Fleabites…not just for animals!

Sometimes we get some pretty funny questions from eBayers about the items we sell.  We just received this question about the unmarked condensed milk container we have up:

“Dear seller, Very pretty item. You have dog/cat?  Why flea bite??”

After we quit laughing, we weren’t sure if this potential buyer was being silly (we could see they have purchased Nippon in the past), or if they were being sincere.  This brought up a good discussion between myself & our client regarding “fleabites” on antique porcelain.

We would never use the term fleabite to disguise or minimize a chip in porcelain.  When we say fleabite, we mean the very smallest nick possible, usually found on the bottom edges of an item from age, moving around, ect.  Since we are not Nippon experts, we always point out any flaw, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to others.  We do the most research we can on each item we sell, and would never misrepresent or overstate the condition.  There are many differing opinions on what type of damage/flaws are acceptable in the world of Nippon collecting, and we leave it up to our descriptions to let you determine if the item is suitable to you.

What are your opinions on what is acceptable/unacceptable flaws in your collection(s)?


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One thought on “Fleabites…not just for animals!

  1. kelekchens says:

    Qaulity and not qauntity is important to me as a collector. Think museum quality. If it is chipped, cracked, crazed, stained or missing peices, the value is less. Much less. Yes, the items are old and yes they are used but the ones I hold onto are the ones in mint condition. I sell, trade and try to move damaged pieces to move up the qaulity of my personal collection. Also desirable to me are items that are signed by the artist and the item should be well painted. Not all are equal in quality even though they may be the same pattern. And I disagree that you are not experts. With as many items as you handle, research, photograph and describe your as knowledgable as any collector and more knowlegable than most.
    Surprisingly, many don’t know the difference between regular size and child’s dishes or toys. I am getting ready to write a blog on some recent purchases and intend to include some info on that.
    The other thing I look for are pieces not in a VanPatten book. I like original items that are scarce and hard to find so not pictured in a book.
    Are you members of the International Nippon Collectors Club? Not only should collectors/dealers support a club but should also be able to work well with other reputable dealers like the Myriad Trading Company.
    I get a lot of questions about Nippon. I refer them to my blog. (:-)

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