Even though the shop was big, there were no employees except for a middle-aged man behind the counter.
Qiao Mei did not hear the man speak even after she had been in the shop for a while.
He did not solicit business like what people did at the other shops.
The shopkeeper imagined that a young lady would not know much about antiques and likely found the items interesting without knowing anything about the value.
He focused on wiping his beloved grasshopper cage and did not pay any attention to Qiao Mei at all.
Qiao Mei did not mind at all.
She was just here to take a look.
Besides, many things were broken and tattered and there was nothing that attracted her.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” Qiao Mei said as she looked at the things on the shelf.
Upon hearing the sound, the shopkeeper looked up at Qiao Mei and said, “Oh my, little girl.
Whats the matter, are you looking down on my things”
Qiao Mei finally heard the man speak.
She smiled and said, “No, I dont look down on them.
I just feel that everything looks the same and theres nothing interesting.
Theres nothing good..”
At this point, the shopkeeper became unhappy.
He stood up and walked out from behind the counter and said, “Look at these things of mine, and tell me which ones you dont think are good.”
Qiao Mei pointed at the calligraphy and paintings hanging on the wall and said, “These calligraphy and paintings are all new and dont have any history to them.
They dont look like they have any heritage value.”
“Also, these chinaware look like they were all made in recent years.
They look so rough and of inferior quality.”
“This one is passable, but it has cracks and is very difficult to maintain.
I think we can forget it.”
“This… this… and this…”
Qiao Mei gave him her comments about almost everything in the shop and was basically spot on in her observations.
The shopkeeper had looked down on her in the beginning, but now he admired this young lady a little.
It was not an easy thing for her to be able to appraise these old items at such a young age.
“You have fairly good taste.
I dont put the good stuff here.
It would be a waste to put them here,” said the shopkeeper.
Qiao Mei looked at the shopkeeper.
She thought he had a weird temper and found him very interesting. What a fascinating person.
“Thats not true..
Look at the bangle behind your counter.
The color and transparency are both not bad.
Its of good quality,” Qiao Mei said as she pointed at the shelf behind the counter.
“You have good taste.
This jade bangle is indeed a valuable thing.
Can you afford it” the shopkeeper said.
When Qiao Mei heard this, she felt that he was looking down on her and was a little unhappy.
“If you can show me something really good, then I can afford it,” Qiao Mei said boldly.
She was not spouting nonsense without any basis.
Before she left the house, she had put all her money in her bag.
She had come out today with the intention to buy antiques.
Although jadeite seemed very valuable, its price would stay the same even after the economic boom in the future.
Unless it was imperial green jade of good color and transparency, she did not intend to consider the jade bangle.
“This one is 100 dollars,” said the shopkeeper.
“So its 100 dollars.
I want to know if you have anything better, much much better than this.” Qiao Mei looked at him earnestly.
The shopkeeper sized up Qiao Mei carefully.
She really looked like she was a serious buyer.
He took out an exquisite yellow rosewood jewelry box from the cabinet behind him and opened it carefully.
Inside the box was a set of tian-tsui hairpin and earrings with kingfisher feather inlays.
It immediately piqued Qiao Meis interest.
Such craftsmanship was really rare as it was only nobles and high-ranking officials who could afford such jewelry in the past.
After that era, it became even rarer.
They were all very difficult objects to maintain.
“How much is this” Qiao Mei asked excitedly.
“This is really expensive.
Do you really want to buy it” the shopkeeper asked.
“Just tell me how much it is,” Qiao Mei said.
“It will cost you 800 dollars,” the shopkeeper said.
She thought that 800 dollars was not considered too expensive, so she decided to buy it.
Then she wondered if there was anything better.
It was said that every shop had its own treasure that was worth a lot of money and she wondered if this shop had any.
She did not believe that an item which cost 800 dollars was the most valuable item in the shop.
It seemed that this shop owner was still unwilling to take out his treasure and she needed to continue asking for it.
Qiao Mei slowly closed the box and said, “Ill buy it.
Do you have anything better”