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India & the Himalayas

Antiques from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and Afghanistan

Central Asian Rugs

Turkoman rugs are made by the nomads of Central Asia and Turkestan and include Afghan, Baluchi and Bokhara. Most are reddish and have a geometric design that incorporates the coat of arms (or “gul”) of the individual tribe. Turkoman rugs are usually made by women and are highly regarded for their workmanship. Turkoman weavers are […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Rugs

The Indian Mogul emperors of the 16th and 17th centuries imported not only Persian carpets but their weavers as well. These produced finely woven floral and hunting rugs. These weavers also made rugs for export, some incorporating European coats of arms. However, exports on a large scale began only at the end of the nineteenth […]  Continue Reading »

Himalayan Art

The earliest known settlers in Nepal were the Newaris. who settled in the main Kathmandu valley. Their origins are not known but racially they show affinities to the Mongolians. In the third century AD, the Licchavis, a tribe from what is now the Bihar state in India conquered Nepal and introduced a strong Indian cultural […]  Continue Reading »

Gandharan Sculpture

From the about the 6th century BC to the 5th century AD, Gandhara was a small community on the Silk Road from China to Rome. It was located near the border of modern Pakistan and Afghanistan just east of the Khyber Pass. Its capital, Taxila, was 20 miles from present day Islamabad. It was subject […]  Continue Reading »

The Buddha Image

Until the end of the first century AD, the Buddha was represented only in symbols. During the first century, Buddhism divided into two movements. The newer movement, called Mahayana (the Great Vehicle), as opposed to the older Hinayana (the Lesser Vehicle), deified the Buddha and provided him with a host of “saints” (Bodhisattvas). Symbols were […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Furniture

Traditional Indian homes have very little furniture by European standards – carpets and cushions are spread on the floor, small tables also served as stools and chests were used to store clothes. European colonists brought with the a demand for European style furniture and Indian craftsmen began producing items based on English, Dutch and Portuguese […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Bidri Metalware

The technique of decorating blackened base metals with silver has been practiced in Bidri in central India since the 15th century. The item is cast in an alloy containing mostly zinc. The pattern is then chiselled out and inlaid with silver. The item is then covered with mud containing chemicals, particularly ammonia, which darken the […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Jewellery

Prior to European colonisation, India had two distinct cultures, Hindu in the south and Islamic in the north, and two distinct styles of jewellery. Hindu men wore specific jewellery to show that they had passed through various stages of life. The Hindu woman’s jewellery was her dowry and passed down from generation to generation. Hindu […]  Continue Reading »

Indian Daggers

Traditionally, in India the dagger indicated the background and status of the wearer. Maharajas vied with each other, commissioning the finest craftsmen to make the most beautiful and valuable weapons, decorated with precious metals and rare jewels. At the same time, plain steel daggers were used by ordinary men in the battlefield. There were many […]  Continue Reading »