Sunday, February 10, 2008
This morning I headed to the Dong Tai Road antique market, a short taxi ride from my hotel.
The vendors were just setting up so I browsed around looking at their goods. They are very similar to the ones at Panjiayuan in Beijing, but better quality.
Thinking I'd only make small purchases, I bought a piece of embroidery, very elaborate and a big piece for 380RMB. And then a piece of what looks like jade, double sided with a bat for 80RMB.
It's good to go in the morning because the vendors want to make a first sale and will basically give you whatever price you want... within reason.
However, as soon as I saw rice bowls with butterfly designs on them, I was unable to resist temptation. They're white with handpainted butterflies on them, inside and outside the bowls. The vendors all claim they're from the Qing Dynasty, but I'm not sure about that.
I bought two, and then later at another vendor saw four plates with the same butterflies. I got the set of four and then had to buy two more bowls to match. The woman who sold the two extra bowls to me also urged me to buy a big platter as well.
Now I have a set of four butterfly bowls and plates and platter. Dinner party anyone?
I also bought an old black alarm clock complete with the two bells at the top. It has a beautiful face that looks very European. It probably had a new paint job, but it still works well. That was also 100RMB.
Luckily I had to meet a friend for lunch so I had to go. And now I have to figure out how I'm going to lug all my purchases home.