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Enticing antiques

Recreate the magic of Chettinad with these artefacts


ANTIQUES ARE supposed to be prohibitively expensive and sourced from shady dealers. At least, that's what the films tell you.

But, real-life rules are different. Most dealers are respectable and a shop selling antiques is no longer a dusty godown.

`The Temple', on Mettupalayam Road, which opened last week, belongs to the latter category.

The objects d'art and artefacts are spread around the spacious, well-lit showroom. Sourced from the Chettinad heartland of Karaikudi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and fellow dealers from other States, the collection includes bric-a-brac from kitchens, wall mounts, window and door frames, wooden carvings and boxes.

If you're fond of the fragrance of wood, you'll love the place. The smell of freshly rubbed wood is addictive.

Brass nut-crackers, a double-cylinder sevai nazhi, urulis, camphor boxes and musty-looking curd churners (mathu) are some of the other items on display.


In the wooden section, cowbells with a rough finish and an ancient vibhuti vilakku are bound to catch collectors' fancy. Another eye-catcher is the wooden baby walker, not often seen these days.

Just imagine how families travelled those days. With utensils and food items in tow, the women rustled up a meal in any place. Aiding them was the traveller's set, a wooden box holding a knife, coconut scraper and vegetable cutter. A couple of them are available in this store (Shree Lakshmi Towers).

There is also a painting section and the store is planning to concentrate on Ravi Varma's reproductions, says Hema Selvaraj, who owns "The Temple".

SUBHA J RAO

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