Investing in Chinese Export Silver
A collector's price guide to Investment potential for Chinese Export Silver
Most investments these days exist only as the ones and zeroes of computer screen. You can't get a bond or old-fashioned stock certificate in paper form even if you want one. Art and antiques are one of the few tangible investments that can be visually enjoyed while they create a monetary profit for those collectors who are willing to hold onto their pieces during the time their value gradually increases.
From fine decorative arts to wearable adornments, silver never goes out of style and values almost always continue to rise. Silver has always held an exalted position within the decorative arts. The fact that it is a precious metal distinguishes it from other media such as porcelain, wood, and glass, which do not have inherent value.
Chinese Export Silver is probably the fastest growing category in the overall silver auction market. It is only within the last 15 or 20 years that collectors have rediscovered Chinese Export silver. The market for Chinese Export Silver continues to revolve. Chinese Export Silver pieces have appeared in general silver sales in UK and US auction houses. In general, been up to 3-4 times that of a comparable piece of English silver.
Today, interest is growing steadily, and collecting has spread beyond the Western market. In an article called "Background Notes - Chinese Export Silver" in the March-April 2002 issue of Silver Magazine, which featured a collectors' forum on Chinese Export Silver, they pointed out that -- in a relatively new development -- even Chinese collectors are beginning to hunt for fine pieces of Chinese Export Silver that come onto the market.
The article also reported that one early dealer of Chinese Export Silver in Asia, Glenn Vessa in Hong Kong, began offering Chinese Export Silver pieces after his first trip to China in 1975. Mr. Vessa has found that interest by local and mainland Chinese dealers and collectors has matured to the point that some now collect only specific makers, or only pieces produced in specific Chinese cities. He added, "Price doesn't seem to be a major consideration."
My own personal true experience: To fund this website and trying to promote Chinese Silver Category to more people around the world, i have recently begun selling some of my collections on Ebay (2016). Out of 10 items that i sold, 3-4 item goes to China. Please read our article on Chinese Middle Class - Powering the Chinese Art Market.
With the steady and continous growing interest, Chinese Export silver is perhaps the fastest growing area in the overall silver auction market. From October 16th to October 28th 2014 Christie's is holding an online auction of Chinese Export silver consisting of 88 lots. It will be interesting to see what prices are fetched at this exclusive sale. (I will update the realized price later after the auction)
Lot 34 : Christie's Auction Wang Hing Silver Bowl
8 5/8 in. (21.6 cm.) diameter; 28 oz. 10 dwt. (885 gr.)
Price Realized: USD 8750
Lot 6 : Christie's Auction Wong Shing Silver Mug
4 5/8 in. (11.6 cm.) high; 12 oz. 10 dwt. (394 gr.)
Price Realized: USD 3750
Lot 149 : Christie's Auction A Pair Wang Hing Tazza
7 in. high (18 cm.), 7½ in. diameter (19 cm.) 44.5 oz. (1402 gm.)
Price Realized: USD 8110
Lot 44 : Christie's Auction Luen Wo 3 Piece Tea Service
The teapot 8 ¾ in. (21.9 cm.) long; 37 oz. 10 dwt. (1,169 gr.) gross weight
Price Realized: USD 5625