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Shopping For Antiques & Collectables:
Singapore & Malaysia 2003/4 by Monsoon Guides
(Monsoon Books, 248 pp) $16.00 US
Jaswinder Kaur

Southeast Asia offers rich pickings in antiques. Singapore and Malaysia are no exceptions. This book serves as an excellent guide for the antique aficionado and the cultural traveller alike. As Peter Nahum, Antiques Roadshow valuer and former Sotheby’s Director puts it “the ideal book for anyone hot on the antiques trail in Malaysia and Singapore!”

It is an easy to read guide listing the many antique shops in Singapore and neighbouring Malaysia. The guide comes with a Highly Recommended listing at the beginning of each section.
The index at the end of the book is subdivided according to items and location.
For example if you are only interested in silver jewellery or Chinese ceramics, you will get a listing of all shops under that category; a most convenient feature for the busy shopper.

Apart from antique and collectibles shop, this guide also lists the addresses of antique related services like repair shops, appraising agencies and shippers that ship the items internationally. The Malaysian listings are further sub-divided by states. Penang and Malacca are the places to go to shop for Straits Chinese or Peranakan antiques, while Kuching, in Sarawak, offers the antiques of the Ibans and other ethnic groups of this East Malaysian state.

Each listing comes complete with the usual information (addresses, opening hours and types of credit cards accepted) and additional information such as year of establishment, quantity and services provided. A chronological listing of Asian dynasties and a list of recommended books for further reading will please the most avid of collectors and introduce the beginner to the world of Asian antiquing. The glossary at the end of the book is most useful for novice collectors. Overall the guide is light on pictures but more importantly full of essential information. Anyone planning a visit to these parts of Southeast Asia will find this guide informative.

Antique lovers, in particular, will find this guide a valuable resource in their quest for unique pieces.

© Jaswinder Kaur November 2003

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