Thursday, 19 February 2015

Pot among pots

The other day when browsing for some Chinese crafts on display during this festive lunar new year season, I stumbled upon something special. There was this pot among many pots that were on display on an exhibition site. All the other pots looked very ordinary and most people could differentiate them as new fakes with big name like Gu Jingzhou crafted at the back. The colour on the pots looked like a layer of shoe shine being applied on them.

However, there was this pot stood out by itself among all the trash pots. Although its colour looked (a deep brownish hue) similar to others, there was a different kind of class that made it shone like no other pots. At once I realized that this must be an old pot (made from old zisha clay), made some fifty years ago. I checked with the trader who displayed all these ware on a make-shift tent. To my surprise, the price he quoted was not high. However I did not buy the pot immediately.

The trader was from China. He brought in a lot of Chinese crafts like vases, figurines and many other auspicious  objects people would buy during the new year season. He would displayed them on make-shift tent during this festive season as he reckoned business would be good. A lot of residents from this region would buy vases from him to celebrate the new year. Some would buy figurines of goats to usher in the new year. Others would be buying paintings and flowers. Yet there would be those who hang around looking for something special if not valuable to buy.Usually when the new year was around the corner, the trader would have to sell off his ware at a huge discount as he did not want to take them back to China.

Just before the lunar new year began, I visited the exhibition site again and the pot was still there. It seemed that no one recognized that it was indeed an old pot. So nobody bothered to ask the price. The trader found that no one liked the pot, he sold it to me at a discounted price.

I took the pot home, cleaned it up and soaked it in hot boiling water. The engraving on the pot revealed that it was probably made during the republic era. It was indeed a good pot as water came out smoothly from its spout without any spillage.

There was a saying in the collectors' circle, opportunity belongs to those who come prepared. This means if you know your stuff, you can pick up good things in the midst of thrash.

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