Standing the test of time

Standing the test of time

Antique World

During childhood, we are made to take up a hobby or do our bit in school. But not all of us turn that into a career. 

Mahaveer has taken his hobby of collecting old newspapers, antique cameras, glassware and other knick-knacks seriously and turned it into a store in Shantinagar. 

The collector specialises in items from pre and post Colonial India.    Antiques have always been a fascination for collectors so what better than a piece of Indian history for the hobbyist to enjoy? 

About 20 years back — when he initially started this interesting hobby —  he had no clue it would carry on for this long. 

But he is happy that he gets a few regular customers who come asking for some rare items such as paintings, clocks, table stands and more. 

“I was an avid collector of stamps and coins and one fine day, my daughter and son told me that I should take this up seriously, maybe set up a shop of rare items,” says Mahaveer.

He goes on to say, “I have the rarest German silver, furniture, clocks, camera, paintings, idols, lamp stands and glass wear.  

All of which belong to the East India Company and the kings before. I take pride in the history I possess.”

But one might think that there are a lot of places that offer the same thing. So what makes Mahaveer special? 

He has papers with original seals and stamps which contain the agreements and deeds done between the kings, merchants and British Empire. The value to these might be huge bounty but he sells them at a reasonable price. 

He says that he sells his clocks based on the time period they come from and also the brand. 

He claims that some of them are the earliest ones ever made and their value is priceless. 

“I ask for Rs 4,000 to 10,000 per clock and they are in good shape with all original parts. Collectors and few visitors see them from the entrance and pick them up and they are the most sold items of the shop. After all, who wouldn’t wish to see the time on a classy, fancy machine?”

Newspapers are said to contain the greatest literature of our history and he holds a collection of them that dates back to the first railway budget, a few Bengal Gazettes, the earliest announcement in railway timings and new business ventures signed between the Indian government and the Britishers. 

“I hold an invite that was given by the Prime Minister’s Office when Nehru came to power; it was more than an invite, it was also a pass and holds great significance in the history of India,” he said. 

On being asked why he isn’t using modern technology to sell these items, he said, “Well I’m old school and I believe that people will come searching for history. They always come by word-of-mouth so what’s the use of using the internet to promote or sell these items?”

The shop has stood its own ground for about 20 years and is located on Berlie Street near Shantinagar. 

Mahaveer takes pride in selling the rich heritage and history of the land. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox