From where do we source our items? We do not go on buying trips to Asia. Nor do we actively buy from dealers or suppliers based in Asia. We do not source items from India itself for example. Almost all the items stocked by Michael Backman Ltd have been sourced from the UK - from old collections. Countless items were brought to the UK during the colonial era by colonial administrators and the like. Other items were made in Asia for export to the UK – the UK was wealthy early: it has been a major destination for the world’s exports for hundreds of years. This means that most of our items have been in the UK for at least sixty to two hundred years.
The conditions in which they have been kept often has been very good – the climate is kind, and there are relatively few pests. Many items were acquired as keepsakes and curios, meaning that they stopped being used once they came to the UK. This too has helped to preserve them and their conditions often are far better than had they remained in their home countries. Buying from old UK sources means that the items have good provenance; it helps to avoid fakes, and items that have been amended or embellished. It also means that our items are obtained legally – today, most countries in Asia prohibit the export of their antiques. So, because of its colonial past, the UK is perhaps the world’s biggest source of genuine antiques from Asia, perhaps more so than Asia itself, and that is the source into which we tap.
All the items on this page are available for sale. We are based in central London, but sell to clients around the world. Want to enquire about an item on this page? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Rare Allegorical South American Emerald & Diamond Pendant Spanish Colonial or Spain 18th century Inventory no.: 3132 More images & information
Extremely Rare, Large Silver Bodice Piece set with Seventy-Four Large Table Cut Diamonds Viceroyalty of New Spain, probably the Captaincy General of Guatemala 1680-1720 Inventory no.: 3614 More images & information
Cast Copper Alloy Talismanic Pendant (Taijanja) Central Sulawesi, Indonesia circa 18th century Inventory no.: 3679 More images & information
Silver Filigree Ga’u Box with Turquoise & Coral Western Tibet late 19th century Inventory no.: 3846 More images & information
Solid & Engraved Silver Bracelet Hmong or Mien Peoples, Northern Thailand 19th century Inventory no.: 3965 More images & information
Gem-Set Gilded & Silver Filigree Ear Plug Ornaments Java, Indonesia 19th century Inventory no.: 3958 More images & information
Silver Double Axe Pendant (Taka) Central Flores, Eastern Indonesia 18th-19th century Inventory no.: 3988 More images & information
Silver & Gilded Silver Braided Silver Wire Belt (Kamarpatti) Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh, India 19th century Inventory no.: 4041 More images & information