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Antiquity Collectors Market - Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Herbert Giess November 2004

… In Heaven there is the Paradise, in China there is Hangzhou and Suzhou!

With these words the Chinese describe the amenities of Hangzhou and Suzhou, two cities located in vicinity of Shanghai in eastern China.

Hangzhou, a city of now nearly 3 millions and the ancient Lin’an, capital of the Southern Song Dynasty until 1276, is especially known for its beautiful West Lake. This artificial lake was created from an ancient river arm in 1089 and successively extended and transformed into one of China’s most remarkable garden landscape.

Old and modern Hangzhou

West Lake with Bai causeway

As business trips bring me to this city quite often, I try to never miss the Saturday antiquity market which is held in the courtyard of a multistory house opposite the Capital Star Hotel Hangzhou on 448 Wenhui Street near the city center. There, flying sellers from Hangzhou and nearby regions display, from 7:00 to 14:00, their “antiquities”. With good bargaining, “make a counteroffer at 1/3 of the asked price and appear to walk away” some interesting pieces also of Jade can be bought.

The Collector Market in a Wenhui Street backyard

Jade articles on display

Copies of Neolithic Jades (Liangzhu culture).

A “new” Neolithic Bi – asking price 1000RMB or about 120$ US.

A lot of local connoisseurs

Find the piece You like!

Here more of them!

friendsofjade.squarespace.com/storage Mr. Wu DeZhang, my preferred supplier of high quality Liangzhu Jade copies

Uighur Jade pebbles seller from far Hotan

Some real and many faked white Jade pebbles

All in all it can be said that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you have to decide if the pieces offered suit your taste and your budget. Do not expect to find real ancient Jade pieces (pre-Qing) but you might be lucky, who knows. The market is frequented mostly by locals and few tourists which guarantees a little bit of more reasonable prices.

Herbert Giess
November 2004

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