Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maggie's Trip to the Antique Market

So months ago I found out that around 朝天宫 a palace in Nanjing, there is an outdoor antique market every weekend. So this weekend I decided to try and find it and see if it was a real antique market or a tourist trap.
Kevin and I had been to  朝天宫 before, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to find again. Half an hour later as I was wandering around the streets, lost, a nice old woman pointed me in the direction through some alley ways and I ended up wandering right into the market!
It was a really neat place. There is a permanent antique market inside a building, and then on the weekends peddlers come from all over to sell outside of it. I had brought 50 bucks with me, and by the end had spent every last penny on gifts and other neat trinkets.

I was so psyched when I found 大汉字 posters, posters from the Cultural Revolution, outside the market. What's more, they gave me 3 of these for 10 dollars. I have one that's a traditional Socialism-is-good poster, and then two others that are old comic-style posters, depicting propaganda for the Communist party. Unfortunately the guy did an excellent job wrapping them up for travel, and I can't post pictures for fear of ripping them/not being able to wrap them again. But I did take pictures of the other things I found!

This is a piece of old commie propaganda, depicting Chairman Mao with a headliner of Wishing Chairman Mao a Long Life Without Limits. And on the back there's a stamp saying it was produced in 1969. Who's super psyched? I'm super psyched.
This is a snuff box made of jade that's carved. On the top is carved a pair of dragons, and on the bottom is 福 Fortune.
This was the first thing that I bought, right as I walked down the row. They're a pair of boar tusks (or some sort of pig tusks). They have a link on the top so I can make them into a necklace and give one to someone else or make them into a pair of earrings (I haven't decided yet).
This is something that I never expected to find and am so happy that I did. They're a pair of shoes from the Qing dynasty, made for women with bound feet (the roll of tape is used to show just how tiny they are). One of my professors who helped me get to Nanjing researches this topic, and I'm so excited to give them to her as a thank you!!

Last but not least I found a coin from the Warring States Period. It's made of copper and has calcified but you can still see the shapes in it :)
Once I found my way to a bus stop and onto the right bus I noticed: guy with a bird on the bus! Go China! I had a super morning and I'm so excited to go again next weekend! I may end up getting the majority of my gifts for people from here, because it's nice to get to tell them the story behind what they're getting and for them to know that what they have actually has culture to it. Yay. Love,

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