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Chinese curios are not only beautiful indoor decorations, but also a good investment. So I was happy to find a shop featuring various curio items from different Chinese historical periods.

Many ceramic items here show high level of craftsmanship. A pear-shaped, green glaze pot was made 1000 years ago. Its spout and handle were made at the same time. Even today, it's not easy to reproduce an item like this.

The oldest antique in this shop is a 7000-year-old ceramic water container. Its body is the shape of 3 women's breasts, while its top is a baby's face that looks like he wants to suck a breast for milk. This item depicts women's reproduction power.

Another unique item is a blue-and-white porcelain named ¡°Ice Plum Blossom Vase.¡± It features beautiful white blossoms with a blue glaze background. The blossoms are blank spots intentionally left out when the blue glaze was fired to the surface.

Besides ceramic, this shop has some items made of copper or brass. What I like most is a group of 18-Arhat brass sculptures. Each Arhat shows a different emotion. Some are happy, while some are gloomy. They represent people's attitude toward life and the gods they worship.

The shop owner has been dealing in the antique business for over 20 years. He has a sharp eye for antiques.

What I appreciate:
A wide selections

What customers appreciate:
Precious curios, reliable shop owner


As you make your trip to Beijing, you¡¯re sure to find a veritable treasure trove of antiques and curios. For a sample of some of the finest of these items, come visit Ju Ya Zhai in west Beijing.


This shop offers authentic antiques and vintage collectibles. They have everything from old jades, clocks and Peking opera masks to antique vases, jars and Buddhist figurines.


The choices are immeasurable: from the unusual to the downright bizarre, there¡¯s bound to be something that takes your fancy!


I was certainly pleased! There was an old miniature chariot with a soldier who had his arms raised to shoulder level. No matter which direction you turn the chariot, the soldier always points south. It is a reproduction of China¡¯s first "South-Pointing Chariot."


Over 3000 years ago, devices like this were already being used in wartime to tell directions. Wow!


Also amusing was a graceful bronze sculpture of ¡®Mulan,¡¯ the legendary heroine featured in Disney¡¯s 1998 animated film. Women could also be heroes in ancient China.


Mr. Xu, the shop owner, is a serious antique collector and connoisseur. He loves sharing his knowledge with patrons who don¡¯t know much about Chinese antiques.


Add Ju Ya Zhai to your next Beijing tour!


(Note: Under Chinese law, some antiques cannot be taken out of the country.)


Last week I visited Chengtian Antique City in the southeast of Beijing. On the 3rd floor, I found a shop that carried antiques, jade jewelry and other kinds of Chinese artworks. They were perfect for decoration.


In the shop, the first thing I saw was a collection of antique porcelain wares, including vases, bowls and plates. Some of them were made in the Qing Dynasty.


The shop owner Mr. Tang greeted me, and showed me a porcelain statue, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908), a female ruler of the Qing Dynasty. She sat on a stone bench with a big spot dog. Her lips and nails were painted in red. She was wearing a big black hat and a button-down robe in yellow, red and blue. On the robe were embroidered peonies and butterflies. On the hat were two butterflies surrounding a big peony. In China, peony represents wealth and status.


Mr. Tang also showed me their popular jade jewelry items, including pendants and bracelets. They were white, and looked glossy. Jade symbolizes virtue, and brings good health.


I also found Chinese paintings, calligraphy works, and wood carvings. They are all traditional Chinese artworks.


What I appreciated

Chinese antiques and works of art


What customers appreciate

Chinese antiques and works of art


An delicate porcelain always gives you great pleasure. An porcelain with several hundred years of history is all the more valuable for collection.

A fews days ago, I visited Jing Ying Ge, an antique shop featuring porcelain wares of ancient China. The shop owner was a lover of antiques. He had been collecting antique porcelains for 15 years. Many items were as old as 1000 years.

He showed me his favorite - a white porcelain pot characterized by crackles on the surface. Behind this elegant porcelain, there is a story. Once there were two brothers, who were both famous porcelain ware makers in their town. The younger brother was jealous of the older brother, because his porcelains sold better. One day the younger brother scattered sand into the older brother's porcelain-making material, in order to sabotage his work.  Surprisingly,  it turned out that the sand gave beautiful golden stripes to the surface of the porcelain. Later, this kind of porcelains became very popular.. . 

