Not your grandma's Antiques Roadshow

Actor Wang Gang, an avid collector of antiques, is the new host of a show called "Collection" (天下收藏) on Beijing TV.

Like other antiques shows, participants on "Collection" submit their antique ceramics or artwork to a panel of experts for a judgment of provenance. What distinguishes "Collection" from those other shows is that Wang destroys any pieces that are found to be counterfeit. From Beijing Daily Messenger:

...Wang Gang and the crew cooked up a golden mallet and a judge's brush; if, during the program, an object brought by a collector is fake, Wang Gang will take up the mallet and smash it. If a painting brought by a collector is fake, Wang will mercilessly destroy it with the brush dipped in red ink. This is done so that the fake pieces cannot be returned to the antiques marketplace.

Through 20 January, nine episodes of "Collection" had been recorded and three had aired. In those nine episodes, Wang smashed a total of 7 fake ceramics and destroyed a number of paintings.

As for whether collectors are willing to accept the destruction of their treasures on the program, Wang Gang said that China's antiques world has a tradition of smashing counterfeits. Many major collectors have accidentally acquired fakes and have smashed them themselves. So if pieces were not destroyed on the program, true collectors would smash them once they returned home since they now knew they were counterfeit. "Collection" producer Zhao Chunhua said that before recording the program the crew informs the collectors of this phase, and if they are willing to participate, they sign a "letter of challenge" acknowledging that their objects will be smashed if they are found to be fake.

Xi'an Evening News notes that pieces that are clearly marked as imitations will get a reprieve. Collectors are also able to save their fake treasures from the golden mallet by making a public acknowledgement that the pieces are counterfeits.

Wang said that at least one piece has been smashed on each episode, and in one installment, all three items submitted to the experts were ruled fake.

The show airs weekly on BTV-1 at 22:05 Saturday and repeats at 11:05 Sunday and on BTV-5 at 10:05 Saturday.

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There are currently 5 Comments for Not your grandma's Antiques Roadshow.

Comments on Not your grandma's Antiques Roadshow

Damn. I hate Antiques Roadshow. Hate it. I am convinced the only reason people like it is to watch someone learn that the collectible their mother told them was worth thousands is actually worth $25. It seems the Chinese version is further proof of my theory.

There are too many counterfeits in China, not only those ceramics or paintings, but also some certificates or qualifications. As a Chinese, I doubt the honesty of our own nation.

I suppose what I say will make China Law Blog hate Antiques Roadshow even more: What I get a kick out of on AR is when the appraiser says that since a piece has been restored with a new coat of varnish, it is now only worth a couple of hundred dollars. If it had been left in its original state it would be worth thousands.

But, seriously, the show points out that there is value in antiques and paintings, and they don't need to be by world famous artists either.

This is progress - in the Cultural Revolution the genuine articles would no doubt have been smashed.

Sweet, Wang Gang rocks

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