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Family Heirloom Jars from Borneo

I have several family "BIG JARS" which I have owned since 1980. They were purchsed by my father in around 1980 during his assignment in east Klimantan (Borneo Island).

I would like you to help me to describe they came from (originally) and what years this kind of jars was made and maybe indicate wheter this is fake or original antiques ones.

I know I should send you more detaild photographs ... however this is the only ones (attached) I've got...I'll try to get more photo's soon.

Would you also give the rough estimate of market price for this kind of Jars ??

The top jar has a diameter around 55 cm and height 125 cm

The bottom jar has a diameter around 75 cm and height +/- 90 cm

Thanks for your kindness and cooperation, looking forward to hear from you.

Difficult subject

This subject is very difficult and there is really no way for me to help you out on this.

To tell genuine antique Jars from moderna ones, there is no way around the fact that these must be studied in person, and even then it would be difficult to tell old ones from new. Even the place they could have been made at are difficult to tell since there are very little archaeological material to base any opinion on.

The top brown jar looks to me to be Vietnamese 18th century from the top rim, the ring handles and its general appearance, and the bottom one, seems to me to be a quite recent one from the coastal areas of southern China.

The best book on the subject I know of is Barbara Harrisson, Pusaka, Heirloom Jars of Borneo, who at least makes a good try sorting up this difficult subject.

If you want to sell them you only need to contact an auction house and they will help you sort the collection out to the best of their knowledge. The prices are unfortunately rather low as compared to the size of the items, but this is mostly due to lack of space with the collectors.

There are indeed a few collectors of this kind of Jars in South East Asia I know of, but they are few. Most jars of this kind are in the west sold as individual pieces as decorative items. A typical auction price for an antique, large jar of this type in London would be about US $500.

Jan-Erik Nilsson