antiques

 

 

 

 

 



Our aim in selecting true antiques and near antiques (i.e.
60-80 years old) is to present products that have
been made with an individual focus.

Made in the time when function and art were not yet
regularly separated, these products exhibit artistic
flare and care. Ranging from religious artefacts to
household furniture each piece carries its own
patina and story. We are particularly proud of our
range of Singing Bowls
.


See below for information on Singing Bowls


Singing Bowls
When looking at a singing bowl, consider four factors.

Craft: Look for a good shape. The sound of a bowl is reflected in how
well it was made. The best bowls have a graceful shape which is very
even. However, a hand made bowl is never perfect. It may have a
slightly asymmetrical shape or an uneven, wavy lip.

Machine made bowls have a near flawless shape. However, since they
are often finished by hand, they may also have irregularities

There are many different types of singing bowls. Different makers made
various shapes and sizes. There is no simple way to date a bowl based
on its shape. New bowls are usually shaped the same as antiques,
following tradition. If a bowl has etchings, look carefully at the quality.
Antique bowls have very well finished etchings which, whether simple or
complex, were carefully done. Etchings on new bowls are often very
complex. Complicated etchings that cover a bowl with dragons, seated
Buddha’s or endless knots are generally etched by machine.

Condition:
It takes a great deal of experience to accurately assess the
condition of bronze.
Hammer marks are not a true sign of age. New bowls are machine made,
then finished by hand with hammers.
Grime is often mistaken for patina, the thought being that a dirty bowl
must be an old bowl. Do not choose a bowl simply because it is brown or
green or black. Surface condition is not a true test of age. The same is
true of oxidation. The presence of rust does not mean a bowl is antique.
Rust forms very quickly, so is not an accurate test of age. The best
antiques rarely have not much, if any, rust.

Content:
It is not possible to tell which metals compose the alloy of a
singing bowl by looking at it. The only way to tell which metals are in a
singing bowl is through metallurgical analysis. This involves cutting off a
sample of the metal for microscopic analysis. A metallurgist can then
discern which metals are present in the alloy. Different metals were used
by different bowl makers, probably reflecting the alloys available in their
region. Therefore, there is a wide variety in colour, texture, and
hardness.

Antique bowls contain up to twelve metals, including precious
metals like silver, gold and nickel that are too valuable to be included
today. Trace minerals like mercury, cadmium and zinc may also be
present, although one cannot tell visually. Today, bowls are made of
rather inexpensive bronze composed of copper, tin, iron and lead.  Fine
craft and content cause antique bowls to be lighter in weight than new
bowls.

Tone:
Play the bowl by striking it with a padded mallet. If a padded
mallet is not available, wrap one end of the hardwood mallet with a piece
of string. Try to discern the harmonic tones, which are higher pitched
tones above the principle tone. If you listen closely, you will hear at
least two harmonics. Do they balance well together, or are they
dissonant? Do they balance well with the principle tone? Do you like the
tone? Do you like the vibration – does it feel good in your hand? Strike
the bowl with the padded end of the mallet. While it is ringing, tap it
lightly with the wood end. This should bring out some new tones. Lastly,
play it around the rim and see how easily it plays. Does the tone come
up quickly? How long does it ring?  The quality of tone is
more important than the length of tone. But in the end, you will choose
a bowl depending on whether or not its vibrations resonate pleasantly or
meaningfully for you.