Asian Antiques by Silk Road
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All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Metalwork : Pre 1920 item #888007 (stock #02-65)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
A two-part silver box in the traditional Khmer motif of a singha, a mythical lion, is covered with swirling lines simulating fur, and has a fat pouf of a tail swung up over its broad back. Though it has the open jaw and flattened ears of a protector, its aura is more friendly than fierce. With a weight of 538 grams, this box is relatively large compared with other such boxes in the genre of handmade Khmer silver pieces found in the shapes of myriad birds and animals. (See the article “Khmer Si...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #788418 (stock #64-03)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
An elephant with raised trunk, symbol of hospitality, forms the handle of this carved teakwood Burmese rice scoop. The dark red lacquer, applied over black lacquer in the traditional manner of Burmese artisans, is worn so the black undercoat shows through in areas, giving this early 20th century piece an inviting patina. The elephant trunk, which forms the scoop handle, is especially worn and shows evidence of many years of use. A simple decorative pattern is carved along the top of the scoop, a...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #877988 (stock #60-68)
Silk Road Gallery
$600.00
Vignettes from Chinese operas are painted on this octagonal late Qing wood trunk. Rendered primarily in orange/red, cream and black, and framed in red and blue, the scenes float on a striking turquoise background. On one side of the piece, a large dramatic orange/red flower painting gives variety to the colorful vignettes. The trunk, or lidded box, may have been used to store costumes for a traveling opera company. Or, it may have been used in a Chinese opera-loving household. It has metal carry...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1910 item #882005 (stock #63-13)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
This very large lacquer tray from the Shan minority people in northeast Burma has four different patterns of basketry weaving showing through the rich persimmon-colored lacquer. Called byat, such handmade trays, used for serving food, were time-consuming to produce. Following the weaving process, each of the many successive applications of lacquer required several days of drying, then burnishing before the next coat of lacquer was applied. Tin trays were replacing these handmade ones a number o...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #949627 (stock #04-23)
Silk Road Gallery
$325.00
A large wood rice measure from early 20th century Korea, made in a uniquely Korean shape, adapts nicely to a second life as a plant holder. We have also seen these sturdy containers turned over and used as a stool or small table. Originally used to measure rice, it is made of thick planks of zelkova (keyaki) wood fitted together and held in place with black metal bands. The ear-like handles and heavy bottom obviously are hand-hewn. Hangul characters carved into the side indicate the measurement ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1910 item #921672 (stock #58-63)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
A large basket from China’s late Qing Dynasty has a sturdy weave of reeds bordered by two wide bands of bent willow, originally painted with bright flowers that now are faded. An example of the provincial Chinese skill and artistry devoted to utilitarian objects, the basket is designed to form two serving bowls when fully opened. Dumplings were stored and served in this container, which is from the western region of Shaanxi, where excellent dumplings are a source of provincial pride. A metal r...
All Items : Popular Collectibles : Cultural : Contemporary item #1235821 (stock #14-70)
Silk Road Gallery
$275.00
A teakwood jewelry box with deep carvings of lotus flowers, dragons and a peacock recalls Nepal’s old city of Bhaktapur, where streets are lined with lavishly carved windows and courtyards and above it all are the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas as a backdrop. This piece has 14 “secret” compartments hidden in the top, middle and lower levels inside the box (see photo enlargements #4, 5 and 6). The lid slides off to reveal the top six compartments, which in turn slide to allow access t...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #800706 (stock #58-47)
Silk Road Gallery
$175.00
Among the many varieties of red lacquered containers used during China's Qing and early Republic years, none has a more striking form than the humble lunch pail. An elegantly designed everyday item, it is constructed of shaped wood staves, a tall bent willow handle and a notched lid that snaps securely in place around the handle. Pails in this design also are referred to as berry pails. The recessed bottom on this one is decorated with two drawings of flowers, perhaps done by the maker of the pa...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Scholar Art : Pre 1910 item #1126165 (stock #12-57)
Silk Road Gallery
$290.00
This late Qing scholar’s box has a removable dark red and gold carved front panel that secures four drawers behind it. The intended interpretation of the gilded garden scene carving is a mystery: A man and woman appear to be observing or celebrating an object, possibly a manuscript, tied with a rope into a bundle that is suspended above them from an overhanging flowering branch. It is interesting to speculate that perhaps the scholar just completed some important writing and this is a celebrat...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1900 item #1065987 (stock #62-56)
