As you make your trip to Beijing, you¡¯re sure to find a veritable treasure trove of antiques and curios. For a sample of some of the finest of these items, come visit Ju Ya Zhai in west Beijing.
This shop offers authentic antiques and vintage collectibles. They have everything from old jades, clocks and Peking opera masks to antique vases, jars and Buddhist figurines.
The choices are immeasurable: from the unusual to the downright bizarre, there¡¯s bound to be something that takes your fancy!
I was certainly pleased! There was an old miniature chariot with a soldier who had his arms raised to shoulder level. No matter which direction you turn the chariot, the soldier always points south. It is a reproduction of China¡¯s first "South-Pointing Chariot."
Over 3000 years ago, devices like this were already being used in wartime to tell directions. Wow!
Also amusing was a graceful bronze sculpture of ¡®Mulan,¡¯ the legendary heroine featured in Disney¡¯s 1998 animated film. Women could also be heroes in ancient China.
Mr. Xu, the shop owner, is a serious antique collector and connoisseur. He loves sharing his knowledge with patrons who don¡¯t know much about Chinese antiques.
Add Ju Ya Zhai to your next Beijing tour!
(Note: Under Chinese law, some antiques cannot be taken out of the country.)
Gold-plating, an ancient method of applying thin layers of gold to items to make them look glamorous, now becomes a favorite of provident people. Gu Yi Ge in Beijing allows lovers of gold-plated artworks to spend their money wisely on a fine piece.
Once inside, one finds it irresistible to bring one item home. There are flat plates with intricate floral designs, jars with openwork tops, Central Asian-taste flagons, Buddhist-style incense burners...The works are made based on ancient designs, radiating a strong sense of antiquity. The outer layer of gold on each piece gives a feel of extreme luxury.
Such works are made by master craftsmen who have received countless awards for their achievements. For certain designs, only a limited quantity of items are available. Some fine pieces were bought and sent to international dignitaries as gift.
The shop owner himself is a master, who speaks a little English. He ships his products to almost every country of the world. .