Condition of Antiques

Scratches are inevitable on antiques that have passed through the hands of people for hundreds or thousands of years.

At what point in time were the scratches made?

How much does it affect the appreciation or use of the item?

Is it acceptable in balance with the price?

In this site, condition is explained in detail in each item description from these perspectives.

The words used to describe the condition of antiques are various and specialized.

Please refer to the Condition Guide as a reference.

Condition Guide

  • [Chip(Hotsu)]

    A very small chip of a few millimeters on the rim or base of a piece of pottery.

  • [Chip(Soge)]

    A chip on one side of the rim or base.

  • [Hairline crack(Nyu)]

    A crack that has passed through the glaze and into the clay. A crack that can be seen from both the reverse side and the front side.

  • [Craze(Kan-nyu)]

    A crack that does not reach the clay but only the glaze. A characteristic of this type of crack is that the same crack does not extend to the reverse side. They may be caused by shrinkage during firing and are often not regarded as scratches.

  • [Small radial crack(Atari)]

    Minuscule scratches or radial cracks created by the impact of a bump. Often refers to a wound made on the body.

  • [Radial crack(Toriashi)]

    Radial cracks on the body or bottom.

  • [Special pattern(Hittsuki)]

    The pattern that the next ceramic falls down, touches and other debris sticks with when they are firing.

  • [Lose luster(Kase)]

    An area where the originally lustrous glaze has become lack lusterless due to poor firing or aging.

  • [Gray stain(Kemuri)]

    A gray blotch formed on the surface during firing.

  • [Scratch(Sure)]

    Minor scuff marks on the surface of a piece due to aging. The piece is considered "intact" unless it is significantly detracting from the impression.

  • [Kiln marks(Kamakizu)]

    Cracks or chips formed naturally during firing. Since they are not acquired, they are considered to be intact.

  • [Repair (Tomonaoshi)]

    The process of repairing a missing part to reproduce the color and texture of the surrounding area.

  • [Gold repair/Silver repair(Kintsugi/Gintsugi)]

    Repairing a missing part using gold or silver.