|Michael Backman Ltd - Library
|The corner of Regent & Hanover Streets, central London - the location of Michael Backman Ltd.
|Michael Backman Ltd - Display Rooms
|Library (alternative view)
We have sold more than 140 separate objects to public museums in the US, Asia & Europe in the last six years alone.
Museums and Institutions to which we have sold include:
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
British Museum, London, UK
National Gallery of Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia
Art Gallery of Queensland, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Indian Heritage Centre, Singapore
Malay Heritage Centre, Singapore
The British Library, UK
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK
Horniman Museum, London, UK
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, USA
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Reunion
Museum Volkenkunde (Tropenmuseum), The Netherlands
Rietburg Museum, Zurich, Switzerland
The David Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark
Peabody Museum, Harvard University, USA
Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia
Baba House, Singapore
Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
Other institutions that now have items in their permanent collections that were handled by us include:
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts - Boston
The Gallery's online catalogue is fully up-to-date - all items shown are available. Click here to see the catalogue.
Also by Michael Backman:
- Click the links below to see all the items in the Michael Backman Ltd catalogue -
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
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.
|Before and After Views of 2013 Refurbishment
|Scroll down for images, footage and more information about our central London gallery.
The Gallery encompasses one of London's most experienced and knowledgeable multi-disciplinary teams when it comes to Asian, Tribal and Colonial antiques.
Michael Backman established the Gallery in central London. He is a widely published authority on Asian culture, art and politics. He is
the author of seven books that cover all aspects of Asia - from culture to politics & business. Published by Macmillan and John Wiley &
Sons, editions of his books have appeared in English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Indonesian. One, Asian Eclipse, was named
by The Economist among its 'Books of the Year' and appeared on several bestseller lists. He has travelled to almost every Asian country
(among many others), and prior to living in London, also lived in Jakarta, Paris, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra. A life-long collector
of Asian art, he is an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is the author of Rare Antique Asian & Colonial Decorative Arts (Paul
Holberton Publishing, 2016), and is the author of a forthcoming biography of a Malaysian politician. He holds a First Class Honours
Degree in Economics.
Eddie Chin is from Malaysia originally and is fluent in Malay, Indonesian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, French & English, & with a
knowledge of Spanish. He has an interest in tribal art. He is a fully qualified chartered accountant, and holds an MBA. He handles the
Gallery's accounting, tax and export issues.
Elizabeth Herridge advises on marketing issues, and Chinese jewellery and related material. She has an M.A. in East Asian Art from
the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Formerly the Managing Director of the Guggenheim Hermitage
Museum in Las Vegas, and prior to that a Managing Director at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., New York, she is a graduate of the Getty
Leadership Institute’s MLI program. Fluent in French, Elizabeth has lived in Toronto, New York, Boston and Las Vegas. She now resides
in London, is the author of Bringing Heaven to Earth: Chinese Silver Jewellery and Ornament in the Late Qing Dynasty (Ianthe/Paul
Holberton, 2016), and a Trustee of the London Library.
Michael Backman Ltd offers a bespoke, discrete service of placing rare, high-end Asian & other antiques & artworks utilising our extensive network of private and
We also produce each month a catalogue of items which is distributed by email to some 8,000 clients and contacts.
We help build private collections, and we understand that our clients don't collect objects so much as they collect stories, and in so doing, they help preserve
culture and history. We also sell to many public museums and institutions - see below for more details.
We do not participate in fairs. All our items can be seen at our central London gallery, just off Regent Street.
Sound provenance is extremely important to us. All our stock is sourced from old UK and European collections only. We do not source items from Asia or from
other original source locations.
|A speech by Michael Backman at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University
of London, given in January, 2015 - on the role of art dealers in the preservation of art history.
|At Tipu Sultan's mosque, Seringapatam, South India.