When the Gotheborg Discussion Board was started back in June 1999 it was with several purposes in mind. I felt that we as collectors lacked a meeting place that the professional dealers had in their regular trade fairs, where they could tell each other about upcoming events and exchange trade gossip. I felt that the newly invented Internet opened a completely new way of creating a meeting place where we collectors could make friends and meet other collectors with similar interests, from all over the world. It would be a place where we could help each other to learn more about our own collections and, not the least important - help each other to avoid buying fakes.
Then among scholars and collectors there had always been a tradition to pick up a student with whom you could share your knowledge and to train to follow in your footsteps, and to keep all this practical, hands on, knowledge alive. Also according to the traditions it does take decades of effort to become reasonable knowledgeable in Asian ceramics.
What our members say
Having access to the Internet and this incredible discussion board allows us to gather information at an amazing rate.
I find the Gotheborg forum to be to be the single most effective tool that a collector can have, especially if you're collecting on a solo basis and away from the large markets. I am now adding to my library from the recommended books list and reexamining my earlier acquired ceramics with a new eye for quality. Thanks to all.
"No one can possibly learn it all, but it is possible to gain a working knowledge in some areas, in a reasonable amount of time. I have to admit, also, that it is a lift to ones ego to finally get to the stage where antique porcelain is not all just one confusing mess, and to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff."
"I must admit I'm having a great deal of fun reading the threads and making a posting here and there. There's a vast amount of information in the discussion pages that is very difficult to find elsewhere. :)"
Your most valuable site changes the information dynamic for Chinese porcelain, just as countless other people change the informational dynamic for other topics. You are a true community creator and there must be many people grateful for your efforts, knowledge and, above all, patience. Again, my thanks.
All I can say is WOW! Ever see the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" with Judy Garland? There is a scene where her house has flown and landed in a new land, and up until this point the movie is in black and white, and when she opens the door (in Munchkinland) all is immediately color, Technicolor. The impact is dramatic. Well, the same feeling here. What a great site! I never knew what I was missing. Excellent!
For the record I love this site. I should have joined sooner. I have known about the general site for quite a while and it was the most informative on the net, but this discussion board is mind boggling.
Hello Jan-Erik, To a recently retired and novice collector, your site and the contribution of learned list members are an invaluable resource in learning about this wonderful and complex art form which is Chinese ceramics. Thank you for leading the way...M
"Thank you for your help and translation, I don't know how I survived before finding this Board!!"
"Thank You for everything that your site does and stands for."
"I'm particularly fond of Jun pieces because I can date the start of my present burning passion for Chinese ceramics to a time a couple of years ago when I bought two pieces, a 'Yuan Jun' bowl and a 'Jizhou' black glazed bowl. Initially totally ignorant, but spellbound by their beauty, I began researching into the many different wares and how these and similar pieces had been made. By the time I realized that they were both fakes it was too late - I was completely and utterly hooked ... "
"It is a pleasure to join your site. Your site has provided much information to me in the past and it is the least I can do for the help it has provided me. For the one day I have been a member I am amazed at how helpful the forums are. It is a decision I am truly glad I made. Thanks for a great site and it is a pleasure to join the family."
"I enjoy this forum so much because it is a place of rational discourse and critical thinking. However, the spirit is always one of kindness, consideration and generosity. Disagreement is encouraged when it is well-reasoned, thoughtful and done with respect. It is literally "a breath of fresh air" to be able to participate in this type of intellectual exchange. The world would be a better place if this sort of exchange occurred more often on important topics that affect the well-being of all of us -- it is, sadly, all too rare."
"Before I say anything else, let me say what a wonderful site this is. I have never seen a site with more complete information and very thoughtful considerate people. VERY well done!"
"From the Netherlands I want to congratulate everybody who make this wonderful web site possible and especially to you, to create a site with this large amount of information about Chinese and Japanese ceramics. Gotheborg.com really means a lot to me and through this site I truly began getting interested in eastern ceramics. I am very grateful for that."
"From Indonesia, I also would like to say congratulation to you and dragons who have great contribution on developing competencies of collectors around the world through this great site. Gotheborg is very useful for ceramic lovers to improve knowledge, share and enjoy the oriental ceramics. Thank you very much."
