Himalayan Antiques is owned and managed by Paul Morse and Tom Arsenault of
Ipswich, Massachusetts. It had its genesis in the early eighties with a
leisurely journey through Asia.
Already in the antiques business, we had a
friend sit our shop in Gloucester, Massachusetts for us while we purchased as
small items as we could squeeze into our backpacks to help offset the costs of
a half a year away from home. When we returned that summer and put these
exotic purchases in our shop we found they generated great interest and sold so
well that it encouraged us to return to Asia to shop more seriously the
Since then we've hardly missed a year and travelling has taken
a back seat to shopping.
Over the years, too, our buying trips have focused
more and more exclusively on what we've been most drawn to: antiques from the
Himalayan regions of Asia. We gave up our open shop in Gloucester and moved to
the nearby town of Ipswich where we now sell privately to dealers and
collectors. In the last few years we have relied more and more on Internet
sales where we now meet collectors from around the world.
Nearly twenty years after that first visit we still return to Kathmandu every
year. While we grow older, the city seems to become younger year by year.
Each return visit is heralded by the disappearance of yet another old landmark
as one more ugly concrete building rises in its place. The wonderful handmade
items we used to find being sold on the streets or crammed into small shops
have grown increasingly hard to find, often being replaced by mass produced new
Fortunately, as it has become increasingly difficult to find quality items to
buy, by now we have gotten all our ducks in a row: we know where to stay and
which restaurants to avoid; we have used the same shipper for years, and most
importantly, we know where to shop and where to find what we are looking for.
In spite of this streamlining, it still takes us a good six weeks to accumulate
enough purchases to take us through another year. We have made many friends
along the way and we always look forward to our visits, but we've never since
found the time to enjoy Asia at the leisurely pace of that very first visit.
While Paul Morse manages this website Tom Arsenault tends to our one retail
outlet, two booths at the
York Antiques Gallery
in York, Maine. If you are in southern Maine, please visit the Gallery.
There you will have a chance to visit one one of the finest multi-dealer shops
in Maine and in Tom's booths experience a first-hand taste of what you will see
in abundance if you make an appointment to visit us here in Ipswich.