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Like many other shops on the famous Liulichang St., Guyazhai is a curio shop selling various kinds of antique items, like porcelains, calligraphies, paintings, shadow puppets, snuff bottles, and kites.
The shop owner, Mr. Xu, showed me his collection of porcelain ware excitedly. Most of the items on the wooden shelf had a history of more than 100 years. He especially introduced the one made during Guangxu emperor regime. Because two parts can be rotated, the piece is rare and cost RMB 10000.
I was attracted by its large section of reverse painted tobacco bottles. Most of them are the crystal bottles made by modern artists. These exquisite bottles offer different themes, like spring lantern feast, ancient beauties, fairy tales, and landscapes. I like the cat one the most. If you check closely, you can even see the cat fur clearly painted inside the bottle. Price ranges from RMB 500 to RMB 2000 according to different shapes and skills.
Mr Xu told me the most popular items for foreign tourists are thin-silk kites and shadow puppets. The largest kite in the shop, featuring a light green fish design and made of thin silk, costs RMB 80.
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