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Tanuki 狸 – The Shape-shifting Prankster Icon of Wealth and Generosity

Tanuki 狸 – The Shape-shifting Prankster Icon of Wealth and Generosity

Tanuki have a complex and interesting folkloric history. Although largely unknown in the states, they have been among the most significant characters in Japan since the 16th century. Contemporary Tanuki are creatures of wealth and whimsy; symbols of prosperity seen outside many temples, shops and restaurants. These vintage statues of modern day Tanuki were designed […]


18th Century Burmese White Marble Buddha Statues (2 currently in our collection)

18th Century Burmese White Marble Buddha Statues (2 currently in our collection)

Burma/Myanmar 18th century, Shan (Tai Yai) Period Beautifully carved from a single block of stone, this exquisite ancient Buddha is dressed in a jeweled monastic robe. Green, white and ruby colored jewels set in ribbons of delicate, raised design details line the edges of the robe. The edge of the turban is likewise set with […]


Musical and Ritual Instruments from Southeast Asia – Japan, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Tibet, Vietnam: Sacred, Secular, and Unusual

Musical and Ritual Instruments from Southeast Asia – Japan, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Tibet, Vietnam: Sacred, Secular, and Unusual

INSTRUMENTS!!! WE HOPE YOU ENJOY BROWSING OUR INTRIGUING COLLECTION OF HANDMADE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Carved, cast and intricately constructed, they are beautiful works of art as well. From across Southeast Asia, vintage to contemporary, tribal folk craft to fine art, every piece was masterfully engineered to produce a particular sound. Each has its own intangible significance […]


Shamanic Talismans, Amulets, Healing and Ritual Power Objects – Tribal Indonesia continued!

Shamanic Talismans, Amulets, Healing and Ritual Power Objects – Tribal Indonesia continued!

Since our epic Balancing The Universe: Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costumes exhibition last fall, we have additional objects to include – healing and power objects and ritual protector figures, that didn’t make it into the show. If you follow our Gallery Blog, no doubt you will see even more of these ancient southeast Asian shaman ritual objects […]


Shamanism: A Brief History of the Ancient Art of Healing

Shamanism: A Brief History of the Ancient Art of Healing

This introduction and following series of related posts on shamanism serve as an online version of our 2017 fall exhibition, ‘Balancing The Universe: Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costumes’. We also have a full color photo catalog available of the all the pieces in the show and 12 color postcards of selected pieces. Scroll down to […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism on Lombok Island and Bali

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism on Lombok Island and Bali

Less famous than Bali, Lombok the neighbor island directly to the east and is part of the Lesser Sundas. The indigenous Sasak people are predominantly Muslim after experiencing a long period of Hindu and Buddhist influence. However, as in most of the tribal cultures of Indonesia, ancient traditional ritualistic practices endure and shaman are still […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea

SULAWESI, Greater Sunda Islands (first 2 images): Shaman made their own medicine kits, including wooden backpacks, to contain items for healing, protections and predictions – such as special teeth, stones and other items. The figures on the exterior correspond to illnesses and other conditions or ailments. 19” x 9 ½” x 10”, $2200. Container for […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Timor Islands

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Timor Islands

Timor, like Flores is more mountainous than the rolling hills of Sumba, but the shamanic culture is much the same. Both islands are now predominantly christian, although, like most of the cultures throughout the Lesser Sunda Islands, they have integrated the newer belief systems with their ancient roots in Animism. (for several neighboring Lesser Sunda […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Flores Islands

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Lesser Sundas – Flores Islands

Flores, and Timor, are more mountainous than the rolling hills of Sumba, but the shamanic culture is much the same. Both islands are now predominantly christian, although, like most of the cultures throughout the Lesser Sunda Islands, they have integrated the newer belief systems with their ancient roots in Animism. (see Timor and several neighboring […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism on Sumba Island, Indonesia

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism on Sumba Island, Indonesia

Sumba Island is part of the ‘The Lesser Sunda Islands’ – the long sweeping chain of islands south of Bali that make up the southern part of Indonesia. In the following posts we include items from Sumba, Flores, Timor, Lombok and a few others. There are many similarities in belief systems throughout the Lesser Sundas […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

