GARAGE SALE TIP: Cracks are wack!

GARAGE SALE TIP: How to find hidden cracks in pottery before you buy it

Let's say you find a piece of Fiestaware pottery or a porcelain Nippon vase at a garage sale that looks pretty good, but you're not sure whether it has a hairline crack or just a little crazing. Often a hairline crack is a natural fault and is quite stable, but sometimes it can develop into something serious. Collectors frown on this. That's why the smallest hidden crack, even a hairline, once found, can drop the value of a piece as much as 75%. Fortunately, there's an easy sound test you can do. 

To find hidden cracks in pottery and china before you buy it, place the piece on a solid surface or cradle it in one arm, then gently flick it with your index finger and listen to the sound it makes. (This works best with jars and vases.)  Does it ring like a bell? Or is it a flat sound? If it has a fault, a flaw, a break, repair or crack (even a tiny one) you will hear a very flat sound. THUD. Whereas a "good" piece will ring clear as a bell. 

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