Silk Road Gallery
$295.00
Rich auburn elmwood with a satin smooth surface makes this late 19th century hand-hewn Chinese food box an especially attractive shelf or table accent piece. It is constructed of shaped staves fitted tightly together and held with flat brass bands around the foot and the widest part of the vessel. Carvings on the side handles of lotus buds on long stems, both Taoist and Buddhist emblems of perfection, are appropriate for a food box because every part of the lotus plant is deemed edible by the C...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1910 item #1089599 (stock #11-21)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
A Qing Dynasty lidded wooden box designed to serve pancakes combines handsome form with evidence of long use to evoke hundreds of banquets in late 18th/early 19th century China. The top of the notched lid is centered with a green and gold painting of chrysanthemums, symbol of conviviality. Faded calligraphy can still be seen on the underside of the lid. The bottom surface of the container also has very faint remains of calligraphy. Two deeply worn areas along the top surface of the tall hand-h...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #919136 (stock #63-64)
Silk Road Gallery
$595.00
Two kneeling nats, possibly representing the Taungbyon brothers, among the most revered deities in the Burmese spirit world of nats, are carved with identical positions and thrones but faces that are quite different from one another. Widespread belief among the Burmese of nats, the spirits of certain departed humans, and also of nat spirits of trees, rivers, rocks and more, predates the introduction of Buddhism in Burma. Thirty-seven nats, both protectors and rogues, each with its own complex s...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1244658 (stock #39-32)
Silk Road Gallery
$395.00
From late 19th century Burma, this parabaik, or book, is made of thick cardboard-like paper folded accordion-style with front and back covers of gilded relief lacquer. The paper was made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree that was boiled for a day until soft, then pounded and spread on fabric that was stretched across a frame. The frame was repeatedly dipped in water and drained, then dried in the sun, spread with glue and chalk powder, and finally, polished with seeds. The thick paper ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Wood : Pre 1910 item #1240857 (stock #51-27)
Silk Road Gallery
$295.00
This late Qing Dynasty carved wood home altar, referred to as a “Buddha House,” is from Shandong Province in East China. It includes a wood cover that was slipped down over the altar, where a small Buddha was displayed. The cover was removed for family devotions. Gilded pierced carving framing the altar, while it appears to be scrolling or foliage, on close inspection is two stylized dragons that form the sides of the frame. The altar is just deep enough to display a figure up to 9 ¼” ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Wood : Pre 1910 item #884476 (stock #60-24)
Silk Road Gallery
$280.00
This late Qing wood pitcher from Shanghai is similar in form to provincial pitchers but is made of a harder wood, is more carefully constructed and has a sleeker look than its country cousins. The basic construction design is similar—shaped staves form the bowl and are held together with bands. The individual staves on this one are so tightly fitted that it looks as though it is carved from one piece of wood. The band around the bottom is metal but has been colored to match the wood; the uppe...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #875350 (stock #62-53)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
An early 20th century Chinese offering basket is affixed to a bamboo pedestal encircled with ink sketches of flowers representing the four seasons. The inside bottom of the tray is centered with a sauvastika, a Buddhist icon resembling a swastika but with the crampons turned to the left. Though the ancient Sanskrit symbol may have come to China as an auspicious Buddhist sign, it since has become a largely ornamental symbol of good fortune and can be seen in carpets, embroidery and carvings. In T...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1900 item #876853 (stock #58-78)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
A late 19th century Chinese box made for storing small teacups, this piece is an example of an everyday utilitarian object with design and workmanship that stands the test of time. The box is constructed of shaped wood staves fitted together in barrel fashion and secured top and bottom with brass bands. The lid is in two parts, with the back half affixed and the front half removable so that the stacked cups were secure but easily taken out of the container. The box is lacquered in dark red and t...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #898946 (stock #60-18)
Silk Road Gallery
$345.00
A late Qing portable elm wood vanity box has two drawers for cosmetics behind relief carved and gilded doors, a folding mirror secured with a hasp and two metal side handles, all suggesting it was used for travel or at least easily carried from one area of the living quarters to another. Birds and flowers are carved on the doors, and the mirror is encircled with a carved scalloped frame of gilt-touched flowers. This handsome piece originated in Fujian Province and is in excellent condition. Al...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #834732 (stock #10-62)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
