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"The Guide to Chinese Antiques and Relics" -- Self Introduction

@@The various illustrations contained in books on antiques and relics currently available are mostly of pictures collecting from the National Museum and other local or foreign museums, nothing particular in those contents. It would be difficult for a new entrant to step into the realm of antiques and relics basing only on the descriptions provided from those limited illustrations. We must understand that there are numerous types of antiques and relics in existence, with ever-changing models, contouring decorations, painting styles and base glazes. The currently available antique books on the market, which contain fragmentary descriptions to depict fixed illustrations, and make conclusive statements, are indeed impractical and deficient to meet the needs of a beginner.

@@Thus, in "The Guide to Chinese Antiques and Relics," I completely depart away from the poor examples of other antiques and relics books. As getting rid of some existing flaws, I use creative, futuristic and practical presentations to offer the readers or audience a brand new approach to easily enter into the world of antiques and relics.

@@The books on antiques and relics from the old school emphasized written descriptions with few sets of pictures; it is difficult for readers to evaluate the massive market supply of historic relics simply basing on these limited descriptions. It is extremely disturbing and pitiful to see many people spent years in research of these books though hesitant to physically acquire any relics, simply for lack of confidence resulting from inferior information given in the illustrations.

@@I have been studying and collecting antiques and relics for more than twenty years. My experience inspired me the intricate and complex field of antiques and relics requires substantiation between theory (book learning) and physical objects, with the physical thing twice as important as the theory. Therefore, this book tries to stay away from wordy expressions, stresses comparisons among objects as well as practices, to avoid misleading readers from written descriptions. As you know, even though there are many antiques and relics on the market, it is almost impossible to reconcile an identical item from what was described from the book. To be lead astray by descriptions is the most common mistake made by today's collectors. With my twenty years of experience studying and collecting antiques and relics, I believe there is no other alternative to getting involved but to look at the real objects. By comparing with the different models, their contouring decorations, painting styles and base glazes, trust the readers will find understanding antiques and relic an easy matter, this is what I would love to see and why this book was written.

Antique and Relic Researcher
Sincerely,Tsai Wen Shiung,
Taichung
July, 1998

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