Chinese Laundry

Taken from the Poly International website, and shows an auction in progress.

As has become clear in recent years, a significant shift in the art and antiques market has occurred. With a population of 1.4 million millionaires, an abundance of mainland Chinese art collectors are interested and enthused in purchasing high-end Chinese art and antiques, as a way of returning Chinese art to China.

Todd W. Sigety of Appraiser Workshops referenced journalist for Forbes Abigail Esman’s “China’s $ 13 Billion Art Fraud — And What It Means For You,” in his article ” Is China the Number 1 Art Market?” recently. Sigety’s article introduces the Forbes report as an educational story about the art market in China. The Forbes report itself, however, surprisingly features a number of accusations towards China.
The Forbes report discusses that despite the Chinese art market currently being quite popular world-wide, it is very difficult to discover the true value of many pieces, since falsely inflated prices along with distorted sales for an unknown period of time, has strayed appraisers and auction houses from having the ability to discern the worth of a piece. Another variable that manipulates the value of genuine Chinese art and antiques, are the amount of fake replications of these pieces available on the market.
Unfortunately, the act of money laundering is performed during transactions in nations all around the world. Of course, this is not partial to China, however, now that a significant spotlight in the art market is shining on China, it would be wise of Chinese auction houses and other entities with global interest to more transparently report their sales and profits. Apparently, a number of non-Chinese collectors are being swindled into purchasing pieces for prices higher than their true value, and blame money laundering and market manipulation as reasons for being deceived. Although, I feel that any collector of art should know to search deeper for a piece’s provenance, authenticity, and research the piece in general to find it’s true value before purchasing. A common phenomena to beware of in the collecting world, is that the piece was not illegally un-earthed, or stolen from a site in which other pieces were destroyed in the process. My feeling is that an experienced collector — Chinese or not — would know to watch out for these warning signs in cases of possible price manipulations.
This link is to the most famous auction house in China — Beijing Poly International Auction Co., Ltd. : http://www.polypm.com.cn/english/english.php
Cheers,
Natasha
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