Timeless treasures

YK Antiques, located in Alwal, offers an exquisite tour of ancient household items, from cookware to daily accessories.
Yenugu Krishnamurthy
Yenugu KrishnamurthyPhoto | Vinay Madapu

HYDERABAD: Have you ever visited a home-museum? A haven that transports you into the vintage world with its antique collection? YK Antiques, located in Alwal, offers an exquisite tour of ancient household items, from cookware to daily accessories. CE explores this world of historical stories, introducing new experiences to visitors, where they can enjoy reading and cooking.

On a quest to investigate ancient cookware, Yenugu Krishnamurthy began his journey of collecting antiques. Now, the home-museum boasts more than 1,000 antique pieces, including ancient cookware made of brass, copper, iron, and stone; accessories; storage vessels (gangalams); travel items; miniatures; typewriters; telephones and wooden telephone stands; musical instruments; types of pan boxes; royal hand fans; various coffee filters; vintage mirrors; and much more, each with its own story to tell.

The materials range from bronze to tin and silver to gold, all handmade. Among the oldest items is a metal pen used to write on ‘talapatras’ (palm leaves) dating back to the 12th century, and a stone sculpture of a headless woman (the head is destroyed) from the Kakatiya dynasty, representing the jewellery of old times. They have trumpets, wooden vamana guntalu (board game), and many more artifacts, all collected and displayed out of passion.

Krishnamurthy is deeply passionate about antiques, which he has diligently collected over the years. “Most of these treasures are cultural artifacts, which offer a glimpse of ancient lifestyles, from cooking methods to festive traditions,” he explains, adding, “Preserving these antiques is crucial for educating future generations. That’s why we designed this contemporary museum which is accessible to all. We also have a detailed blog, providing insights into the history and significance of every item.”

He believes that every antique piece should embody three principles: functionality, longevity across generations, and aesthetic beauty. Sharing a brief about his journey, he said, “During my corporate days, I developed a habit of collecting antiques. Eventually, I planned to donate them to museums. However, my ex-colleague and friend Vinay suggested displaying them at home. With the support of Vinay’s friends and mine, we turned this idea into reality.”

Photo | Vinay Madapu

Explaining the journey of YK Antiques, Vinay told CE, “How I met Sir was when we were working for a company together. He was one of the HR directors, and I was a young writer at a corporate startup. This was between 2010 and 2011. One day, I happened to drop by his house, which was nearby, and he invited me in for tea. I noticed some antiques kept around, though not in an organised manner — they were under the sofa at that time. We started discussing content and I suggested, ‘Sir, why don’t you start writing about these antiques? It would be nice to explain the stories of how and where you acquired them.’ I offered to edit his writings, and another friend offered to publish them. We named it YK Antiques after Yenugu Krishnamurthy. Having studied communication and journalism, I had friends skilled in photography and editing. One of my friends named Bala designed this place.

We brought this team together and finished setting it up. After completing the project, we met a lot of interesting people who discovered us on Google initially. Then, we gradually established a presence on various social media platforms starting with a Facebook page, followed by Instagram, and later a YouTube channel. As a result, this place has transformed into a hub for bringing together private collectors. By opening up his house, Sir encouraged others to do the same. People started reaching out, saying, “We have some stuff to show, but it’s just kept inside or in the attic.” This initiative has fostered a community where individuals feel encouraged to network with fellow collectors.”

Apart from the extensive display of antiques, YK Antiques also features a mini bookshelf and a dedicated space for readers to enjoy. Additionally, they now offer traditional meals made in the ancient cookware, or if you enjoy cooking, you can even prepare a meal with your friends using these historical utensils. For those from a performing arts background, there is an opportunity to hold intimate musical sessions with a limited audience. Altogether, YK Antiques is a wholesome space for art and culture, providing a serene environment for visitors to immerse themselves in.

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The New Indian Express