One of the features of having a suitcase of the most important things I possess stolen by a taxi driver who has yet to receive a knock on the door because it takes ten days or more to follow up a licence plate number in Hong Kong is that I've gone through an enforced digital separation.
Apart from stints prefaced by annoying over-the-shoulder peering, on a friends computer, I'm pretty much obliged to use internet cafes and the like. I haven't done this regularly for a number of years as there was a time when traveling around Asia that I'd be observing the kids from a lot of countries in a rowdy, usually post-school gamer, web cam or plain old digitally socialised media which in Asia was adopted very quickly through Friendster and which you can still find me on over here. It was 2002 I think when one of the senior creatives at BBDO Dusseldorf, where I was working invited me to join in the 'virtual snowball fight' I think he called it. Not a bad description and one that holds up to this day.
The benefit of this enforced seperation is that I've started to immerse myself back into the world of books and printed media. I've even got a few handwritten posts that need typing up. Not only am I reading books but another feature of my new analogue life is that I'm talking to and meeting lots more people. It's obvious really but instead of gulping down mobile RSS in the back of a taxi or blogging at the restaurant table on an N95 I've started engaging in conversations a lot more; which is fun because I'm meeting people I'd otherwise have missed. One has asked me to help sell her Chinese Antiques of which I know nothing; but as we are going to be living on the same Island in the future I figure it would be wise to be helpful as for sure there will be another day when I will need help. It's part of the human condition and also she's a very interesting person. I've been meeting a lot more interesting people since going analogue (ooh check me).
So without further waffling on I'd like to ask if any of you know what these metal and spherically shaped containers are? Or failing that do you know anyone who does? I've used a standard business card in the photos to give scale. The enamel work on them is evidently superior and has been unquestionably done by a craftsman, although the patina conceals a lot of the beauty and which I guess could be polished. The shots I've taken here are on phone I'm borrowing and not as good as the Nokia N95 ones I've enjoyed taking in the last two years but I think you get the picture.
So. Does anybody know what these are? Even better does anyone know how I can get these assesed? We need an Antiques Road Show I guess in Hong Kong, but in the mean time I'm asking you or if you could send this post to people who do know using the email icon below. That would be just terrific. Thank you.