Another notable piece was a covered pot made from precious green Kongque stone. Despite being over 600 years old, it was still in  good shape.

Falancai porcelain only existed in China for  a short period of time. I found a Kwan-yin statue made of falancai porcelain,a really precious item indeed.

What I appreciate:

gorgeous antique porcelains

What customers appreciate:

beautiful antique porcelains, reliable shop owner with much experience in antique business

Beijing pictures, Gu Ya Zhai

Like many other shops on the famous Liulichang St., Guyazhai is a curio shop selling various kinds of antique items, like porcelains, calligraphies, paintings, shadow puppets, snuff bottles, and kites.

The shop owner, Mr. Xu, showed me his collection of porcelain ware excitedly. Most of the items on the wooden shelf had a history of more than 100 years. He especially introduced the one made during Guangxu emperor regime. Because two parts can be rotated, the piece is rare and cost RMB 10000.

I was attracted by its large section of reverse painted tobacco bottles. Most of them are the crystal bottles made by modern artists. These exquisite bottles offer different themes, like spring lantern feast, ancient beauties, fairy tales, and landscapes. I like the cat one the most. If you check closely, you can even see the cat fur clearly painted inside the bottle. Price ranges from RMB 500 to RMB 2000 according to different shapes and skills.

Mr Xu told me the most popular items for foreign tourists are thin-silk kites and shadow puppets. The largest kite in the shop, featuring a light green fish design and made of thin silk, costs RMB 80.

What I Appreciate:
tobacco bottle

What Customer Appreciate:
large selection of curio

Beijing pictures, Jade Family

Jade is believed to bring happiness and luck for the people, keeps away evil, and good for one's health. With its clear jadeite qualities, Hotan Jade has enjoyed a good reputation since ancient times. Its history can be traced back to 1200 years ago.

Jade Family is a Hotan jade shop, which sells finished jade accessories as well as incomplete jade materials that you can design yourself. From jade necklace and bracelet, to large jade home  adornments, Jade Family carries a large selection of jade merchandises.

The shop owner, Ms Cao, told me their story of jade collection in Xinjiang. She said that the mountains south of Hotan City are called Jade Mountains, and the river beside the Hotan city is called the Jade River. Even today, you can find people picking jade from the river. Only in the Jade river one can find the best quality Jade, but the mountains are still mined for cheap jade product.

She showed me a top-quality jade horse. Even though I know little about jade, I still appreciated its whiteness and brightness. The item is sold at RMB 30,000. Another piece I liked was the ¡°Jade Mountain.¡± It had a shape of a mountain, with three old men standing by pine trees. All these represent longevity in China. It costs RMB 2500.

Jade Family also sells some daily items, like ceramic ware, tobacco bottles, and fingerstalls popular back in the early 20th century.

What I Appreciate:
Quality jade

What Customer Appreciate:
Hotan jade and other antique porcelain

Beijing pictures, DaZeTang

Located in Shijingshan Antique City, DaZeTang is a shop selling old-time porcelain ware. The shop owner, Mr Xie, is a ceramic connoisseur.

I was impressed by Mr Xie's knowledge about porcelain, which he happily shared. He showed me a pair of hat-hangers made around 1912. During that period, workers used Fen Cai, a kind of porcelain coloring skill, to portray the beautiful patterns on the wares. But it was later found that Fen Cai items contained lead. So they adopted the European appliqu¨¦ technique later on. So it¡¯s rare to see a Feng Cai work today. The hat-hangers are sold for RMB 3500.

Mr Xie is also a good storyteller. Almost every ceramic ware in his shop has a story, such as a 700 year old porridge vase. It was made in early Ming Dynasty, and tells the story of Mi Fu, a famous Song dynasty calligrapher. Mi Fu often examined stones and bamboos to find the spirit of calligraphy. And he perfected the stability and tenacity of Chinese characters by studying the growth of nature. The story¡¯s philosophy was: calligraphy training is something beyond calligraphy itself. I interpret as ¡°it is important to cultivate the mood in order to produce good works.¡± The price for the porridge vase was pegged at RMB 3000.

There are a lot of other porcelain wares in the shop Mr Xie would like to share. So if you want to learn more, feel free to pay a visit.