The Mentawai tribes remain one of the most isolated populations on the planet. Some still live a neolithic, hunter-gather lifestyle in the rain-forest and do not use a written language. Shaman, or sikerei, are intrinsic to daily life and considered leaders, although they are an egalitarian society. The classic Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim themes common […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Borneo, Indonesia

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Borneo, Indonesia

Borneo, home of the Dayak tribes is one of the largest islands in Indonesia, and is of volcanic origin. Their ancient belief system, like that across most of Indonesia, is Animistic – the belief that they are descendants of a bird/dragon/serpent. This is visually represented by the pervasive motifs in their art. Shaman are intrinsic […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sumatra, Indonesia

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Sumatra, Indonesia

Sumatra is one island in the SE Asian chain of 17,ooo islands that make up Indonesia. The cultures specific to different islands have long been isolated from one another resulting is significant diversity. It is therefore helpful to organize the following Indonesian descriptions into major sub-groupings. Please browse through the following posts: Sumatra (Batak tribes), […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Vietnam and Thailand

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Vietnam and Thailand

Essential to the shamanic traditions of the Vietnamese is the ability to read and write Chinese. A requisite, extensive knowledge of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Animism and Ancestor worship make the shaman’s training a long and rigorous process. They must draw on a complex base of philosophies and abilities which include the use of scroll paintings, […]


Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Nagaland and Myanmar

Balancing The Universe: Shamanism in Nagaland and Myanmar

The Naga people are a collection of 35+ tribes, or about 3.5 million people, who live in the hills of Nagaland, India and in the bordering country of Myanmar. Their beliefs are animistic and shamanism is a respected, integral part of everyday life. This figure was used in healing rituals and probably for connecting to […]


Balancing the Universe: Shamanism In Nepal

Balancing the Universe: Shamanism In Nepal

Nepal is home to many ethnic groups and religious traditions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Shamanism combines these religions with the worship of nature and natural phenomenon. There is a unique village, called “Lugum”, in Western Nepal whose only inhabitants, at the time of this writing, are 126 shaman – 18 of whom are women. In […]


Shaman, Asian Art and Healing Magic: The Debut of a 15 Year Collection

Shaman, Asian Art and Healing Magic: The Debut of a 15 Year Collection

Shamanic Culture, Tribal Art, Healing and Magic converge in an unmatched, museum quality collection of over 300 shaman pieces from across SE Asia. We had an opening extravaganza to debut the rare amulets, instruments and costumes, acquired over the last 15 years.   It took months to research the individual pieces that represent many different, ancient […]


Custom Round Slab Table Concept – Figured Bastogne Walnut and Steel

Custom Round Slab Table Concept – Figured Bastogne Walnut and Steel

We are excited to share a custom slab table concept we’ve been working on.  The idea started after seeing a very rare and obscure cross section of Bastogne walnut that friends of ours have had in storage. Knowing that this piece would never be a table without combining materials we started daydreaming about the possibilities. […]


Balancing The Universe – Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costumes *Exhibition Opening Party VIDEO in this post*

Balancing The Universe – Shamanic Amulets, Instruments and Costumes *Exhibition Opening Party VIDEO in this post*

Shamanism is a fascinating subject. Reaching far back into prehistory, the quest to cure the ailing and ensure our survival gave rise to its development. It is deeply rooted in *animism and appears as such in virtually all societies around the globe. The striking similarities in beliefs and rituals throughout so many different cultures make […]


Old World Tibetan Antiques

Old World Tibetan Antiques

Tongba – Antique Tibetan Beer Mug A Tibetan mug or vessel for a traditional, indigenous, hot, alcoholic beer-like drink called Jaand. These ‘beer tea’ mugs are made of sections of mature bamboo. The inner nodes are carved out and often ringed with metal bands on the exterior. The cover or lid keeps the Jaand hot […]


2000 Year Old Antique Jewelry From Northern India and Central Asia

2000 Year Old Antique Jewelry From Northern India and Central Asia

Ancient Kushan Coin Necklaces  Part of ‘David Alan Designs’ signature style is to incorporate antiquity into wearable art.  This post highlights 17 recently completed necklaces featuring beautifully patinated  Kushan copper coins set in sterling silver to create beautifully elegant yet casual necklaces. We invite you to come browse the drawers in our jewelry gallery to view […]


