Asian cultures are among the oldest in the world and are associated with some of the finest and most interesting antiques and collectible objects on the planet. Innovation and top-notch artistry led to the creation of fine porcelain ware, painted silk scrolls, and paper screens, seen in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian cultures.

Japanese's ancient style of dress, particularly the colorful kimonos inspired by the Noh theater, are highly collectible, as are netsuke, the figurines carved out of ivory or coral used to fasten containers called inro to men's obi sashes. The Japanese were also known for their ukiyo-e woodblock prints and technically superior samurai swords.

Chinese artisans mastered the skill of carving jade, a precious stone believed to have special powers, into delicate figurines, jewelry, and other objects such as weapons. Chinese and Korean potters, meanwhile, created the jade-like celadon glaze for stoneware and strong white clay now known as porcelain. Both Chinese and Japanese artists painted extravagant, intricate scenes onto their vases, bowls, and other porcelain objects. Common motifs on these vases, as well as in Asian antiques and statues, include dragons, lions, tigers, Buddhas, flowers, birds, mountains, moons, and characters from folklore.

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Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]

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