What I appreciate:
porcelain knowledge

What customer appreciate:
porcelain knowledge,  old-time ceramic ware


If you're looking for old antiques, Ba Shu Tang at the Bo Gu Yi Yuan antique market won't disappoint you. The owner of Ba Shu Tang has been collecting antiques for 30 years, with thousands of collectible items from all over China.

Most of his collections are porcelains and potteries. They come in various forms such as food containers, vases, basins, tea sets, brush vases, and ink stones.  The columnar porcelains with beautiful traditional Chinese paintings attracted me so much. I thought they were containers. But the owner said they were used to hang hats in ancient China.

The various brush pots are also fascinating. Some look like teapots with several little holes. The holes were for placing brushes. Ink or water contained inside of the pots would keep brushes from becoming dry. They are all several hundred years old.

Ever wondered how people in ancient China ironed their clothes? I found an iron which looked like a ladle for scooping water. While the clothes are being ironed, charcoal burns inside to make the bottom hot enough. And one would put a wooden stick into the hole to protect the hand from the heat.

Price of antique varies a lot, from RMB 300 to RMB 10,000.

What I appreciate:
Various antiques, reliable shop owner with rich experience in appraising antiques

What customers appreciate:
Precious curios


Huaxia Arts and Crafts Shop is built in an antique style. Two white stone lions are keeping guard at the door. The shop specializes in old jewelry, silk embroidery, old porcelain, classical Chinese furniture, old pocket watches, etc.


Getting into the shop, a customer feels a serene and agreeable artistic atmosphere. This is all the more surprising as the street outside is very busy. The shop d¨¦cor is beautiful with gray-black stone tiles, and glass enclosures in which the jewelry and other antiques are displayed. Every article here is appealing and worthy of appreciation.


The shop carries 19th century jewelry -- such as jadeite eardrops and necklace pendants ¨C dating back from the Qing Dynasty. Delicate and lifelike embroidery works hang on the wall. Some of these embroideries were worn by imperial officials, some such as little hats were worn by children. The latter aren¡¯t expensive at between RMB 100 to RMB 200.


One of the showcases contains vials and flasks dating back one hundred to two hundreds ago. These were used to pack snuff powder which the rich people would periodically inhale for better health. One of such vials bore a mountain design etched in black ink in the ceramics: a very rare object which required extraordinary skills from the artist. This one was priced at over RMB 6,000.


I also noticed ceramic tableware: one of the objects was a saucer set composed of eight trays surrounding a centerpiece. All the trays, used to contain sugar, salt, and spices, where delicately decorated. The set also dated from the Qing Dynasty, and was in remarkable condition. Most old porcelain items on display were created during the Qing Dynasty, that is, one hundred to three hundred years ago.


The shop also offers an impressive selection of antique clockworks, in metal and porcelain.


A lot of the objects can be exported to foreign countries.


What I appreciated

Antiques of the Qing Dynasty


What customers appreciate

Old and exquisite works of art, traditional Chinese handicrafts, a place for collectors

Beijing pictures, Huaxia Arts and Crafts Shop

Huaxia Arts and Crafts Shop is built in an antique style. Two white stone lions are keeping guard at the door. The shop specializes in old jewelry, embroidery, old porcelain, classical Chinese furniture, old pocket watches, etc.


Getting into the shop, a customer feels a serene and agreeable artistic atmosphere. Every article on display is appealing and worthy of appreciation. Old jewelry such as jadeite eardrops and necklace pendants is displayed in showcases. Delicate and lifelike embroidery works hang on the wall. They cost RMB 380 to RMB 10000. Among them, a yellow pattern named ¡°Dragon Gown¡± priced at RMB 8500 looked very attractive. A cloisonn¨¦ work named ¡°Elephant Carrying Vase on Back¡± cost RMB 190. Most old porcelain items on display were made in the Qing dynasty. Prices for old pocket watches range from RMB 1800 to RMB 8800.


What customers appreciate

Old and exquisite works of art, traditional Chinese handicrafts, a good place for collectors.

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Beijing Shopping: Chinese curios are not only beautiful indoor decorations, but also a good investment. So I was happy to find a shop featuring various curio items from different Chinese historical periods.