Welcome to Alembic Antiques, an online shop of art, artifacts, and adornment. Navid Harmsen is the sole proprietor of Alembic Antiques. Since he was a little boy in South Dakota he has been fascinated by beautiful old things, and especially hand-made art-forms made by indigenous peoples. His primary interests are in antique Native American art, Pre-Columbian art, Asian art, and other tribal arts from around the world, with a focus on jewelry and adornment. Besides a lifetime of collecting, Navid combines over ten years in the antiques field with a degree in anthropology from Portland State University.
The alembic is a type of chemical still with origins in alchemy. It is an apparatus consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used to distill substances. In metaphorical terms then, the alembic is something that refines, distills, or transmutes, and thus becomes a fitting symbol for the artist, and art in general. The artist takes raw materials and refines them into objects of great beauty. Furthermore, these beautiful things transmit socio-cultural meaning, they tell stories about different times and cultures, and about the artists who fashioned them. We’re happy that you’ve visited the site and hope you find as much joy and meaning in these beautiful things as we do!