Thursday, April 8, 2010

TANTALIZING THAILAND

Thailand has totally captivated me since my first buying trip in 1995. It is a country of startling contrasts, from a person driving a Ferrari in a Bangkok traffic jam to the nomadic hill tribe culture in northern Thailand. Visitors fall in love with the smiling and friendly people. Buddhism and the remembrance of ancestors, permeate every aspect of Thai life. The color and grandeur of Buddhist temples is mesmerizing. It has been an amazing adventure buying antiques, textiles, furniture, and accessories for our Wesco Fabrics’ Denver showroom over the years. The hunt for the unusual and unique may be in dusty back alley markets, in artisan furniture workshops, with village hand-weavers, or with antique traders of Thai, Lao, Burmese, or Cambodian treasures. Join me on a journey to TANTALIZING THAILAND.

Bangkok’s Grand Palace has served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since the 18th century.

Sometimes you have to get a little dirty when you are on the antique search. I was in my “mustache period” for this picture in northern Thailand.

How am I going to ship this elephant home?

Many of our suppliers have an amazing array of merchandise just lying around their property!

Marla and two of our agents after writing an order for amazing Burmese pottery.

Now what are going to do with these?

We picked out some antique peanut grinder kogs to be made into modern style sculpture.

The peanut grinder kog, on top of a teak wood base, looks quite dramatic in a Dallas home (in front of Wesco silk drapery on a Finial company rod next to a custom sofa from Wesco.)

We bought this incredible vintage Burmese Buddha.

In an upstairs attic of one of our suppliers we came upon this antique Burmese Mandalay style Buddha shrine, or Hpaya Khan. It is similar to one at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Asian Museum in San Francisco. Marla had to have it! She displays it in the entrance of our warehouse headquarters in Denver.

This is a huge hand carved Buddha panel.

Is it really hot in here or is it me?

Shopping with our agent for antiques. Check out the Cambodian silver on the display case. “Mr. Bob” was a Buddhist monk before becoming a shipping agent.

I must have these wood carvings!

In northern Thailand we hired a ‘long-tail” boat to explore a Karen tribe village near the Thai Burmese border.

We visited an Akha hill tribe village north of Chiang Rai. Note the traditional Akha headdress.

We were invited into the home of this Akha woman.

Marla and I have hosted three Wesco Fabrics’ incentive trips for customers and friends to Thailand. Our groups have traveled to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, & the island of Samui.

Thai style suits me just fine!

On my next blog you will get more stamps on your passport! We will work with brocante dealers in the Champagne region of France, visit fine antique galleries in Reims, hunt for vintage posters in Paris, and search for European antiques in freezing warehouses in Holland.

2 comments :

  1. Did you ship that elephant home? I love him! :)))

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  2. I love the wood carvings . . . and the elephant too! Some fantastic photos! :D

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