium for calligraphy in the Far East.

Asia and more particularly China fascinated European courts from the Renaissance onwards and many objects were imported or imitated by local artists and craftsmen. It was then fashionable to own screens, furniture, porcelain services, silks, partitions or fans.
Chinese antiques are still very valuable and can fetch large sums of money at auction. It is always advisable to entrust the expertise of the works and furniture to a specialist in Far Eastern art. This specialist will determine with precision the origin and age of the objects on offer and will be able to give an estimate of Chinese antiquity.
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