Phuket Antiques & Handicrafts Shopping
Thai, Chinese, Burmese and Khmer antiques are excellent buys. However, you must have a permit from the Fine Arts Department to export real antiques from Thailand. This is also the case with for Buddha images, old or new. Any reputable dealer will be able to advise on restrictions and any necessary documentation. (See antique shops).
Traditional and contemporary styles of pottery are available throughout Phuket. Most Thai ceramics are made in the north of the country and include celadon, earthenware, stoneware and china.
This craft involves coating split bamboo or wood with lacquer, then adding intricate hand-painted designs. Lacquerware comes in two flavours, gold-on-black or yellow and green on a matte red background. Look out for lacquerware bowls, boxes, trays and other items for home decoration and souvenirs.
Practiced in the south of Thailand for hundreds of years, nielloware is the craft of decorating gold and silver objects with delicate etched designs inlaid with an alloy of lead, silver, copper and sulphur. Neillo objects used to be given by Thai kings as gifts for visiting royalty and foreign dignitaries. Items include rings, necklaces, bracelets, bowls, pedestals, and trays.
Pewter is fashioned with great skill by Thai craftsmen, and the smooth, silky finish of this attractive alloy is enhanced by delicate relief decoration. Pewterware items include plates, boxes, vases and pocket flasks.
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