Liulichang was the site of a colored-glaze kiln in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The antique market didn’t come into being until the middle of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when the kiln was moved.
Strolling along the market, you will find ancient Chinese style buildings housing paintings, calligraphy, old coins, seals, jade and collectible stamps. The first few large stores are state-run authentic antique stores whose prices run from several thousand yuan to as high as a million per item. Those at the far ends of the market are private stores selling tea pots, painting paper, painting brushes, mostly non-antique Chinese art work and similar, attractively-priced items.
Check out the many famous “brand name” shops such as Rongbaozhai, Qingmige, and Haiwangcun, where you may find exquisite calligraphy and paintings. China Bookshop offers you material on Chinese arts and crafts. Chinese paper-cuts, postcards and picture albums in the bookshop would also make unique and easy-to-carry souvenirs of your China tour.
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