Delhi: A Piece of the Past

Courtesy La Boutique

Buying antiques in Delhi is tricky for several reasons: The Antiquities and Arts Treasures Act makes exporting objects older than 100 years illegal; good northern Indian pieces, influenced by Persian, Moghul, and Islamic art, are exceedingly hard to find; and recognizing the best southern pieces, with their more religious bent, requires a practiced eye. These shops, among the best in Delhi, help ease the process.

Although their store Viya Home (D 19 Defence Colony; viyahome.com) isn’t antiques-focused, Vikram and Divya Goyal source goods from top-quality suppliers, both north and south, and they sell rare mirrors, stained glass, architectural elements, maps, lithographs, etchings, wall hangings, and prints. The Goyal siblings hunt for pieces for clients, and they’re highly knowledgeable about exporting.

Just south of Delhi is Sharma Farm (near Chhatarpur Mandir; sharma_farm@hotmail.com). Each warehouse on the rambling property offers something different: beds, cupboards, tables, gazebos, pillars, doors. And if a piece can’t be exported, Sharma’s carpenters can reproduce it.

Sheel Chandra, owner of Carpet Cellar (1 Anand Lok, Khel Gaon Marg; carpetcellar.com), stocks handwoven carpets from the Middle East, Tibet, and Central and South Asia, most from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are newer carpets, too, all made by hand, and the shop can create copies of any of the antique rugs.

La Boutique (20 Sunder Nagar market; laboutiqueindia.com) specializes in reproductions of stone and bronze statues, wooden handicrafts, and Moghul miniature paintings, but the bigger draws are the reproductions of traditional silver pieces (candlesticks, bowls, trays) on the upper level.