Deciphering Deities - Will the Real Quan Yin Please Stand Up!

Friday, July 21, 2017

This blog examines the deity Quan Yin, technically the Buddhist god of compassion and mercy, who has now become a popular icon capturing the imagination of Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike....

Collecting Bugs and Butterflies

Friday, March 10, 2017

My lips have been curled in a perpetual state of fear for the past few days while researching PRIMITIVE’s extensive collection of bugs and butterflies. It is one thing to see pictures in books or on the web, but quite another to see beetle exoskeletons, tarantulas twice the size of my hands, giant centipedes and scorpions up close and personal. To compound matters, Glen Joffe told me a story about being served a plate of noodles and scorpions while on a trip to China. It didn’t do much for my sleep. Pictures of all sorts of insect delicacies appeared in my dreams...I mean nightmares....

A New Spin on an Old Debate – Collectible Globes

Friday, March 03, 2017

A debate of who discovered America leads to a discourse on the history of map making and the uniqueness of collectible globes - from antique to modern - each representing a spherical snapshot in time...

Piecing It Together - When Does A Collection Become A Work Of Art?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Individual collectible objects may be imbued with a unique history and story to tell, but when they become part of a collection their status is elevated and the collection itself can become a work of art. Stated differently, a collection can be considered a singular work of art worthy of experience....

Ancient Animals – Symbolism of Chinese Mythological Creatures

Friday, November 18, 2016

This blog deals with the symbolism of ancient Chinese mythological creatures as they have been illustrated in a multitude of Chinese arts....

Fascination with Death – Skull Symbolism

Friday, October 21, 2016

What happens when we draw our final breath? Nobody knows the answer – except the dead. Yet death has fascinated the living for thousands of years. Burials were one of the earliest human rituals, indicating reverence toward the dead and whatever lay beyond....

The Art of the Dig – Excavated Ancient Artifacts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

They called him The Digger, Diggy for short. It was an apt nickname considering his most peculiar hobby – digging. As a child he created countless craters in his parent’s garden and didn’t stop until he had pock-marked the lawns of all his relatives. As an adult, friends couldn’t invite him to their homes lest he sneak into their backyards, regardless of the season...

The Horror of it All – Ghanaian Movie Posters

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

In the late 1980s when videocassette recorders (VCRs) started making their way into Ghana, a small cottage industry developed called the ‘mobile cinema.’ The industry was composed of entrepreneurs who were armed...

Pipe Dreams – The Art of Opium

Friday, July 08, 2016

Back in the late 18th century, Britain was facing a dilemma in its trade with China. While there were many Chinese commodities that the Europeans wanted, the Chinese were not interested in anything the British brought to trade – except silver. To prevent a complete depletion of their silver depositories, the British were keen on demands for alternative commodities. They fixed upon the idea of trading opium, which was grown in India and consumed by the rich and noble in China....

The Value of Collectibles – Tami Island Ceremonial Bowls

Friday, June 24, 2016

Large, canoe-shaped bowls in the Tami Islands of Papua New Guinea were traded extensively and gifted as valuable pieces of a brides' wealth during marriage ceremonies. Unlike smaller wares, these were saved for extremely special occasions, primarily used to prepare and serve food during important feasts and annual festivals....

Recent Posts



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  3. Appreciating Buddhist Art: Part Four – Ritual Tools and Symbols Glen Joffe 18-Aug-2017
  4. Tutsi Basketry – World Class Weaving Glen Joffe 11-Aug-2017
Stories & Descriptions

Discover more information about the culture and history behind many of these beautiful select objects, artifacts, antiques and furnishings–click here

“Cultural objects tell stories; and in each story a simple message is found—all cultures are the same, we just express ourselves differentlyGLEN JOFFE, OWNER