Huaxia Arts and Crafts Shop is built in an antique style. Two white stone lions are keeping guard at the door. The shop specializes in old jewelry, silk embroidery, old porcelain, classical Chinese furniture, old pocket watches, etc.
Getting into the shop, a customer feels a serene and agreeable artistic atmosphere. This is all the more surprising as the street outside is very busy. The shop d¨¦cor is beautiful with gray-black stone tiles, and glass enclosures in which the jewelry and other antiques are displayed. Every article here is appealing and worthy of appreciation.
The shop carries 19th century jewelry -- such as jadeite eardrops and necklace pendants ¨C dating back from the Qing Dynasty. Delicate and lifelike embroidery works hang on the wall. Some of these embroideries were worn by imperial officials, some such as little hats were worn by children. The latter aren¡¯t expensive at between RMB 100 to RMB 200.
One of the showcases contains vials and flasks dating back one hundred to two hundreds ago. These were used to pack snuff powder which the rich people would periodically inhale for better health. One of such vials bore a mountain design etched in black ink in the ceramics: a very rare object which required extraordinary skills from the artist. This one was priced at over RMB 6,000.
I also noticed ceramic tableware: one of the objects was a saucer set composed of eight trays surrounding a centerpiece. All the trays, used to contain sugar, salt, and spices, where delicately decorated. The set also dated from the Qing Dynasty, and was in remarkable condition. Most old porcelain items on display were created during the Qing Dynasty, that is, one hundred to three hundred years ago.
The shop also offers an impressive selection of antique clockworks, in metal and porcelain.
A lot of the objects can be exported to foreign countries.
What I appreciated
Antiques of the Qing Dynasty
What customers appreciate
Old and exquisite works of art, traditional Chinese handicrafts, a place for collectors
Located at No. 2, Zhuzhong Alley, Xicheng District, Beijing, Zaoyuan Artifact Shop features old porcelain and a lovely traditional courtyard. As I was passing by the shop, it attracted my attention immediately just like a magnet to an iron.
Façade of the shop
The entrance door is painted in red. Together with the Chinese paintings painted above, the scene embodies traditional architecture. On the left side, there are two pictures of old porcelain vases; on the right, a blue signboard shows what the shop deals with: quality reproductions of old porcelain, famous painters & calligraphers¡¯ works, and classical furniture. The door is framed with two windows in the shape of Chinese fans.
Passing the door, you will enter a lovely and traditional courtyard which gives the place a special feel. At the center of the courtyard, there¡¯s an old tree. A big birdcage is hanging on one of the branches, and the ground is colored by patches of grass. Several other birdcages lie about, and Chinese lanterns hang from under the eaves. Just opposite the entrance, there is a black plaque with two Chinese characters: Zaoyuan.
In the right wing you¡¯ll find Chinese paintings and calligraphic works.
The left wing specializes in selling quality reproductions of ancient porcelain. The shop assistant introduced that the reproductions here were manufactured by Jingdezhen under the supervision of old specialists from the Forbidden City. And their quantities are limited so as to guarantee their value.
The prices of the ancient porcelains range from RMB 3000 ~ RMB 5000.
There is a hotel at hand named Zhuyuan Hotel at where many tourists live. They often stroll around and visit this shop. They¡¯re especially interested in these old porcelains.
What I appreciated
Zaoyuan Artifact Shop is set up and decorated in traditional Chinese architecture. It features a lovely and attractive courtyard. The shop owner and the shop assistants are gentle and polite.
Huaxia Arts and Crafts Shop is built in an antique style. Two white stone lions are keeping guard at the door. The shop specializes in old jewelry, embroidery, old porcelain, classical Chinese furniture, old pocket watches, etc.
Getting into the shop, a customer feels a serene and agreeable artistic atmosphere. Every article on display is appealing and worthy of appreciation. Old jewelry such as jadeite eardrops and necklace pendants is displayed in showcases. Delicate and lifelike embroidery works hang on the wall. They cost RMB 380 to RMB 10000. Among them, a yellow pattern named ¡°Dragon Gown¡± priced at RMB 8500 looked very attractive. A cloisonn¨¦ work named ¡°Elephant Carrying Vase on Back¡± cost RMB 190. Most old porcelain items on display were made in the Qing dynasty. Prices for old pocket watches range from RMB 1800 to RMB 8800.
What customers appreciate
Old and exquisite works of art, traditional Chinese handicrafts, a good place for collectors.
Just as I was about to wrap up my visit to East Liulichang Street, I found an old, small and distinctive shop at the end of the street. Outside the shop, there were many souvenir badges of Chairman Mao, studded on a board covered with red velvet. Some old books were lying on a shelf.
I stepped into the shop, and the owner greeted me immediately. He looked like he was 50 years old or so. He proceeded to introduce his assortment of items to me.
In the display cases, there were many old watches, pocket watches and some jade ware. Among others things on display, I saw old paintings, calligraphic works, furniture, porcelain ware, and small ornaments.
Prices for watches and pocket watches ranged from RMB 200 to RMB 10,000; some of them were gold or silver plated, with a history of 100 to 300 years. The owner can repair watches, he showed me his old repairing machine.
A souvenir badge of Chairman Mao was tagged RMB 10. Some of the porcelain items dated back from the Ming or Qing Dynasties. Prices here seemed reasonable compared with other antiques shops, with paintings and calligraphic works selling at a tenth of other shops¡¯ asking prices. Why such a difference? The premises belong to the owner¡¯s kin.
This shop is rated as ¡°Most Honest Dealer of Year 2006.¡± The owner told me 60% of his customers are from abroad. When I asked him why, he replied it was due to the shop attractive features.
The owner, Wang Dexian, was very easy to communicate with. He recounted before me how he became his own boss.
Wang Dexian used to be a model worker in Xuanwu District No. 3 Clocks and Watches Factory. People took after his model, but he could not get out of poverty. In 1998, the factory closed down, and Wang Dexian was laid off.
After going through a bitter period, he decided to put his best skill to good use, and so continued to repair watches. All the while he started collecting old watches and porcelain items. Over time, he became the owner of his own shop. Today, he owns his house, a car, and paid for the education of his children.
An artist as well as a craftsman, Wang Dexian has composed many poems. He recited two of his creations on the spot. Their implication was to encourage people to be independent.
Wang Dexian was even interviewed by CCTV, the Chinese government TV channel.
Here is a man worthy of respect. May his business thrive.
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