Michael Backman Ltd
Manuscripts, Writing & Related Items
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Cloisonné Inkwell
China
late 18th century
Inventory no.: 921
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Lacquered Letter Tube (Sa Dauk)
Burma
circa 1920
Inventory no.: 1532
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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?
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Massive Ebony-Inlaid Teak Document Box
Dutch Colonial Sri Lanka
late 17th-18th century
Provenance: The Lairds of Blair, Blair Castle, Scotland
Inventory no.: 1712
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Pair of Solid Ivory Wrist Rests for the Scholar’s Table
China
Qing Dynasty, 19th century
Inventory no.: 2086
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Gilded & Lacquered Manuscript Box & Stand (Sadaik)
Burma
circa 1850
Inventory no.: 2651
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Steel Scissors or Sheers
Ottoman Turkey
17th century
Inventory no.: 2778
Calligrapher’s Pierced Steel Scissors
Iran (Persia)
18th century
Inventory no.: 2781
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Calligrapher’s Pierced Steel Scissors
Iran (Persia)
18th century
Inventory no.: 2782
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Steel & Brass Scissors
Central Asia, probably Tashkent
late 18th century
Inventor no.: 2779
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Ottoman Copper-Inlaid Scribe’s Scissors
Ottoman Turkey
18th-19th century
Inventory no.: 2875
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Chettiar Palm Leaf Bookkeeper's Knife with Ivory & Silver Mounts
Chettiar People, Tamil Nadu, India
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 2973a
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Chettiar Palm Leaf Bookkeeper's Knife with Ivory & Silver Mounts
Chettiar People, Tamil Nadu, India
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 2973b
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Exceptionally Rare & Early Huanghuali Writing Box with Engraved Paktong Mounts
China for the Dutch East India Company (VOC)
circa 1640
Inventory no.: 3153
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Mughal Brass Writing Box
Northern India
19th century
Inventory no.: 92
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Book with Fine Colonial Philippines Silver Mounts
Philippines/Netherlands
18th-19th century
Inventory no.: 3363
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Sinhalese Palm Leaf Book and Polychrome Covers (Ola)
Sri Lanka
19th century
Inventory no.: 3185
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Gilded Lacquered Manuscript Chest (Sadaik)
Burma
circa 1900
Inventory no.: 3311
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Painted & Lacquered Mirror Case
Persia (Iran)
Zand Dynasty, circa 1780
Inventory no.: 3581
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Cast Brass Pen Case & Attached Ink Well
Nepal
18th century
Inventory no.: 3611
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Rare Sinhalese Palm Leaf Book (Ola) with Ebony Covers Clad in Brass, Ivory & Silver
Sri Lanka
circa 18th century
Inventory no.: 3992
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