A fine, tight weave of thin reeds gives texture to the cinnabar and black lacquer finish of this mid-19th century Burmese bowl. The textural quality is heightened by the wearing of top layers of cinnabar lacquer revealing black lacquer underneath for a handsome negoro effect. Resting on four low feet, the bowl, or “kwet,” flares out to a wide point about three-quarters up its height, and then gently angles in toward its crisp upper edge. The inner surface is smoothed with many coats of la...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #275941 (stock #56-16)
Silk Road Gallery
$395.00
A small fish is carved into the handle of this late 19th century Chinese water pail. Its two-piece lid and festive red color indicate it most likely was used in the house to store drinking water rather than to carry water from a well or stream. A character written on the bottom of the base may indicate the identity of the artisan. The body of the wood pail is constructed of staves fitted into an oval shape in barrel fashion and held together with twisted brass wire. Remove one or both sides of t...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #877672 (stock #63-04)
Silk Road Gallery
$800.00
This mid-19th century wood offering bowl is from Pagan, an area recognized for producing the finest lacquer items in Burma. Many layers of black lacquer cover the wood base and are topped with a lacquer mixed with cinnabar pigment. These outer red layers have worn away in many places, showing the black lacquer underneath and creating an attractive patina. (For a similar offering bowl see "Burmese Crafts Past and Present" by Sylvia Fraser-Lu, Oxford University Press, 1994, color plate 45.) The ta...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Sculpture : Pre 1800 item #799411 (stock #57-43)
Silk Road Gallery
$1,700.00
Traces of gold leaf remain on this Pagan dry lacquer Buddha head from the late 1700s. The head rests on a contemporary removable black metal stand. The dry lacquer technique, used by Burmese artisans from the mid-18th century until the beginning of the 20th century, produced finely modeled hollow images that were light in weight but very strong. The labor-intensive method involved a number of steps. First the image was shaped from clay, then wrapped in a lacquer-soaked cloth. A pliable mixture ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Furniture : Pre 1837 VR item #894121 (stock #07-61)
Silk Road Gallery
$890.00
A merchant’s money box, or zeni-bako, from Japan’s Edo Period carries an inscription that reads, “Purchased one lucky day in November in the 12th year of Bunsei,” which was 1829. The small copper coins in use at that time were called “zeni” and led to the development of simple, strong boxes for merchants to store coins during the business day. This box is made of thick keyaki wood and fitted with an iron lock and hasp. The top is constructed in two sections with a hole in the middle ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Folk Art : Pre 1910 item #1111838 (stock #12-72)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
This handsome bamboo basket from early 20th century China is a fine example of the care that was lavished on the creation of everyday utilitarian items by Chinese artisans. Delightful woven designs on the handle, knob and basket edges are emphasized in red, and a pattern of painted black designs encircles the lid. The bottom of the basket is recessed and rests atop a red and black bamboo base. The basket is strong, light, comfortable to carry and attractive. It is in excellent condition. Dime...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Wood : Pre 1910 item #1119963 (stock #10.86)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
This traditional Chinese wedding basket, made of light-weight wood, has 25 different black and gold vignettes of Qing Dynasty life painted on its octagonal trays and lid. The tall black bent willow handle is wrapped in bamboo strips woven into a black-accented pattern. The base of the basket and the scene on the lid are framed with key patterns, another element typical of the profuse symbolic adornment often found on late Qing items, especially those associated with marriage. Two of the three tr...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Scholar Art : Pre 1900 item #899863 (stock #60-23)
Silk Road Gallery
$495.00
This 19th century Chinese scholar's box has delicate bone inlay in a pattern of butterflies and flowers that swirl upward within four rosewood panels. A narrow rectangle of inlaid bone encloses each pattern. The panels are set within two doors on the front of the piece that swing out to reveal three drawers on one side and a large open compartment on the other. A “secret” storage area is accessible when the bottom drawer is removed. As is typical for Chinese joinery of the Qing Period, the d...
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Wood : Pre 1980 item #818403 (stock #12-28)
Silk Road Gallery
$195.00
A small metal balance scale is enclosed within this wood container carved in the shape of the Burmese crane, known as a “karaweik,” that holds a fish in its bill. Although commonly called “opium” scales, such rudimentary instruments, and the so-called “opium” weights used with them, were basic merchant tools used in daily bazaars to measure just about anything that fit into the small trays. Mythical animals and birds were favorite design elements for items associated with the scales....