Antique Japanese Tea Cabinet

Antique Japanese Tea Cabinet

Japanese Cha Dansu “Tea cabinet”, late 1800’s – early 1900’s   When this Late 19th century Japanese cha-dansu (tea chest) arrived on a recent shipment from Kyoto, one of our sales associates immediately tagged it “sold” in their name and set it aside until time presented an opportunity for further inspection. When the time came, […]


Magnificent Snow Lion Pendants from Tibet

Magnificent Snow Lion Pendants from Tibet

120 Year Old Tibetan Snow Lion Pendants The Snow Lion – or ‘Gangs Seng Ge’ in Tibetan, is a powerful celestial animal that resides in the eastern Himalayas. Protector of Buddha, it personifies fearlessness and a cheerful mind. For more than a century it has remained the national emblem of Tibet. The Snow Lion is a common theme in proverbs and […]


Antique Jizo Statues in The David Alan Gallery

Antique Jizo Statues in The David Alan Gallery

  We have been collecting Antique Jizo Statues from the Edo Period of Japan for years. Their aesthetic beauty and symbolism is something we hold dear at David Alan. Along with these rare antique finds, we are happy to announce we have found contemporary Jizo Statues made from both wood and limestone. They are quite amazing! Jizō is a bodhisattva, who has […]


Old World Antiques – Tibetan Ritual Daggers

Old World Antiques – Tibetan Ritual Daggers

Phurba – Three sided ritual dagger from Tibet History: From Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and Indian Vedic traditions Still used by Buddhists and Shamans in Tibet and the Himalayas, the use of these magical daggers dates back to at least the 7th or 8th century. The Phurba, or Kila in Sanskrit, is linked to a whole cycle of legends and […]


New Addition to the Japanese Antiques Collection

New Addition to the Japanese Antiques Collection

JizaiGake (Hearth Hook) From the late 1800’s In Japan, during the Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji periods (1868-1912), all traditional Japanese homes and shops featured a central area called the Irori, or, a sunken hearth.  Here, charcoal would be continuously burned for cooking and warming the home. Suspended above the hearth was a Jizai, or self-adjuster, […]


Old World Antiques in the David Alan Collection

Old World Antiques in the David Alan Collection

Singo Barong — The David Alan Collection ReogPonorongo Tiger Mask From West Java Indonesia Indonesia is a fascinatingly diverse country, consisting of over 18,000 islands, numerous official religions, and even more unofficial belief systems. Java, the most populated island on earth was once the home to a large Hindu empire, followed by centuries of Buddhism […]


Hanuman Balanese Wood Carving

Hanuman Balanese Wood Carving

  Balinese wood carving, mid 1900’s.   From the Hindu epic the Ramayana. This is the the courageous Hanuman, Lord Rama’s devout servant, one who finds contentment and cheer in all things.


Exquisite Indonesian Keris Handles Imported to the David Alan Gallery

Exquisite Indonesian Keris Handles Imported to the David Alan Gallery

  17th-18th century wooden Keris hilt from Central Java, Indonesia. Late 19th century bone Keris hilt from Java, Indonesia. Defined by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Education) as a “Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity”. The kris or keris is a distinctive, asymmetrical dagger from Indonesia. Both a weapon and spiritual […]


Petrified wood desk

Petrified wood desk

    It is always a pleasure to see our pieces after they are finished and have found their new home. Here is a photo of a petrified dining table that we modified last year, transforming into this amazing desk. The desk is made from petrified wood tiles, and the base is a mirror polished […]


Announcing Our New Petrified Wood Advertiser

Announcing Our New Petrified Wood Advertiser

        Thank you to everyone who helped in putting together our upcoming petrified wood advertisement! Making things look and feel simple is sometimes harder than it appears… Looking forward to seeing it in print.    


Japanese Wood Block Print Exibition In Solana Beach, CA

Japanese Wood Block Print Exibition In Solana Beach, CA

We are very excited to announce that our next exhibition will feature hundreds of original wood block prints from Japan, most dating to the Edo period.  The opening night reception will be Thursday, November 13th.  Save the date, and make sure to sign up in the contact section of the website, under newsletter, to receive […]