Asian Antiques by Silk Road
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Pre 2000 item #769438 (stock #55-85)
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The subject of this large horizontal oil painting by Kathmandu artist Shyam Lal Shrestha is a Nepali family gathered around their home distillery making rakshi, a strong, millet-based alcoholic drink. The work is signed by the painter and dated 1993. Shyam Shrestha was born in 1946 in the Kathmandu Valley, holds a diploma in fine arts, and since 1975 has had his work exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in Japan, India, Italy and the United States as well as in his own country...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Indian Subcontinent : Himalayas : Pre 1900 item #278377 (stock #60-65)
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Five paintings, two of them spirited scenes from Chinese opera, cover the sides and top of this 19th century octagonal shoe trunk. Painted in tawny tones of cream, orange/red and brown, the scenes float in strong contrast to the very dark green muted background color. The two opera vignettes, one of them showing the Taoist immortal Le T'ieh-kuai, patron of travelers, as a beggar with his identifying iron staff, are painted on raised panels...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Pre 1930 item #772494 (stock #32-60)
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A gift cloth with a pert pair of Mandarin ducks from mid 20th century Japan demonstrates the great care given to small things by the Japanese. The simple scene, created with a resist dye technique called katazome, required several hand applications of rice paste and repeated immersions in dye vats. After the outline of the ducks was drawn and filled with resist paste, dyeing built the scene up by steps from the basic shape, adding black detail, then blue detail...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Pre 1900 item #886456 (stock #60-27)
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This red lacquered wood teacup box from 19th century provincial China has an especially pleasing shape and patina. Happy looking dragons hold the tall handle in their mouths, and at the center are two robed figures holding streamers. The handle, carved both on front and back, folds down for compact storage. Boxes such as this, used throughout China to store small teacups, were handmade, hand carved and generally lacquered red, the Chinese color of joy...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Pre 1900 item #174489 (stock #57-33)
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These large scrolls are paintings 9 through 12 of a set of 27 paintings, sometimes called a Yao Bible, from the Yao (Mien) tribal people who originated in southern China, and now are found across northern areas of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Burma. The Yao adopted Taoist beliefs in China five or six centuries ago, merging them with rituals already deeply imbedded in the tribal culture...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Pre 1900 item #308575 (stock #60-35)
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Wispy, near-abstract designs of bamboo, flowers and a bird are framed within heavy black arches on this 19th century Chinese jar. The red clay body is covered with a striking turquoise glaze that was stopped about two inches short of the bottom, then allowed to drip down over the clay in little rivers. The mouth and inside walls are glazed in black with brown undertones. This is a charming example of Chinese folk pottery. It is in excellent condition...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Pre 1910 item #140879 (stock #57-03)
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This classic Burmese Pagan (Bagan) standing Buddha holds both hands in karana mudra, gesture of expelling all evil. Once completely covered with gold leaf, there is still some gold remaining over the bronze figure, which dates to the late 18th/early 19th century. This Buddha has a mystical and graceful quality and, especially in profile, looks as if about to rise upward...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Pre 1980 item #803134 (stock #40-11)
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An interesting piece that evokes hilltribe elders and smoky fires in the mountains of the Golden Triangle, this pipe is made of seven sections fitted together over a wood shaft to form a long tube. The wood ball on the end fits over the shaft that runs down the center of the metal tube. Embossed designs of an exotic bird and foliage cover the tube, made of an alloy with silver content. The mechanics of usage or whether the pipe is usable is a mystery to us...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Pre 2000 item #696347 (stock #52-24)
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Soft shades of blue, green and grey outlined in rust and midnight blue glow in this densely woven 500 line silk prayer rug from China. The carpet's design theme is birds, with 18 of them perched among flowers forming the border, and a center design of a large bird in a tree looking over her (his?) newly hatched baby in the nest. The tree extends upward into an arch, called a "muhrab," a shape that puts this piece into the classification of prayer rug...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Pre 1900 item #141051 (stock #58-45)
