Sometimes it seems that Delhi's taxi drivers have only one suggestion for a visitor: "Want to see a handicrafts emporium?" If you're interested in overpriced trinkets churned out in sweatshops, take your cabby's offer. Inevitably, you'll find yourself in a claustrophobic showroom with someone at your elbow needling you to buy. The cabby, of course, gets a commission for delivering you.
But if you want real antiques without the hard sell, get out to Sharma Farm, tel: (91-11) 2463 1845. Owner B.R. Sharma's Indiawide network of suppliers have been unearthing antiques for more than 30 years. He displays the wares in vast sheds on a sprawling estate in the city's south. You're free to browse acres of Tibetan trunks, Rajasthani cupboards and rolltop desks without nagging. And although Indian law prohibits the export of items more than 100 years old, if something truly venerable appeals, Sharma's carpenters will knock up an imitation for a fraction of the price.