It's hard to find real finds in Shanghai. There are so many people that inevitably a few million or so have already traversed every path. But the Shanghai Mu Lan Hua Ge Jia Ju Li Curio Co. just might be one of those places.
It's a loosely walled warehouse in Pudong (East of the Huangpu river) just off Line 8 (Linzhao Xin Cun Stop) with an inexhaustible supply of mosquitoes and old Chinese furniture that is literally stacked to the ceiling. Along with knick-nacks (sp?), glassware, old cameras, etc etc etc.
The prices weren't dirt cheap, but they were really decent the more we bought and bargained. (I told the manager I didn't want the "good friend price" but the price he'd give his mother...humor also helps with bargaining.)
I went with a couple of friends and we got thoroughly dusty and bitten, but we found some cool artifacts, the ages of which I have absolutely no clue. I'm hoping I can find an antiques expert of some sort to take out there and thus have some fodder for my next article!
(I included the business card below.)
Here are my fellow dumpster diving friends.
These purply-pink glass jars were what I came for. I had seem some for some astronomical amount at my favorite tea shop. We found 9 or so identical ones plus a few that are more Art Deco. Apparently, every Chinese family has or had one, possibly given as a wedding gift (but not 100% sure so don't etch that in glass.) The first one is the more traditional with the Double Happiness character and dragons.
I love this little thing. It's a silver (we think) canopy holder. The manager said they were put above beds and laid across with fabric to make a canopy. I can't wait to figure out a way to use it. My friend suggested as a towel holder. Scarves would look nice too, but the problem is everything in China is made out of concrete. It hook turns. It definitely isn't strong enough for anything as heavy as a bag. Suggestions?
Here's hoping this doesn't have termites. There were tons of old doors and pieces of woodwork. I got this one for about $4. Couldn't resist.
Here's the address. You will think you're in the wrong place when you walk up onto the side of the dusty highway, but follow the map below. Bargain like your life depends on it. Bring a headlamp or flashlight and a jug of bug repellent.