"I would most certainly support a subscription fee to cover costs. A Sponsor's Page could also be maintained to recognize those who contribute additional funds. This is a model site for discussion of a complex and difficult topic. Thanks"
"One hundred dollars a year is very cheap for the information we acquire from the list and most books cost more than this. I would not like to see advertising of any kind on the list. It is just too tacky. I would like to see the list open to any one who wants to read the threads. Above all I would like to see the integrity and the feeling of friendship maintained on the list. It has become one of the high points of my life and I would like to keep it this way."
"Much congratulation and am grateful that I have received much ceramic education and deeply indebted to all. Gotheborg have been and will be my Primarily Teacher and still believe in three things in Life: Right time, Right place and enough cash ... :-))"
"Like so many others, I've gained such a lot from the list, almost from the day I hesitantly bought my first piece. Haven't had time recently to do more than glance at the list occasionally, but expect to return in due course. It is pleasant to breathe its atmosphere, scholarly and friendly and on occasion humorous."
"From British Columbia Canada a very sincere thank you. What you have created will go down in history as the most comprehensive and detailed study resource ever conceived. This site and its contents will be studied and researched by interested collectors and students for generations. Again, a sincere thank you for everything."
"I am at times amazed about the massive amounts of diverse information while trying to search this board for something. Still, I have a feeling this is only the beginning."
"This site was a wonderful discovery for me. I have been reading and learning for a few months now, but have not posted. I do have a few pieces that I might seek comment on someday..."
"Congratulations!!!!! and welcome to #1200, who ever you are....You have just joined a unique virtual community. From my home in Sunny California I want to say this board is a great meeting place to discuss and learn about Asian arts. The Dragons, Jan-Erik, senior members, and newbies, all contribute to an environment where open discussion and sharing of information/ideas is supported. I thank you all for your continued patience and input."
"Here comes congratulations from your homeland Sweden. When I started with the list about two years ago we was about 350 members if I remember right. And now 1200!! Where will it end? Soon are the whole world Chinese ceramic collectors, thanks to you. You have made my spare time interesting and given me friends all over the world. A big lotus to you."
"I recently discovered this site as I was searching the web for Oriental ceramics marks and started browsing and reading threads. Encouraged by the wealth of information available and exchanged, and by the earnest participation of novices and experts alike, I made two submissions to the Discussion Board and got highly rewarding results both in terms of knowledge and friendly advice. "
"The lack of any commercial purpose and the dedication of the Administrators in monitoring the Site's code of ethics convinced me that this initiative, free for the public, was to be supported as it provided an invaluable platform for the study and exchange of notions among all those who were interested in Oriental Ceramics. "
"This Site has flourished by responding to the queries of both the elite and the garage sale browsers, the scholar and the first grader, the serious collector and the interested recipient of a vase out of his deceased aunt's estate. Many of these queries originated extremely interesting debates and contributions in terms of pictures, specific information and references. "
"Thank you for a great resource and friendly meeting place."
"I cannot put a value on what I have learned so far from this site and the members who so graciously share their experience and knowledge. In many ways the information is priceless - lessons learned from other people's life experience and from their studies. I can estimate how much money I have SAVED by being a member - the items I have looked at and walked away from without buying them. In the last month alone I can think of 5 or 6 items that would have cost me over $500 if I had been foolish enough to buy them. One year ago I would not have known better, and they would be sitting in my display cabinet."
"If there had been a fee involved to join this site before I could start reading it, I probably would not have joined. I would not have known any better - and I would not be learning."
"I am truly grateful for this site, and for showing me a way to approach the study of antiques that I had not been exposed to before. And the principals that I am learning here are applicable in all areas of my life as well as other areas of antique collecting. Combining a discerning eye, the sense of touch, and mastering the ability to see what is truly there, rather than what I want to be there - these are priceless gifts."
The Gotheborg web page went online first time in 26th of November 1996 under the by Jan-Erik Nilsson registered domain gotheborg3.se, to focus mostly on the Swedish East India Trade to China during the 18th century. In 1996 it changed name and focus towards a Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Collectors Help and Information page. The 27th of June 1999 an email list was added. In April 23, 2003 the discussions were moved into a private Discussion Board to avoid spam and guarantee continuity. Over the years many people have joined this collectors community, made friends, had fun and on the whole contributed to make the world a little better place. Design and content of all pages as they appear on gotheborg.com © Jan-Erik Nilsson, Gothenburg, Sweden 1993-2017.