Appraising Chinese antiques begins with discovering the dynasty of the object. Several various markers assist with gaining this knowledge. A seal may actually state the dynasty on the ceramics, painting or furniture. The pattern of the piece may suggest a specific dynasty, giving the appraiser the opportunity to evaluate the pieces worth.
1. Examine the seals on the antiques. Often, the crafts person will sign with a seal of origin and the name of the house of artisans of a particular dynasty. How common or if in every dynasty, rural antiques are dubious, research on the various dynasty and artisans. The Emperor probably gave a seal to the artisans directly under his charge, for palace furnishings and gifts. More than likely, the supporters of these artisans received a stamp also. These patterns are similar to the Japanese shogun flowers and geometric patches for the kimono of the samurai.
2. Look for specific patterns. Specific patterns were introduced on various dynasties' to denote a time reference in your antique evaluation. Most museums with a Chinese ceramics and painting department will have list and photographs of the patterns, many are still popular today and used in china dinnerware for example.
3. Check the glaze colors; glazes denote certain dynastic periods; Celadon green a classic from the Ming Dynasty, where cadmium yellows introduced onto the glazing processes, crating a unique light yellow green, like jade in color. The Kangxi period (1669-1772), blue and white porcelain created during several dynasties, and the refined drawings style, became known even to the Dutch masters blue porcelain, these works became increasingly popular in Europe. Also from the Kangxi period are the tri colored porcelains of unique and delicate beauty, unmistakable to an appraisal, since their colors and forms are unique. Ming dynasty ground yellow glazes with the green dragon are unmistakable, and easily identifiable.
A great place to begin your quest for affordable Chinese antiques of all types is the Asian Antiques Shop at http://www.asianantiquebargains.com.