WHAT'S IT WORTH?
The best and highest quality Satsuma is still available on the market, but not for a few dollars or euro’s. In contrast with paintings, where it is possible to find an old masterpiece among the
junk on a fleamarket, and get it for little money compared with the true value, high quality Satsuma is allways attractive, just by the beauty what is in it. An old canvas with dust and a brown darkned varnish and an unreadable signature can turn
out to be an early work of a highpriced master. With Satsuma that never will be the case, the seller really doesn’t need to be an expert to see that his vase has some value, because Satsuma was made to be attractive and pleasant for the eyes in every
detail what is on it. And in contrast with paintings, age has little influence on this beauty. Of course it can be damaged and cracked all over, but in that case you will not be interested in it anymore.
Don’t start with buying, but
Take the time to see what Satsuma actually is or can be. Search on internet the catalogues of the well known auctionhouses like Sotheby’s and see what they have. Most likely, and not surprisingly of course you’ll find
the better pieces here. At least it gives you an idea about good quality Satsuma, with an adequate description and an estimate of the value. Don’t buy anything before you have a rough idea about what is good and what is bad quality in Satsuma. And even
then: never pay too much, unless you are sure it will stay in your collection for a long, long time. Have in mind that you cannot keep it all, and that when it comes to upgrading and selling, it should be nice if at least you get your money back.
is impossible to give a precise indiciation for the value of a good piece of Satsuma. It all depends of the item itself. But in general it is difficult, though not impossible to find some real good Satsuma under 100 euro. For 200-300 euro
it is very good possible to get something of good quality, but for this price really high quality Satsuma is not always in mint condition. Minatures are most of the time in good condition.For 300-500 euro it is not hard to purchase very good quality
Satsuma, also older pieces with gosu blue on it, and also of bigger size as miniatures. For 500-1000 euro it certainly is possible to find high quality work, and above 1000 euro you should ask yourself if it is really worth to pay a price what will be difficult
to get back, once you want to sell it again. Very high prices are only paid for exceptionally work by exceptional makers as Yabu Meizan, Seikozan, Ryozan, Taizan Yohei and others. Unless your piece bears their signatures, it will be hard to get your money
WHERE TO BUY IT?
There are many places where you can find Satsuma of all kind and quality.
Regular auctionhouses: Bargains you will never find on the big auctionhouses, and although it is very pleasant
to see what’s for sale, it is not sensible to buy there, unless you can afford it of course. Fortunately there are a lot of smaller auctionhouses nationwide, and most of them organize an auction at least three or four times a year. Most auctionhouses
have nowadays the opportunity to bid online, so there is no need to travel around. Those smaller auctionhouses sometimes offer Satsumaobjects of suprisingly very high quality. The difference with the big houses is that most of the smaller auctionhouses
have no in-house specialist for Japanese or Asian porcelain, and are not always able to see the difference between mediocre or high quality Satsuma, and for this reason cannot provide more information on their site as a good picture of the object itself, and
a fair discription of the condition. For a collector of Satsuma that is enough, the object itself is allways the best criterion. The lack of knowledge makes that in the smaller auctionhouses the estimate price of good quality Satsuma sometimes is far
too low, what makes it possible to purchase it for a fair price. Keep in mind that in auctions, there is a 25-30 procent additional charge on the hammer price of the lot that must be paid by the winner. So a winning bid of 300 euro on an item,
means that you have to pay 400 euro.
Online trading sites such as eBay (www.ebay.com) offer a global trading platform where almost anyone can trade virtually unlimited.
It is not a real auction site, trading can always be done through fixed prices, the seller determines for which price you can buy, or through an auction with a fixed date with or without a minimum price. Ebay is certainly an interesting way to find good or
high-quality Satsuma articles. Because all deals are concluded between seller and buyer, there is no commission. The last bid is what you pay, in addition to shipping costs. Generally the seller is reliable and the description correct. The experiences with
the seller is evaluated and rated by former customers what is shown on the site. So everything is transparent and negative surprises are not likely. Although there are sellers who ask ridicolous prices for sometimes mediocre products, it is always up to you
if you want to buy it for this price. Bidding on an item what is sold in auction is of course always the best, in that case the market determines the price. For two or three hundred euro’s you can puchase a very good piece allready. True masterpieces
in great condition are also offered sometimes, in which case it is more likely you have to pay a thousand or more euro’s. Be aware that the description was made by the seller, make your own judgement based upon the photo’s. When the pictures
are not clear, it is better not to bid on it to prevent disappointments.
Online pseudo-auction sites.
In contrast with the onlinebidding possibility offered by real auctionhouses, there are also a number of ‘auction-sites’ what are
in fact search engines for art, antiques and collectibles from thousands of auction houses around the world, offering an huge amount of Satsuma ware sold recently or in the past by auctionhouses all over the world. After clicking on the desired object,
it will send you to the actual auctionhouse, where you can leave yor bid. Examples are www.Liveauctioneers.com, www.Invaluable.com and www.Lot-art.com
Another pseudo-auction site is Catawiki (www. catawiki.com), a Dutch internet company that has been organizing
online auctions in dozens of categories since 2011. From 2019 there will be websites in more than ten European languages and Chinese. Although Catawiki presents itself as a real auction house, it is not. In fact, there aren't that many differences with ebay,
a global trading platform where almost everyone can trade virtually unlimited. There is a so-called auctioneer, but because there is no life contact between the auctioneer and the item itself (so no judgment is possible), and the seller remains responsible
for what is stated in the description, it is doubtful what his function actually is. The estimates given are fairly arbitrary, the seller has influence (between margins) on the estimate, there is no direct communication possible between buyer and auctioneer,
and you have to pay a commission of 9 percent. Nonetheless: if you use Catawiki as it is: a platform between buyer and seller, then it is a nice way to buy a good item of Satsuma, although you will find more often mediocre items.
Fleamarkets and garage
Although it is always nice to walk around a flea market, to see all second-hand clothing, books, paintings and toys, you will find it hard to find something if you are looking for it. The best is always to go and be surprised by what there is,
junk and gems. Finding a good piece of Satsuma at a flea market will only happen if you are not looking for it. And then of course it is a wonderful moment that you can get it for not too much money. Going to a flea market and enjoying all the things on offer
is always fun and that should be the main reason to go. And if you find something unexpected, you will be happy, and if not, you will not be very disappointed. But going to a flea market, just to find some Satsuma, seems like a waste of time.