Looking to add some vibrance to your interiors? Don’t add something new, add something old. Well-chosen antiques can add depth, vibrance and a touch of character to a room. Even the most contemporary décor can benefit from the addition of an antique piece.
|Antique Hunting in Karachi|
While Karachi may not have anything to rival London’s Portobello market, there are antiques available if you know where to look. Antiques here can range from massive old carved wooden doors and gates to antique glass and tiles. You can find some wonderful old wooden chests, carved or in plain teak. The odd piece of Chinoiserie will turn up from time to time, as will bronze figurines and relics of the British Raj though these are few and far between.
|Ivory figurines at China Shopping Mall in Saddar|
|These camel bone figurines in contrast are modern, not antique|
|This elephant opens up to reveal an inkwell – or perhaps this may have been an incense burner Photo: Iman Mufti|
|Searching for the right piece is part of the fun|
|A piece of cricket history -signed by Imran Khan, Javed Maindad and every other member of the Pakistan squad that toured Sri Lanka in 1986. The shopkeeper’s price was Rs15,000 but you can bargain. Photo: Salima Feerasta|
Be prepared to hunt if you want to find something exceptional. The poky little shops are crammed with bric-a-brac ranging from the exquisite to the ludicrous. There’s no shortage of mundane junk. A quick survey unearths a bowling ball, broken clocks and old cameras, tons of crockery and plenty of mass-produced tat. However, in amongst all the jumble, you can find Wedgewood china, antique coins, ivory figurines and bronze statues.
|An intricately detailed Afghani jug|
|shiraki scene detail from Afghani jug|
|This Royal Wedding Teapot, neither attractive nor valuable, is typical of some of junk available|
|This shop has everything from garish Japanese cats to the Wedgewood bowl you can see in the background|
|These dusty old cameras would make a great conversation piece in a contemporary lounge|
|All sorts of figurines|
Like all antique markets, there is always the potential of being conned. Modern pieces can be distressed to appear antique and in some cases the treatment amounts to no more than a little scuffing and a generous layer of dust. If you are inexperienced when it comes to antiques, chances are that you may be cheated. Prices start from just a few hundred rupees but can go up to a hundred thousand rupees or more. If you are investing in anything expensive, do your homework or take along someone knowledgeable.
|One of the vendors insisted this was a genuinely “purhana” vase but it is essentially the same as new vases available around town.|
|This Lapis frog is Rs3,500 – though the final price depends on your bargaining skills|
|The market is great for props for plays|
|These start at just Rs100|
|I couldn’t resist this pair of deer figures|
|The Wedgewood stamp on the bottom of the lighter|
|Wedgewood lighters like this one can be found on EBay for between $10 and $50|
|Lots to choose from|
This piece by editor-in-chief Salima Feerasta first appeared on Dawn.com