Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Zhuhai, Antiques Quest

Monica and Bev on the Ferry

Stained glass sceens

Beautiful old screens

Chair getting a re-make

Bev at factory

Refinishing a piece that was at the factory

Warehouse bowsing

Factory owner and our new piece 100 yr old bureau

One of many shops like this

Misc. other stuff to buy

Bev and Monica take a break in some very old Chinese chairs

Some very old clocks

Lots of this kind of stuff was also available

Our 50 yr old Tibet piece

Monica sporting a Mask that I later that day bought

This past Saturday we took a day trip to visit some of the antique furniture shops that are close to the town called Zhuhai. In Zhuhai there are perhaps a dozen Chinese antique furniture malls. These are shopping centers solely selling Chinese furniture. Each shopping center has dozens and dozens of small vendor shop stalls. Some of the shop/stalls are 2-3 stories but very narrow, perhaps 15-20’ across. In many cases the family of the shop lives in part of the shop, usually on the second or third floor. To help us get around and negotiate prices we asked Monica, one of the Chinese parapros to come along. She did and that made all the difference in the world.

The ferry ride from Shekou to Zhuhai takes about one hour. Zhuhai is the city that is on the mainland right across from Macau. Then the taxi ride takes about 30 minutes. We asked to see some very old pieces that have just come in. We went to a factory, which was not running as it was Sat., and got to see the process used to transform very old, weathered, broken pieces into useful refinished furniture. We ended up purchasing a piece that was in the warehouse.

The piece is a little over 100 years old. We were given information about the area of China is came from. It is to be delivered to our house in a few days. It is a chest and has some great hand-carved Chinese reliefs. We liked the fact that it did not have a thick coat of lacquer that most of the refinished pieces sport. Later that day we found a piece with lots of color from Tibet. It had not been repainted or refinished, as many pieces have, but is not as old, only about 50 years. We both liked it and so we bought it also. It will be shipped with the other piece and delivered to our home from about 75 miles or so away. Total cost of delivery is under $15.00 US!

I don’t know if we will bring all this stuff back with us but it is fun buying and decorating our apartment.