Joseph Cohen, an acknowledged expert in the field of oriental silver, adopts an individual philosophy and approach. Joseph has never believed in following transient trends and changing fashions in antiques but is totally committed to seeking out rare, distinctive, hand crafted, unique and authentic antiques, particularly silver and metalwork, whatever their country of origin.
Coming from the second generation of a family dealing in quality oriental antiques for more than half a century, Joseph grew up ‘in the trade’ and his education in this area started early! His passion for antique hand crafted silver began in childhood and is undimmed today. Fired by an innate curiosity, his quest for increased knowledge and understanding continues. Joseph loves to share his passion and expertise with others and to advise and guide those who are newcomers to this fascinating area.
In recent years, the economies of many eastern countries have seen a dramatic rise. Whilst Japan and South Korea have continued to be economically successful, China, India, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, The Philippines and Indonesia have all experienced rapid economic growth. As prosperity has increased, there has been a surge in interest, and a corresponding rise in the value, of antiques and art from these areas. Many new museums have opened, or are planned, whilst established museums are undergoing extensive refurbishments and replenishing their collections. Citizens are finding a renewed interest, curiosity and pride in their country’s past as the furious pace of modernisation and change goes on around them. A number of high net worth and philanthropic individuals, intent on establishing significant private collections, are buying back important and historic antiques to secure their country’s unique heritage for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
In our increasingly globalised world, where travel and communication have become so much easier, cross cultural interaction has never been greater and worldwide interest in the culture and arts of India, Asia, the Middle East and the Islamic world, has increased dramatically. Modern technology has allowed our world to become a much smaller and more accessible place and exploration, real and virtual, has never been faster or more affordable.
Significant social changes have also occurred in the West, changing attitudes and perceptions. In the past, western antiques were often unfairly favoured over those originating from Asia, India and the East by the antique trade and their customers, save for some notable exceptions such as Chinese porcelain. That said, fine oriental antiques have always enjoyed a very strong representation within European and American Museums and notable private collections.
This discriminatory attitude was, perhaps, particularly prevalent with regard to silverware. Dealers and customers often sought the reassurance of familiar silver marks, sometimes favouring items bearing these over other unmarked items demonstrating superior quality and craftsmanship. This situation was not helped by the paucity of books and articles available on oriental silver, particularly when compared to the plethora published on American, English and Continental silver. This attitude has now disappeared and oriental silver objects have soared in popularity and become the focus of renewed scholarly interest and research, a wholesale re-evaluation which was long overdue, and this is, at last, bringing these wonderful objects universal recognition and the admiration and respect they have so long deserved.
In the great days of global exploration and the early days of long distance maritime trade, Britain was one of the greatest trading nations on earth and many wonderful objects were brought back to our shores from the ‘four corners of the world’. This early cross-cultural interaction is brilliantly reflected by some of our objects, where their design, form and decoration are inextricably linked with the historical background. This is particularly true of many Indian and Chinese silver objects which, so often, instantly evoke the spirit of the age in which they were created.
We feel fortunate to be based in London, one of the world’s principal trading centres for fine art and antiques, and are confident of discovering many fine, rare and beautiful things to enchant and delight you with in the future. The world is fast becoming a global marketplace, with a single international market, rather than multiple different national and regional markets, slowly emerging at the higher end of the antiques trade. We feel well placed to take advantage of this shift.
Joseph Cohen Antiques provide a truly bespoke consultancy service. We are happy to assist you in any way we can; advising on the direction of your collection, sourcing elusive objects specifically for you, advising you on disposals, representing you in auction salerooms and offering a comprehensive research service in the field of oriental silver, to name but a few of the services we can provide.
Our institutional clients include the V&A and the Asian Civilisations Museum. As advisers, we also act on behalf of prominent private collectors and exclusive dealers within the UK antiques trade and internationally. Clients seeking fine antique oriental silver have visited us from the USA, Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Japan, India, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and Australia, with the list continuing to grow.
We hope you enjoy browsing our website. If you are a returning customer, we welcome you back and would like to thank you for your past custom and assure you of our future commitment. If you are a collector we haven’t met before, we should be delighted to hear from you, wherever you are in the world! If you are becoming interested, we hope your interest will continue to grow and would like you to know that we are always happy to provide advice and share our knowledge and expertise with you.
Whether you are looking to dispose of occasional items as you refine the direction of your collection, or an entire collection, please contact us with further details, preferably including photographs. Should your items be of interest to us, we would endeavour to reach a swift and amicable agreement on price, satisfactory to both parties and to our mutual advantage.
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