What To Buy Antiques

Hong Kong has a rich and colourful array of Asian, especially Chinese, antiques on offer, but serious buyers will restrict themselves to the reputable antique shops and auction houses only; Hong Kong imports many forgeries and expert reproductions from China and Southeast Asia. Just remember that most of the really good pieces are sold through the auction houses such as Christie's (p158), especially at its auctions in spring and autumn.

Most of Hong Kong Island's antique shops are bunched along Wyndham St and Hollywood Rd in Central and Sheung Wan. The shops at the western end of Hollywood Rd tend to be cheaper in price and carry more dubious 'antiques'. Some of them stock a range of old books and magazines, Chinese propaganda posters, badges from the Cultural Revolution and so on. It's easy to get lost in some of these dusty holes in the wall, but be cautious - tread carefully through this minefield of reproductions. When it comes to buying antiques and curios, there are relatively few places of interest in Kowloon.

For Chinese handicrafts and other goods (hand-carved wooden pieces, ceramics, paintings, cloisonné, silk garments), the main places to go are the large China-run emporiums scattered throughout the territory, such as Chinese Arts & Crafts (pi 64) and Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium (p169).

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Antique Collecting

Antique Collecting

ABOUT fifty years ago, when the subject of English furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood. It is not really quite as simple as that, for each of the so-called Ages overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lagt down strict dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if ever, went out of favour.

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