This quirky little shop houses a number of incredible Chinese artefacts and furniture
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Mao and More opened eight years ago as a Sinophile playroom of antique furniture, communist collectibles, specialist books and curiosities from Asia and Africa. The emporium was originally focused on the cult of Chairman Mao, but now “we’re getting a bit more into the ‘more’, and less into the ‘Mao’,” says manager Claire Wilcox. Having lived in Asia for 20 years, owner John Williams knows where to look each time he goes back in search of artefacts and cultural kitsch. “Our stuff is odd, eclectic and eccentric and it always has been. You never know what you’re going to see. You can come in one day, and then the next day there will be completely different stock.” Rusty 1940s bicycles from Shanghai and mystic bejeweled Thai altar frames are part of the browsing experience, along with a 20 million-year-old woolly mammoth bone from Nebraska. More accessible items include propaganda posters, hand-painted and varnished parasols ($18), original ornate chopstick boxes ($48–$55) and intricate Tibetan ceremonial hats ($310) with their extraordinarily elaborate silverwork. “What’s special about most of these items is that they are quite hard to find and are only becoming increasingly rare,” says Wilcox