Toko, Antiquities of the Orient
3241 Fifth Avenue, Middletown
Architect-engineer Eric Fotiadi wanted to do something else. He was vacationing on the French island of Ré when a friend suggested Javanese antiques. "I was fascinated with this totally different culture," he says. The end result was Toko (it means "shop" in Bahasa Indonesian), a 4000-square-foot warehouse and shop on Fifth Avenue. Mainly, Fotiadi brings back old Javanese period furniture recovered from Dutch colonial days in the 1920s and '30s, but on each trip he includes a collection of masks in the container. A lot are animal faces, primitively carved, but some are Balinese and Javanese faces of characters from the Ramayana, the famous classical play that is central to cultures throughout Southeast Asia. "Of course, they're made to look old, but I don't mind if they are really cleverly made new ones," he says. "They all intrigue me." He charges $50 to $100 for the masks.