Essays, Reviews & Blogs

Short essays, book reviews, exhibition reviews and other commentary regarding non-western material culture, the arts, collecting and curating can all be found below.


26th May 2024

Visiting Kuala Lumpur’s Fabulous Textile (and Jewellery) Museum

26th May 2024

New Podcast: Burmese Art Collector Graham Honeybill in Conversation

4th May 2024

‘Malay Silver and Gold’ Launched at London’s Leighton House

17th February 2024

Ancient Bronze Sculptures from the Srivijaya Kingdom

8th January 2024

New Podcast: Celebrated Art Historian Dr Annemarie Jordan in Conversation with Michael Backman

30th December 2023

Architecture of Nan, Northern Thailand

17th August 2023

Contemporary Palestinian Embroidery on Show in Cambridge, UK

13th August 2023

New Podcast: Fiona Kerlogue on Batik, being a Museum Curator & her new Book

9th August 2023

New Palestinian Embroidered Costumes Exhibition

27th June 2023

New Podcast: An Interview with Thweep Rittinaphakorn, author of ‘Unseen Burma’

22nd June 2023

On the Repatriation of Museum Artifacts – The Spectator

16th April 2023

Extraordinary Pre-Columbian Gold & Terracotta in Antwerp

13th March 2023

New Podcast: Are Antiques Sacred?

28th January 2023

Spain & the Hispanic World – London Exhibition

13th November 2022

New Book on Burmese Silverware Just Published!

25th August 2022

New Podcast: Eastern Jewellery Treasures with Oytun Evliyazade Camcigil

23rd August 2022

A Rare Pair of Japanese Satsuma Vases for the Islamic Export Market

26th June 2022

New Podcast: The Author Robyn Flemming on Alcohol, Art & other Addictions

15th June 2022

Visiting the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

6th May 2022

New Podcast: Straits Chinese Jewellery – Edmond Chin in Conversation with Michael Backman

8th April 2022

Khir Johari’s splendid new book on the food history of the Singapore Malays

20th February 2022

How Art Dealers Decorate their Homes

13th February 2022

A Superb Piece by Oomersi Mawji

6th February 2022

Colonial Spain & Portugal – Conduits for Motif Exchange from Asia to the Americas

12th December 2021

Our Palestinian Christian Pilgrimage Shells now on Permanent Display in Paris’ Musée du quai Branly

7th December 2021

The Extraordinary Tale of 17th-18th century Dutch Colonial Decanter Sets

31st October 2021

New Podcast: Comparing & Contrasting – A Tuareg object from Africa & a Minangkabau item from Sumatra

15th October 2021

New Podcast: Comparing & Contrasting – An Object from Tibet & one from the Philippines

26th September 2021

A Surprising Collection of 19th century Batak Manuscripts in Florence, Italy

10th September 2021

Discoveries 6: Our Best Balinese Find – Rawana Kidnapping Shinta

27th August 2021

Discoveries 5: Our Best Chinese Export Silver Find – A Massive Wang Hing Punch Bowl

18th August 2021

Discoveries 4: Our Best Sri Lankan Find – Rare Gold & Silver Lime Box (Killotaya) set with Rubies & Garnets

15th August 2021

Discoveries 3: Our Best Burmese Find – The Disciples Sariputta & Moggallana

11th August 2021

Discoveries 2: Our Best Jewellery Find – A Rare 17th-18th century Moroccan Enamelled Gold Necklace

9th August 2021

Discoveries 1: Our Best Dutch Colonial Find – A Rare Gold & Mother-of-Pearl Betel Box

25th June 2021

Are Collectors Addicts by Another Name? Michael Backman & Paul Bromberg in Conversation in a New Podcast

17th June 2021

New Podcast: The Art of Traditional African Currencies

7th June 2021

New Podcast: How to stay curious?

6th June 2021

Dramatic Cross-Cultural Portuguese Family Saga Just Published

26th May 2021

New Podcast: The Mysteries of Gold & Silver Filigree

23rd May 2021

Thomas Becket Exhibition Opens at the British Museum

25th April 2021

Personal Adornment & the Subjugation of Women

11th April 2021

Slavery, White Slaves & a New Museum Exhibition on Slavery

27th March 2021

Relaunch! Get Ready for Our Upcoming April Monthly Catalogue

21st March 2021

Visiting the Wanglee Family Compound, Bangkok

4th March 2021

Excellent Podcast on Indian Spices: Then & Now

7th February 2021

Silver Thai Reliquary Urns

23rd January 2021

Billy Steinberg’s ‘Wild Beads of Africa’ book – Now available on Amazon worldwide!

15th October 2020

A Stunning Book on African Beads – Beads like You’ve Never Seen them!

29th September 2020

New Book Published on Burmese Silver

10th September 2020

New Podcast: Discussing Marjorie Ransom’s Book on Yemeni Silver Jewellery

4th September 2020

A Case of Mistaken Identity: Elephant Teeth

23rd August 2020

Our Sales, so far this Year, to Museums around the World

18th August 2020

New Podcast – Michael Backman discusses his favourite ever book on Asia art – ‘Court Arts of Indonesia’

12th August 2020

New Podcast – Michael Backman Talks about Writing his Latest Book on Malay Silver & Gold

27th July 2020

Headhunters! A New Exhibition in Germany

23rd July 2020

New Podcast: All you need to know about our Monthly Catalogues

28th May 2020

Michael Backman speaking about the Malay World – A Podcast Produced by Asia House

