Robert Yellin's Japanese Pottery Blog

Greetings from Kyoto, We've just moved our gallery into a magnificent old Sukiya style home located very near the Silver Pavilion; a stunning area and setting for the inspired ceramic art we share with the world. Please visit us if ever in Kyoto or online at and

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's It Worth....

Here in Japan there's an extremely popular TV program called Nandemo Kantei (We'll Appraise Anything), sort of like an Antique Roadshow overseas. It's quite an entertaining program and the appraisers, mostly dealers, are now celebrities. Anyway, over the New Year's holiday I was watching the program with my daughter and some lady on the show had a collection of porcelain dolls that looked like they were made in Europe. Turns out they were made in Seto and as all pieces of the post-war period were made for foreign tastes and thus for export. As such few remain in Japan and her collection was valued at a whopping six million yen! Next a rather cocky gentleman appeared saying how his Chosen-Karatsu mizusashi was a masterpiece from the Momoyama period (16th C.) and the authenticated box signed by Katsura Matasaburo went to prove it. He placed a value of two million yen on it. I looked at my daughter and said gansaku or fake; the glazing was so off, the form tight as a....., and the hakogaki box writing not fluid at all. Keika (result), 5,000 yen or thereabouts, don't remember the actual number. Boy, was he not happy at all! The show airs weekly with re-runs all the time.


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