Unearthing a world of Asian antiques

Enter the wondrous world of Asian antiques and prepare to be beguiled by an array of dazzling techniques, inlaid and carved with precision, all to be found on eBay. A rare Ming vase is all well and good if you can afford one, But look above and beyond those commonly known antiques to explore the universe of antique decorative arts crafted in Asia and you'll be met with exquisite objects, endowed with fascinating functions and intricate forms.

A view of Asia in antiques

Netsuke are beautifully small, sculptural carved forms from Japan. They may take the shape of mythological creatures, or figures with their bowls of rice. Made from tooth, bone, ivory, jade, various woods, and porcelain, these miniatures were originally intended to fit on kimono toggles and were first created in the seventeenth century. The rarer pieces are made from less common materials such as walnut and agate and can fetch considerable amounts as they are sought after collectibles.

Less antique and more vintage objects can also be found in troves, from carefully woven fans to sweet little Japanese kokeshi dolls and tiny carved wooden Burmese beads.

If it's snuff you are into, then you're in luck, the hand carved, Chinese antique jade snuff box of your dreams is waiting. As is an immaculately carved, tiny Chinese mouse, in smoky quartz. These Chinese antiques are perfect for adding a touch of the orient your collection.

For the wanderer in your life, a blessed amulet depicting the Buddha is an ideal piece of jewellery to send them safely off on their travels. Antique Asian amulets all have their own characteristics and type of blessing.

Antique textiles are a wonderful addition to a bare wall or empty wooden floor. Look for silks and wools in a whole host of colours and patterns.