The antiquities of Japan often had exotic unusuals…tidbits of culture from all across the world. Some shops focused on the china dishes and porcelain figures of gaily dressed folk from England….others preferred the Orient and fake Ming vases, dusty old cups and wooden lacquer boxes.
But in a shop that was a broad mix of all the world’s treasures….something was left ignored.
The rack was used to hang jewelry, umbrellas, canes, coats and hats….but dangling by its handle was an Arabic oil lamp, tarnished and smudged with age. It was cheap bronze, and must’ve spent some time in someone’s attic before making it to the shop. The hinge on the lid was rusted closed…the owner having tried and failed to pry it open to test it for use. But when oil couldn’t be poured in and a wick threaded through, the antique owner gave up, marked it with a cheap sticker price, and tossed it on the rack.
And so….coated in a thick inch of dust and the color of dark sand, the lamp laid….waiting.