Beautiful colors still remain on this brightly painted fo kan family shrine from Gansu used for ancestor worship

Antique Chinese fo kan family shrine from Gansu

Known as “fó kān” (佛龛) in Chinese these are shrines of worship – essentially a family temple. In ancient times, Fo Kan were dug from rock much like niches or grottos. Later stone, wood and other materials were used. Eventually Fo Kan began taking on architectural characteristics, modeling houses, official buildings and even palaces. This particular one is quite impressive and its owner would likely have had some level of material wealth.

Hidden beauty: Careful cleaning reveals beautiful color on this Chinese antique sideboard from Shanxi

Chinese shifu scholar

You never really know what you will find when you start on restoration of an antique. Experience helps but its nevertheless often times more art then process. Since some customers, particularly those in the know, prefer to select antique pieces in un-restored form, which while exciting and educating, can present some tricky problems for the […]

Germany’s fake terracotta warriors – seems even the museums get duped sometimes

Somehow I missed this one (which dates all the way back to 2007).  While I have to admit its a bit cynical to say it, I find this absolutely hilarious (on so many levels, I can’t even begin to touch on all of them).  From rampant piracy in China, to its historical context concerning fakes […]

Reduced prices – Sale of gorgeous antique walnut alter tables, armoire, benches from Gansu province.

One of ACF’s local “inside suppliers”  wishes to liquidate his existing stock of restored antique walnut furniture from Gansu at reduced prices, as he is now dealing only in un-restored antiques. As an “inside supplier” this restorer does not normally sell directly to overseas customers and instead local furniture factories buy from him to then […]

Mystery: Are these Chinese oracle bones inscriptions carved on a tortoise shells?

Interesting recent find… The question is “what is it?” Are these oracle bones ( 甲骨 jiǎgǔ) ? And if so, why is  it not cracked? Or was this particular one simply used for practicing carving inscriptions? Or maybe even record keeping? Is this pictographs indeed an example of jiăgŭwén (oracle script) or is it seal […]

A pair of late 18th to early 19th century Qing dynasty Chinese Nanmu compound cabinets

Item: A pair of late 18th to early 19th century Qing period Chinese compound cabinets Region: Shanxi Province in Northern China Materials: Nanmu (楠木 – Phoebe) and Chicken Wing wood  (鸡翅木) * Price: 60,000 to 80,000 Chinese RMB (SOLD) ** Condition: Purchased un-restored. Minimal restoration. New hardware. Carvings likely replaced after being defaced during the […]