Antique Grand Fair Kyoto

Yesterday I took a rare trip on the Japanese trains. I only ride them once every two years or so now. When I first came to Japan I was on the train so much I studied and learned Japanese during my commuting here and there. We went to the Antique Grand Fair Kyoto. Billed in the Kansai Scene as the largest antique fair in Western Japan, 350 dealers of high repute ….. I can attest to at least one of the claims being wrong.

It was like a who’s who of the Wakakusakai auction I attend every month. I saw at least 20 dealers I see haggling every month over items on the block.

I saw a number of items I have bought at auction, researched and either sold or have here for sale. It was interesting  to see them in the “wild”, prices attached and be able to compare what value people see in them. I still have the first plate I bought at the Wakakusakai auction. By pure luck it turned out to 1) be genuine and 2) be a piece that is in a book on Imari. I saw a different piece from the same kiln at a dealers booth and was able to inquire about it. The piece I saw was selling for 450,000 yen. It is a little earlier than mine. The piece yesterday is from the 1700-1750 period, mine is from the 1750-1800 period. One telling clue is that mine has writing on it. The pieces with writing from that kiln are newer because the decorators were largely illiterate in the earlier period.

I asked a number of dealers about a piece I have now that I picked up for a very reasonable price. Sites in the U.S. have similar listed as 1900-1940 production pieces. Every dealer I asked said Meiji. Meiji runs from 1868-1912. So no one is really wrong but Meiji certainly sounds older.

Blunder of the day.

Luckily it wasn’t mine although I have made more than my fair share. I asked a dealer what type of ceramics a 3 bowl set were. He said Satsuma to which I said I would like to see the back, is it OK if I flip them over. I flipped them over and with out thinking read the back signature out loud, Kutani. Poor guy, being shown wrong by a foreigner no less.

I did meet a French dealer, selling only glass and bronze. He was very friendly and we talked for thirty minutes or more. He was upset at the Japanese dealers for doing something I have seen and thought was typical. Selling at 10% or so over   their purchase price. 10% profit.  He said the Europeans would NEVER lose money on a sale.  My advice to collectors. Buy now. The prices are extremely low and especially the Japanese are selling at prices that once they start rising won’t come back to this level for a very long time.

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One Response to “Antique Grand Fair Kyoto”

  1. shar Says:

    Hi I love jap. combs and porcelains. I am thinking of going to kyoto this year and hoping to find out from you where can u find some true antiques. hope to hear from you. thank you.

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