19th May 2020

Excellent New Documentary on Southeast Asia’s Empires Presented by Peter Lee

19th May 2020

LACMA’s Extraordinary Damascus Room

3rd May 2020

Status Shoes in Ornament Magazine

21st April 2020

Women’s Kolam Patterns of Tamil Nadu, South India

4th April 2020

Europeans in early 19th century Thai Temple Wall Murals

27th March 2020

Podcast: Michael Backman in conversation with Narisa Chakrabongse (Part 2)

22nd March 2020

Indonesian Shadow Puppet Dishes – Unusual Exportware from Japan

18th March 2020

Podcast: Thai Royal & Publisher Narisa Chakrabongse, in Conversation with Michael Backman (part 1)

17th March 2020

Rare ‘New World’ Treasures on Display at Buckingham Palace

15th March 2020

New Podcast: With Anupasana Suwanmongkol – Saving Thailand’s Silver Nielloware Industry

11th March 2020

New Podcast: In conversation with prolific author on Asian art, Dawn Rooney

9th March 2020

New Exhibition: Fabulous India Paintings for the East India Company at London’s Wallace Collection

8th March 2020

Visiting the Southern Thai Culture Museum in Pattani, Southern Thailand

6th March 2020

‘Yeh Ballet’ – Julian Sands & Netflix India

1st March 2020

New Ashanti Gold Weight Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum

23rd February 2020

Betel Nut Sets

12th February 2020

Fakes & Forgeries – Listen to our New Podcast on the Topic

3rd February 2020

Patric Hollington – Parisian Designer

29th January 2020

Our New Podcast: Chinese Export Silver

22nd January 2020

Our New Podcast: Julian Sands, Hollywood Actor & Collector in Conversation with Michael Backman

20th January 2020

Southeast Asia’s Red-Stained Gold

9th January 2020

An Oddity from China & Nepal: The ‘Cadogan’ Teapot

8th December 2019

Bangkok’s National Museum’s New Textile Gallery

26th November 2019

Announcing: World Art Now

17th November 2019

New Exhibition & Book on the last 20 years of Acquisitions by the world’s greatest non-Western & Tribal Museum, the Quai Branly Museum

9th November 2019

Brilliant new Buddhism Exhibition at the British Library

29th October 2019

Thorns in Oman & Men’s ‘Bullet’ Tweezers

27th October 2019

Our Top 15 Discoveries!

11th October 2019

Visiting the Orientalist Museum, Marrakech

6th October 2019

Raffles at the British Museum

9th September 2019

Exhibition in Paris on Felix Feneon, Early Tribal Art Collector

21st August 2019

The Snake Charmers of Marrakech

13th August 2019

Teapots that aren’t! Water Vessels from Southeast Asia.

30th July 2019

Dayak Ear Weights & Ornaments of Borneo

25th July 2019

Himalayan Art in Russia’s State Hermitage Museum

18th July 2019

Executing the Malay way – the Kris Panjang

15th July 2019

The Spectacular Mansions of the Chettiars in Chettinad, South India

26th June 2019

Visiting the Faberge Museum, St Petersburg

24th June 2019

Tekat Embroidered Textiles from Malaysia

19th June 2019

Surprising Thai Niello Silverware in Russia’s State Hermitage Museum

13th June 2019

Why are many Miniature Indian Bronzes so Worn?

30th May 2019

Metalwork of ‘Tribal’ Africa

27th May 2019

Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum’s Superb Makeover

12th May 2019

Ramadan, Southeast Asia & Food

6th May 2019

Selling to Museums – Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum

4th May 2019

The Escalating Problem of Faking

19th April 2019

It’s Easter! It’s Passover! Jesus in Islam, Judaism & Hinduism

10th April 2019

Morocco Jewellery & Islamic World Evening

9th April 2019

Russian & Ottoman Art at Buckingham Palace

5th April 2019

Christian influence on Mughal Art – A Presentation at Asia House

28th March 2019

Thai Silver & Nielloware in London

19th March 2019

India’s Tipu Sultan, his Library & the Destruction of his Palace

17th March 2019

Zanzibar’s Controversial Princess Salme & her Museum

13th March 2019

Central Javanese Manuscripts at the British Library

8th March 2019

International Women’s Day & the Minangkabau People

3rd March 2019

Ethiopia’s Disputed Maqdala Treasures at the V&A

25th February 2019

Exhibition of Bencharong Porcelain & Related Arts, Bangkok

22nd February 2019

Visiting the UNESCO-Protected Necropolis at Al Ayn, Oman

18th February 2019

Visiting Bangkok’s Private Prasart Museum

12th February 2019

Visiting Zanzibar’s Beit el Amani Museum

10th February 2019

Opening of Raffles Exhibition, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

6th February 2019

Presentation in Bangkok on Fine, Antique Thai Silver

25th January 2019

Exploring the Carved, Wooden Doors of Zanzibar

22nd January 2019

Rosewater Antiques in the Islamic World

21st January 2019

Visiting Sur, Oman – another unique home for Omani Jewellery

17th January 2019

Visiting Nizwa – Oman’s Old Silver Jewellery Capital

3rd January 2019

Lending to a new exhibition on Hieronymous Bosch

1st January 2019

Visiting Oman’s New National Museum

23rd November 2018

Launch of ‘Desert Silver: Understanding Traditional Jewellery from the Middle East and North Africa’

21st November 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

16th November 2018

Recent Sales to Museums Worldwide

7th November 2018

SOAS ‘Silk Roads’ Visit

3rd November 2018

Chinese Temple Visit, Central London

28th October 2018

Our November Catalogue is Coming…

18th October 2018

Opening of the British Museum’s New Islamic Galleries