Tag Archive | "Asian"

Of Things Past Comes to Rosedale

Monday, December 10, 2012


The Rosedale strip got a new player last week when consignment shop Of Things Past opened a satellite location at 1096 Yonge Street (just north of Roxborough) in the storefront previously occupied by Jackson Falk. The Rosedale shop is everything the original OTP is not, it's small, it's central and the merchandise is of a generally high quality. I have been through the Bridgeland location many, many times and rarely found anything worth cooing over but in Rosedale the pieces are good and they're moving straight out the door. The place was jammed on opening weekend with a very good buzz in the neighbourhood.

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Philippines Via Dundas West

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


On the weekend I made a reconnaissance sortie to Magiks Home Furnishings, a quirky little shop on Toronto's Dundas Street West (near Dufferin). Proprietor Rodel San Miguel was very sweet: "Everything in the store is from the Philippines," he said, "including me." The shop window proclaims, "Authentic. Majestic. Divine." which struck me as a rather odd tagline until I went in and confronted the perplexing range of religious icons and statuary peppered among the plantation-style furnishings and lighting. "The Philippines is a very catholic country," Rodel said solemnly, and then he explained a bit about the Spanish colonial tradition of folk art santos and bastidor sculptures. Magiks' lighting in particular caught my eye: this enormous capiz pendant is $800 and I especially liked the range of woven kabuti lamps.

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Colour Story: Celadon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm a casual collector of many things and one of those things is celadon porcelain. I can't afford the really good stuff but when I see a piece at auction and nobody's bidding you can count on me to raise my paddle, which is how I came by several of the pieces above. In this vignette you can see how much variation there is to the famous hue: the mossy green vases on the left and right are both Chinese while the small brush pot is Korean. The plate and bowl aren't Asian at all but Royal Copenhagen from Modern Craze. To me, there's something beguiling about the colour, which was devised centuries ago to mimic jade, a stone highly revered by the Chinese. The tonal range can stretch from palest grass and moss green to blue/green and gray/green yet each piece is universally referred to simply as celadon.

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Beware Hidden Shipping Charges

Monday, August 29, 2011


In the future, when placing an order like this from a foreign vendor, I would ask the dealer to get explicit details from the shipping company about any further brokerage fees, duties or taxes required; this is their business and they should know the answers to the questions. If I had had that conversation with the dealer and then found myself on the hook for extra fees I likely would have sent the piece back. I admit my enjoyment of the lamp has been tainted a bit by the experience; had I known it would cost me $250 I would have taken a pass. Caveat emptor.

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Auction(s): French Antiques v. Asian Accents

Friday, March 19, 2010


Two competing Toronto-area auctions on March 23 mean that decor junkies will have to pick their poison, either authentic French antiques or Asian decorative art. Downtown, A.H. Wilkens is holding the decorative arts sale, while the French pieces can be found at Mississauga's Oasis Convention Centre. Wilkens can be previewed Sunday and Monday but you can't peruse the French furniture until 4 pm on the day of the sale.

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