Dig through Mahaveer Chand’s Antique Store for Curios and Pieces of History
For around 30 years now, R Mahaveer Chand’s unnamed antique store has been in the business of finding and selling lost treasures, antiques, paintings, curios and furniture.
A time traveller's tale
There is no big board that tells you that you have arrived at the Mahaveer Chand’s antique store. Just bright blue, peeling walls and a couple of tables stacked with all sorts of things, from used microwaves to delicately-painted jugs with elegant spouts. Ali, Mahaveer Chand’s young assistant, dutifully dusts each item. He’s blissfully unaware of the value or the history behind of the curios. He leaves that to his boss, Mahaveer Chand.
When Mahaveer Chand comes striding in, things immediately perk up. When his parents moved to Bangalore from Rajasthan in the 40s, Mahaveer Chand informs us, they started a finance business that saw customers pawning off heirlooms and valuable items. This got Mahaveer Chand curious and he started collecting the old discards. Soon, he ventured into the antique business full time and continues till this day.
Old is gold
Housed at the very home he and his siblings were born in, every room overflows with treasures, and we’re convinced only Mahaveer Chand can pinpoint where any given item is. Old shelves and showcases are crammed with vintage clocks, cameras, porcelain figurines and even a defeated looking, slightly chipped Jesus nailed to a cross. We then move to a narrow room that’s occupied by a towering steel shelf, haphazardly strewn with metal knickknacks. There are miniature chairs, that fit in the palm of your hand from the 70s, heavy beer mugs from sports clubs in Bangalore, stout kettles and intricately carved boxes.
But it is the last room that’ll fetch millions. It’s here that Mahaveer Chand is his most animated self. He swiftly opens steel almirahs and brings out files with stamp papers and memos from the Raj, handwritten notes from British royalty, a music book that features a rare, commissioned portrait of Queen Victoria, and fading newspapers that showcase the 1937 coronation of King George VI. There are also winding gramophones, typewriters, and the Big Red Story Book that’s over over 3 feet tall! Ask him which one of his treasures he’d be reluctant to sell, Mahaveer Chand wistfully says that there are too many of them.