1. Our Singaporean & Malaysian clients
We have many clients who are based in Singapore & Malaysia (both on the peninsular and in Sarawak). We have other good clients in Brunei too.
Nonya porcelain is particularly popular among our Singaporean and Malaysian clients as are other Straits Chinese artifacts. Paintings with a Southeast Asian
flavour also are popular. And we sell items of Malay interest – brass and silverware – to Malay clients in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
Most of the items we have come from old UK collections that were accumulated 50-150 years ago during the colonial era. Many of our clients come to us
because no longer can they find items that are both well priced and that are free of excessive restoration in venues such as RiverCity Shopping Complex or
Tanglin Shopping Mall.
We have sold to many private collectors in Singapore and Malaysia. We have sold to museums too, including many items to Kuala Lumpur’s Islamic Arts
Museum of Malaysia. We also have sold items of Southeast Asian interest to public museums in Australia and the United States
The gallery is based in the heart of central London just off Regent Street but was established by Michael Backman. He has been resident in London for ten
years but was born in Australia. He has also lived in Jakarta for two years and has been a frequent visitor to Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei.
Gallery assistant Eddie Chin was born in Kuala Lumpur.
2. Paying from Singapore or Malaysia
Our Singaporean and Malaysian clients usually pay via credit card or direct bank transfer. In terms of credit cards, we accept MasterCard and Visa. We do not
accept American Express. In terms of bank transfer, most local banks can provide an international bank transfer. We charge in pounds so the bank will need
to convert dollars into the correct pound amount before the funds are transferred.
Usually we usually send items by Federal Express to our clients in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. We understand the customs issues in relation to exporting
items to these countries.
You will receive any credit card receipts, a full written invoice or receipt describing the item and its price and with your details and ours, and a full description of
the item with an image with each item or shipment that you receive from us. These can be sent separately if required.
We guarantee all our items as described. We sell items from this website but we are not an Internet-only retailer. We have a gallery that is open to the public
in the heart of central London and we sell to collectors and museums worldwide. We have a reputation to protect. We choose our items very carefully and do a
great deal of research to support our acquisitions.
Prices are not provided on our website. Pricing information may be obtained in respect of an item by sending us an email. We are always happy to reply to
emails requesting information on prices and any other questions.
We price our items according to what we believe they are worth and what we wish to receive for them. We do not ask a (false) high price just so that we can
then discount it to make potential buyers - particularly Southeast Asian buyers - feel that they have a bargain. We would spend our time helping serious
collectors build up fine collections.
7. Where do our items come from?
We do not source our items from their countries of origin. We have never bought nonya-ware from Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand for example where many
reproduction pieces now exist. We travel to Asia regularly but these are not buying trips. They are trips to visit local museums and call on our clients. We find
that many items available in Asia today have questionable provenance, excessive restoration or are reproduction pieces.
Instead, we source almost all our items from the UK and the rest of Europe from collections and contexts which suggest that the items were collected and
brought to the UK and Europe during the colonial era. Britain alone colonised India, Malaysia, Singapore, much of Africa and parts of the middle east so that
today the largest source of fresh-to-market antiques from these areas are to be found in the UK – in the homes of the descendants of former colonial
administrators and the like. The UK also was wealthy early on and imported many art-related goods from its colonies which were retailed in London and
elsewhere – silver items came from India, brassware came from Malaysia and so on. Many of these items came to the UK over one hundred years ago, they
were new when they arrived and in most cases have been well maintained since. Ironically the UK particularly is a better source of well provenanced antiques
from Asia, Africa and the Middle East than are most countries in these regions today.