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Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002

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Stamp of royalty

Antique artefacts vie for attention with classic furniture at Premier Classic Arttiques on Spurtank Road.

"WEAVING HARMONIES divine"... the poetic imagery of Keats comes to the mind as one looks at the antiques and furniture collection of Premier Classic Arttiques, a unit of Tanjore Collections.

The brainchild of P. Premnath and Suman Reddy, the artefacts have been collected from old palaces and havelis, erstwhile royals, zamindars and from the private collections of old Raj hands.

So you are likely to see a pair of superbly carved wooden columns from the Vijayanagar palace, featuring a lyrical interplay of humans, flowering creepers, animals and fantastic birds vying for attention with a British Raj porcelain water filter made in Battersea, London!

For the connoisseur, the collection has rare items such as an 18th Century French clock, a 300-year-old Japanese bonsai vase, a pair of porcelain elephants in bone china, an Imarui porcelain Japanese plate and blue pottery Persian and Mughal wall plates. Neatly displayed, each piece is a paen to artistic skills.

Enormous teak Chettinad doors with intricate carving and large sized Chinese clay pots and urns embellished with figures and dragons catch the eye. Also available are drop leaf teak dining tables and roll top tables in varied sizes like the piano-sized roll top tables in teak with central locking systems. The display also includes `secret' cabinet, part almirah and part roll top tables as well as a choice of rosewood and teak almirahs.

Particularly fascinating is an old medicine chest with tiny drawers embellished with brass fixings and a rather stark jackwood chest of drawers. The collection includes many Edwardian-Raj and Victorian chairs in teak and rosewood, many which need restoration.

Of course, many furniture items have been restored by specialists. Suman Reddy says, "Our forte is restoration. We use the same wood as in the original, whether it is mahogany, rosewood, ebony, teak or camphor. Sometimes we get exquisite but, badly damaged period furniture."

The Tanjore and glass paintings are simply beautiful, complete with gold leaves and semi-precious stones. The old brass and metal items include vases and candle stands, animal and bird forms including a brass stork.

Premier Classic Arttiques is located at No.4, Vivekananda Road (behind the Corporation playground), Spurtank Road, Chetput.


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