Friday 15 March 2013

Another Colonial Antique Shop Find - Moorthy's

Needing a break from writing the various things we spend all day writing, MaximumCityMadam and I took ourselves off on an antique hunt today.  Anyone who is a regular reader will know that  I have a particular passion for colonial antiques - and I have steadily been trying to fill up our rather bland apartment with as many 'finds' as possible.

MCM, who shares my interest, had recently told me about a place in Tardeo which I'd never heard of - Moorthy's. So that's where we went off to today.  I thought I knew everything about shopping in this city but clearly I still have a lot to learn about the secret antique hidey-holes of Mumbai.

After walking up a typically unkempt, narrow street off the main road (Tardeo Road) - we entered through the corrugated door of Moorthy's warehouse. I immediately found the place rather awe inspiring although slightly oppressive - with its tiny aisles and carefully stacked furniture looming over you from above.  It is literally packed to the rafters with the most amazing finds but you feel that everything could come crashing down on your head at any moment.

The pieces are all excellent quality and carefully sourced, even though some of the furniture and artefacts are in an unrestored state. But judging from the men sat all around cross-legged on the floor - polishing, buffing and adjusting - the restoration needs of Moorthy's clients are all taken care of on site.

It's not cheap - you're not going to get Chor Bazaar prices here and neither should you bearing in mind the provenance of some of the items.  Mr Moorthy quoted us 'non-negotiable' prices.  35,000 Rs (GBP 410) for a Shiva print (albeit a top quality one).  125,000 Rs (GBP 1,450) for a leather trunk from China!  Over 100,000 (GBP 1,175) for a rosewood mirror inlaid with mother of pearl! But the prices are probably still a lot more competitive than back home (do I need to be reminded of just how expensive everything 'back home' is?).  Anyway, a lot of the stuff was out of my league to be honest.  Especially as I do just love a bargain.

Nevertheless, I have got my eye on beautiful old, carved cradle which they will convert into a coffee table for me (it's been nine months and I still haven't got rid of the black laminate crime against interior design that sits in our apartment)....but I need to convince Mr Jules that he really wants it too (surely this historic piece - of such fine and intricate workmanship - is the one thing missing from his life?!). Hmmmm watch this space!

MCM and I went to Chor Bazaar after our trip to Moorthy's.  It's been a while since I blogged about Chor Bazaar so that's coming up next.

Here are the hastily snatched photos...see anything you like?

When I mean 'stuffed to the rafters', I mean 'stuffed to the rafters'!

Hundreds of these wooden chests stacked everywhere.

You need to look up high, or you might miss something.

Anyone for a spiral staircase?

PS When I have persuaded Mr Jules to purchase the coffee table - I will put a picture of it up here - I don't want anyone nicking it!

5/1, Suryodaya Mills Compound,
136, Tardeo Road,
Mumbai - 400 036.


  1. The Sahib has agreed to the tardis and we are going to buy it tomorrow. Hurrah!You really ought to ask for a discount for your cradle as I am sure your readers will be beating a path to the door (if they can find it!)

  2. Wow - that looks absolutely amazing!!! I don't think I'd know where to look first - so many amazing pieces of furniture. Hope you get the piece that you are after (at a good price, of course).
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. Thanks LIz...tune back in sometime to see what happens about the coffee table!

  3. Another great find!!! Thanks for sharing.



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