Rare antiques heading back to where they came from

Paula Rath
Paula Rath

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

NUUANU (KHNL) - They're important Korean antiques and one Nuuanu woman is taking them back.

Paula Rath's father collected folk ceramic rice cake stamps or Tduk-sals when he was working in Korea more than 40 years ago.

After he passed away, Rath decided to donate the collection to a Korean museum.

Rath's father was a prominent businessman in Korea. But during his time off, he rolled up his sleeves and collected Tduk-sals.

"It got to the point where the antique dealers would call him and say, 'Mr. Rath, we got more Tduk-sals in' and so he would go and get them and the collection kept growing and growing and growing," she said.

The collection grew until it got to about a hundred.

"My mother said, we could each have one, each of her children, so we get to pick and it was hard," she said.

But it wasn't that hard.

"My husband gets one also, cause he created a catalog of all of them, so we would have a catalog for the family," she said.

It's said that each Korean family had their own design. What they'd do is push it down on a rice cake and it'll have an imprint.

For the Rath family, it was an imprint that left their family's mark.

"And to think of going into antique stores and buying these little treasures, but it was another side of him, an artistic side of him that we didn't get to see that often," she said.

Rath feels taking them back to Korea is the right thing to do.

"It is a lost art," she said."They haven't been made for a couple of centuries and they belong back where they came from. We all feel that."

A feeling that leaves a mark for generations to come.

Rath says her father collected around a hundred rice cake stamps during his four years in Korea. She doesn't know how much they're worth, but she found a similar one on eBay for $900.

She plans to fly to Korea on Tuesday to give them to the museum.