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? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Woman's Wooden Stilted Clogs with Engraved Silver Mounts (Qabqab) Ottoman Turkey 19th century Inventory no.: 3589 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
Set of Eight Carved & Pierced Mother-of-Pearl Shells Decorated with the Nativity, the Last Supper & so on Palestine 1830s-1860s Inventory no.: 3701 More images & information
Kangxi Blue & White Hookah Base with Chased Silver Mounts China for the Islamic Indian or Persian Market late 17th-early 18th century Inventory no.: 3852 More images & information
Rare Enamelled Silver Armenian Orthodox Altar Cross Armenian Community, Ottoman Turkey 18th-19th century Inventory no.: 3864 More images & information
Unusually Large, Silver Filigree Betel Box Dutch East Indies, or possibly India circa 1700 Inventory no.: 4052 More images & information
Rare Early Ayutthaya/U-Thong Style Gold Buddha Plaque Ayutthaya, Thailand mid-14th century Inventory no.: 4083 More images & information
Silver Shivalingam set with a Single, Massive 189-carat Emerald Lingam India 19th century Inventory no.: 4177 More images & information
Pair of Carved Wooden Male & Female Bulul Rice Divinity Figures Ifugao People, Northern Luzon, Philippines 19th century Inventory no.: 3870 More images & information
The Mughal Seal of Khair un-nisa Begum Sahiba, Daughter of Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal Emperor Seized during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, Delhi, India dated 1845, and inscribed 'September 20, 1857, Delhi' Inventory no.: 4753 More images & information
Enamelled Gold Jadau Pendant Set with Diamonds & Pearls Northern India circa 1850 Inventory no.: 4615 More images & information