Best Chinese Antiquities - 2000
Han Palace Fine Arts
If you think Chinatown shopping is limited to new, mass-produced goods from Asia, you haven't seen this one-of-a-kind store, located two blocks up from touristy Grant Avenue. Han Palace sells museum-quality Chinese antiquities, of which the most striking are life-size figures of animals from the Han Dynasty of 2,000 years ago. Pretty much the entire contents of the store can be viewed from the sidewalk through its walls of glass -- dozens of pottery, bronze, and stone figures, including Buddhas, boats, palaces, and human figures, many in remarkable condition, like the treasures from King Tut's tomb. In fact, some are nearly as old, dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty of 1000 B.C. According to owner Henry Yip, his stock comes from private collectors around the world, and was originally exported from China before the Communist government took over in 1949. But if you're looking to buy, not just browse, bring a credit card: These spectacular works of art are priced from $1,000 to $20,000.