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Antiques market comes up with modern strategies in downturn

LIKE the art market, the big-ticket antiques market has also contracted in the global economic downturn. But an antiques expo opening this Friday offers collectors a chance to hunt for treasure.

The 2nd Shanghai Antique and Artwork Exposition will run through next Monday at the Shanghai East Asia Exhibition Center.

The expo has drawn nearly 200 antique centers, shops and auction houses nationwide, including the China Guardian Auction House.

Many collectors from France, Japan, Sweden and Singapore will be there.

Antiques run the gamut: jade and precious stone carvings, jewelry, ink-wash paintings, bronzes, ceramics, furniture, and gilded buddhas.

The expo covering 5,000 square meters is organized by the Shanghai Yunzhou Antique Curio town.

"Due to the global economic downturn, there is some doubt whether we can still attract enough collectors through the exposition," says Wang Jiancun, spokesman of the exposition.

"Of course, we have felt some impact, compared with last year. Actually, however, the sluggish economy offers opportunities for collectors who want to hunt for real treasure at a more reasonable price," he says.

The spotlight of the exposition is an incense burner from Longquan Kiln during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It features a small lion on the greenish-blue lid.

The kiln in Longquan, Zhejiang Province, was one of the most famous imperial kilns and dates back 1,600 years. Around 300 ceramics from the kiln are in the Palace Museum in Beijing.

The superior pieces from Longquan Kiln were made from the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, says Wang.

The incense burner was contributed by a private museum in Fuzhou, Fujian Province.

The exposition will offer a seminar about the impact of the economic downturn on the antiques market and strategies to weather the storm.

Date: April 24-27, 9am-5pm

Address: 800 Linglin Rd

Admission: 20 yuan


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