looking for antique art and statues

Old Dec 10th, 2006, 07:33 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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looking for antique art and statues

Will be in Beijing,xian shanghai guilin, hong Kong.
RuthLee is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2006, 07:43 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,083
Ruth, I am sorry to be so discouraging, but I would not count on anything you buy in China as being antique. As I mentioned for furniture, buy it because you love it, not because you think it might be antique.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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I can provide some reccos for Hong Kong. I completely agree that there is no way to ensure that you are getting a true “antique” even in Hong Kong when buying from a reputable dealer. So buy what you like and just beware. Even Soethby’s gets fooled by fakes. I agree that I would just pretty much assume that everything sold in the PRC is a fake, especially if you don’t speak a dialect....

1. Hollywood Road area in Central. This is a long road literally lined with antique shops and art galleries. Some reputable antique shops include Honeychurch Antiques (29 Hollywood Road) Zee Stone Gallery (47 Wyndham Street), Contes D'orient (26 Lyndhurst Terrace), Hobbs & Bishops (28 Hollywood Road). For antique maps and prints, go to Wattis Fine Arts (21 Hollywood Road, entrance is actually on Old Bailey Street). Some art galleries to try would be Grotto Fine Art (31 Wyndham Street), Schoeni At Gallery (21-31 Old Bailey Street) and Karin Weber Gallery (20 Aberdeen Street). I think you may find most art galleries will carry only contemporary art, as that is what is selling here; so for antique art IMO you should go to antique shops. Most shops on Hollywood Road are closed on Sundays.

2. Another good place (albeit quite pricey) is the Prince's Building in Central at 10 Chater Road, quite near the Star Ferry pier and across the street from the Mandarin Hotel. There are a few shops here selling antique art, mostly mixed in with furniture, a very good one is Altfield Gallery.

Altfield Gallery
248-249 Prince's Bldg.
10 Chater Rd.
Phone: 2537-6370

3. Another good place for antique maps and prints is

Picture This
Suite 603B, 6/F
9 Queen's Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2525-2820
http://www.picturethiscollection.com...current/page1/

This gallery is associated with Altfield Gallery.

4. Another place to go would be to the warehouse out near Aberdeen called Horizon Plaza. Shops are open every day, including Sundays (lots of expats out on Sundays). You can take a taxi from Central to this area in about 20 minutes, will cost about HK$200-250. (You could take a bus, a change or two would be required, the trip would take about an hour, ask your hotel.) There are about a half dozen antique furniture shops here that also have some art mixed in with the furniture. Get a printed directory from reception on the ground floor, it lists shops by category. The lifts in this building are quite slow, so have some patience. There is only one coffee shop in the building in the Shambala furniture store, so have a good breakfast or lunch before you go. All the shops will ship for you.

Horizon Plaza
2 Lee Hing Street
Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

Furniture shops I would recommend:

Shambala 2nd floor (good quality, good Tibetan furniture, some antique art like buddha heads)

The Birdcage, 22nd floor, (small selection but excellent, almost exclusively Chinese furniture rather than art; but Clarence will also take orders and ship items on to you after he locates them from sources in the PRC, he has very good prices)

Rhymba Rhyme, 5th floor (mostly Indonesian, but some very interesting pieces)

Dynasty Antiques, 4th and 20th floors (two shops, may have two names)

5. Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have auctions here of Asian art on a fairly regular basis, take a look at
www.christies.com/home_page/home_page.asp and http://search.sothebys.com/


Finally, do a LOT of comparison shopping at home first, as this is the only way to ensure you are getting a bargain here. One my trips home I can see that finding Asian art in the US is so easy now, and stores buy and ship in bulk and so get better prices than you could. IMO with the time to look and judicious bargaining, prices are lower here, at least by 30% and probably more, but if you have to pay for shipping, then you are going to be losing the savings. Figure on paying at least 60% of the cost of the item to ship it. I saw a website that quoted US$190 per cubic meter (and charged a minimum of one cubic meter no matter the actual size), which may be a good starting point for comparison. Don’t forget about customs duties, as items you do not carry with you are NOT included in your duty-free allowance of US$800 per person. If you ship, have the store arrange it and insure it and always pay by credit card. Arranging commercial shipping yourself is generally more expensive and definitely more time consuming. Be very sure that shipping is to your door, and not to the nearest port or airport, or consider the time, trouble and possible extra cost of a port or airport pick up when tallying up shipping costs.


Cicerone is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I also just saw your other post on new furniture and wall hangings, and there is a recco there from a poster for Horizon Plaza as well. Not sure what you mean by “wall hangings” but IMO carpets make good walk hangings, esp silk ones, so you might try the carpet shops along Hollywood Road as well as in Horizon Plaza.

One other place in Horizon Plaza which I can very highly recommend for new furniture if you like Chinese design is Alyssa Liang. She designs very clean-lined Ming/Ching style pieces. She does custom work as well. She has made several pieces for me. Her prices are very good by US standards, but then of course you have to ship. She does not have much of a website, but take a look:

Alyssa Liang
10th Floor
Horizon Plaza
http://alyssaliang.com/

For new furniture in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Chinese tend to be crazy in love with very modern Italian design, I don’t know if that is your taste. If that is, then take a walk down Queen’s Road East in Wan Chai any day but Sunday as there are about 35 furniture stores here. I don’t see any point in buying this in Hong Kong when you can get it where you live for the same money and not have to ship it, but this may work for you. Also try the Ruttonjee Centre on Dudell Street in Central which has several very nice furniture shops which will custom make modern furniture for you. Not inexpensive.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:57 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Some more thoughts (I’m having a stream of consciousness day):

Kimonos and antique silk Chinese robes make great wall hangings as well, a very good place to look for these is Teresa Coleman Fine Arts (79 Wyndham Street) which is in the Hollywood Road area. I look and then sigh at her prices, but she has some great stuff. You could also buy new robes and hang them as well, you might try a place like Chinese Arts and Crafts (locations all over, go to : http://www.chineseartsandcrafts.com.hk (click on “E” for English). If you are going to Singapore, the Asian Civilizations Museum had a fantastic exhibition of these about a year ago, they may still be showing parts of the collection, take a look at acs.org.sg. (The owner of the collection is Chris Hall, who is a Hong Kong Brit who occasionally gives talks in Hong Kong but for some reason has not exhibited in Hong Kong in many years).

Secondly, having art framed here is very very inexpensive, so do try to make the time to have a piece framed here if you can. A good framer I have used for many years is below, he can frame in 24 hours if you really need it done.

Artmen Frame & Glass Co
72-76 Queen’s Road East
Wan Chai
Tel: 2573-0819

Open every day, this is near Pacific Place Shopping Centre and the Admiralty MTR.

Finally, one of the best things to by there IMO is the new inexpensive artwork, from small already framed pieces like Chinese zodiac signs, paper cuttings, old black and white photos to larger unframed artwork. The smaller framed pieces generally cost less than US$25 and make great gifts or souvenirs (you couldn't even begin to get anything framed in the US for that price), the shop will wrap them in bubble wrap to ensure they won't break. My favourite are the wonderful "peasant paintings" which are brightly colored primitive-style folk art paintings of Chinese village life. You can find these in Stanley and often in other markets as well. These and they range in size from small to large, the largest size being about 25 by 25 inches and going for about US$85 and going down in price from there depending on size (and your bargaining skills). Very whimsical and charming and a good memento of your trip.

Cicerone is offline  
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