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Pre 1837 VR item #839958 (stock #10-81)
Silk Road Gallery
SOLD
An unusually large early to mid-19th century Shan hsun-ok from Burma, this piece has a diameter of 19 inches and stands 32 inches high. Full size offering bowls with the distinctive hsun-ok silhouette generally are about 13 to 15 inches in diameter. This one is a masterpiece of balance with the ten identifying Shan raised rings around the lid echoed with 10 raised rings around base. The carvings on the spire, punctuated by a large ball, complement the substantial circumference of the piece. Its...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #922753 (stock #63-29)
Silk Road Gallery
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Delicately incised yun designs on a three-piece lacquer betel box from the Burmese city of Pagan depict scenes of five elegantly dressed courtiers, each portrayed within a distinctive and elaborate portal. The name of the artisan, Ko Sein Maung, is incised in one ribbon-like cartouche, and his locale, Pagan Dikesu, in another. The wish, chantha basage (may you be rich), appears in a third cartouche. The container has three parts—a deep lid, a high base and a fitted tray. It is designed to reta...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Wood : Pre 1910 item #1237426 (stock #11-19)
Silk Road Gallery
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Remarkable carving skill makes this late 19th/early 20th century container a handsome relic of the days when time and care were given to making utilitarian objects for Chinese households. The pleasingly clean form is created by the curved handle and spout, each carved seamlessly as part of staves that are integrated with 13 additional staves to form the container. A symbol carefully carved and gilded on the handle most likely had a significant meaning for the family. This piece, from Zheijian...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #896352 (stock #63-23)
Silk Road Gallery
$695.00
An offering stand, or “kalat,” used by the Intha people who live in the villages around Inle Lake in one of the Shan states in northeastern Burma, is from the late 19th century. A similar though more recent piece in the British Museum is pictured in “Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer,” by Isaacs and Blurton, British Museum Press, p. 163. Kalat stands such as this were used by families in much the same manner as the tall, spired hsun-ok to carry offerings of food ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #847598 (stock #60-21)
Silk Road Gallery
$470.00
This Qing Dynasty scholar’s box has four rosewood doors hand painted with ivory-colored flowers and foliage, following the traditional practice of Chinese scholars to surround themselves in their studios with reminders of nature. Made to be displayed on a table or desk, the box was used to store carved signature seals, ink sticks and other small items. The rosewood door panels are set within hand carved elm beading and frames, and the front, sides and top of the piece are made of elm wood in a...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Furniture : Pre 1920 item #278822 (stock #60-16)
Silk Road Gallery
$250.00
As a nation of tea drinkers, the Chinese have lavished care on the artistry of implements associated with tea. This handsome wood box originated in Shaoxing, near Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and was used for storing small, handle-less teacups. Wood boxes for this purpose were made throughout China in a variety of shapes, some with large, fold-down handles such as this one, some with fixed handles, some with no handles. The type and amount of carving and other decoration also varied but almost w...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1910 item #1136045 (stock #63-11)
Silk Road Gallery
$370.00
The cinnabar lacquer covering this late 19th/early 20th century Burmese “kwet,” or serving bowl, is satin smooth and cool to the touch. Years of daily use have enhanced both the look and feel of this large bowl, with black lacquer showing through the red in areas of wear. Six black ribs curve down to the feet, and the top is curved and rolled inward, giving the vessel beautiful balance. The old Burmese process of producing such lacquer pieces was labor intensive and time consuming. Woven an...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #854196 (stock #10-68)
Silk Road Gallery
$390.00
This large lacquered early 20th century bowl from the Shan people, who live primarily in eastern parts of Burma and across the border in western and northern areas of Thailand, is called a “kwet” and was used to serve huge quantities of rice. It is made of split bamboo basketry supported by six sturdy ribs that curve down to end in six low feet. The basic bamboo construction is coated inside and out with layers of black lacquer overlaid with layers of red lacquer. The basketry shows through ...
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Lacquer : Pre 1837 VR item #262688 (stock #57-54)
Silk Road Gallery
$250.00
The deep, close-fitting lid, two interior trays and small size of this luminous cinnabar-colored box suggest that it was used to carry a personal supply of ingredients for assembling a quid of betel. Betel leaves would have been stored in the bottom, and areca nuts, lime and spices carried on the trays. The container dates from the early 19th century. A subtle tortoise shell design covers the top and side of the lid. The side and bottom of the box are decorated with narrow bands of incised lines...