Uncle Money
Re: Please post favorite images of bead sellers. -- Frederick II Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Will Post Reply
11/15/2017, 08:28:52

I'm late to the feast, as usual. This is a wonderful archive. I love all these images, and the latest one from Ali sums so many of them up. Mr Kazemi's shop feels like a home I'd like to live in.

Loong Nguhn is my favourite dealer for just about everything. Loong means Uncle and Nguhn, his nickname (everyone in Thailand has a nickname which becomes semi-official), means silver, or in popular speech, money. Perhaps he's the most respected authority on Thai ceramics, and pieces that he has sold are in just about every important private collection and many museums internationally.

The most important thing for any collector is to have a dealer whom you can trust, and I trust Loong Nguhn completely (well, 99%, just to be on the safe side). Like so many younger Thai collectors I've learned enormously from his generous advice. He has a wide network of contacts all over the north of Thailand and in particular in the Burmese border areas, on both sides of the border. His expertise is in ceramics, but beads are often found in burials along with pots or in them, and so he can tell you where they were found and with what artefacts they may have been associated. Many of the Southeast Asian beads I own came in fact from him.

He doesn't have an expensive storefront in River City or the Oriental Gallery, just a cubicle at Chatuchak Market where he goes once a week to meet his friends and customers. He knows who is going to buy everything he obtains as soon as he gets it. But the real place to go is his home in Si Satchanalai, which was the centre of the Thai ceramic industry in the fifteenth century. It's a sprawling place, full of his families, and packed with unexpected treasures. I once found him sleeping with his head on a very valuable Ming dynasty bowl.

We try to go there for a few days every year. The photo was taken in June. There are no beads in the picture unfortunately... Oh yes, there are - a half-hidden bracelet on his right wrist of Samon Valley, 1st millennium BCE, carnelian, rock crystal and green chalcedony beads. When we were leaving he took it off and gave it to me through the car window - that's the kind of man he is.

The other person in the photo is Phoen, my companion of twenty years.

All the best,


LoongNguhn&Phoen.jpg (182.3 KB)  

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