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Among the many tea drinking implements in old China were cleverly made wood teapot holders with a hole for the teapot spout and a carrying handle with an intriguing locking device. A Chinese version of the English tea cozy, the wood holders were both practical and decorative. This octagonal late 19th century holder is made of eight cypress wood staves fitted together in barrel fashion and held in place with metal straps...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Indian Subcontinent : Himalayas : Pre 1900 item #171472 (stock #58-98)
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Painted panels framed in intricate gesso work cover all four sides of this mid-19th century Tibetan box-table. Used in Tibetan monasteries to serve tea and perform rituals, low tables such as this one have long, pull-out drawers to hold Buddhist texts or scrolls. Both ends of this table are painted with the Buddhist "jewel of the doctrine," a cluster of wish-fulfilling gems known as "cintamani" on a tray...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Pre 2000 item #798782 (stock #36-57)
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Canal houses just steps away from the water are shrouded in early morning mist in this watercolor by contemporary Shanghai painter Zhao-Nian Xi. The left side of the painting is blank, a variation of a compositional formula of the Southern Sung school used quite often by this artist...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Pre 1900 item #161850 (stock #51-54)
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An abundance of fine pierced carving gives this 19th century Chinese portal a lighter, more delicate look than generally found in Qing pieces of this scale. The center portion, with its graceful scrolling and carved tassels and beads, obviously was designed to herald the significance of one's passage beneath it. Touches of gilt on the rich red lacquer highlight carvings meant to convey important symbolic messages. Both the carvings and color establish that this was the portal to the antechamber...
All Items : Archives : Decorative Art : Pre 2000 item #813130 (stock #12-24)
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The white goats in this colorful Chinese folk painting climb a blue/green hill tinged with red by the huge setting sun. Gouache on paper, this piece from Huxian County in Shaanxi Province is unsigned, as was generally the case for art from China’s peasant painting communities. The Huxian painting community was established in 1958, and from there the movement spread across China, growing to 51 such rural groups by 1989.(For an overview of paintings from many such communities, see “The Best in...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Pre 1900 item #175515 (stock #53-34)
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A monkey sitting on a tree branch gazes soulfully at a full moon in this painting from late Yi Dynasty Korea that evokes an old folk tale. Paintings of particular animals related to beliefs rooted in Shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism were popular with all classes in Korea during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although sometimes put into the category of folk art, they more often than not were done by professional artists. In Korea, paintings that had content classifying them as "popular ...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Pre 1900 item #164475 (stock #57-08)
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From late 19th century Burma, this painting shows a woman of privilege, perhaps a queen, smoking a large cheroot, which is a common practice for Burmese women even today. She is seated on a low divan and holds a young girl, probably her daughter, on her lap. A slender attendant sits to her right next to a nursing mother, or perhaps a wet nurse, holding a child. A servant child with an alert expression watches from behind the divan. The servant's dark clothing contrasts with the colorful finery o...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Pre 1800 item #162142 (stock #02-59)
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Unusual because of its shape and hinged lid, this 18th century silver container from Laos was used to carry an ingredient--probably a spice--for assembling a quid of betel. The utensils used in betel chewing are among the finest works of art from the southeast Asian countries where betelnut was an important part of the culture. Betel containers demonstrate interesting differences in aesthetic preferences among countries and groups within countries. Silver betel utensils were favored in Laos, Cam...
All Items : Archives : Regional Art : Middle Eastern : Pre 1920 item #360656 (stock #61-11)
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The graceful abstract shape of this silver pendant from the nomadic Turkomen (Turkmen) who roamed across Central Asia suggests a bird in flight. Incised patterns on the silver are gilded and the piece is set with four cabochon cornelians. Seven small embossed tear-shaped pendants on chains give movement to the highly stylized bird. The ornament is typical of the Teke tribe and dates to the early 20th century. Extra importance and dimension are given to this piece through the artisan's use of a b...