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Tips for Buying Woodcarving  

by on Friday, 26 October 2007No Comment | 2,596 views

To find high quality wood carving in Bali you have to go to Gianyar regency, especially in the village of Mas, and Kemenuh. There are two main types of woodcarving. Traditional carving, in the form of bas-relief tableaux and plaques, are used mainly as decoration for doors, walls and columns and small highly standardized wooden statues od deities and mythical heroes also belong to this group. The second one is contemporary carving. The theme usually highly stylized human and animal figures, often grotesque and psychopathic.

When you buy a wood carving, it is better to dress casually, prosperous looking buyer will get higher price and don’t forget and don’t be shy to bargain, when a reasonable price is reached, buy it. Fixed price created for those who have no time to bargain. Study the item carefully before you buy it. Make sure the artwork is dry (free from moisture). If not, it will crack and mould later.Check for the crack and make sure all attached parts like wings, hands, feet are properly attached. Have the carver explain any discoloration.

Beware of imitation; if a seller claims that an item is made of pure sandalwood or ebony, there is likely a chance that his claim is 90% false, for sandalwood is hard to find and the price of ebony for carving material is extraordinary high. If you can, find a carving that possesses an inner life, a vitality of its own.

Antique woodcarving breeds other problems, finding an antique stuff in Bali needs a lot of effort. Truly antique woodcarving is rare in Bali, a visit to an antique shop is a journey to a jungle of repro stuff. Take your time when buying an antique woodcarving, study it carefully. It is will be better for you to increase your knowledge on antique woodcarving by visiting Bali Museum in Denpasar, or by reading a book on Balinese antique before you start to hunt for an antique woodcarving.

Always assume that you are cheated when buying antique woodcarving will increase your awareness and minimize your chance to be cheated. Ask the dealer how old a piece is. Ask a written guarantee stating the condition of the purchase.

Unfortunately there was a law passed by Government in 1993 to prevent the hemorrhage of antique treasure from Bali. The law states that any object over 50 years old is considered antique and must be turned over to the government. The only exceptions are old objects like Kris and carved stones.

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