[SOLVED] Mr. Yang Hao or Someone ? on Asian Salt Cellar
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Thread: Mr. Yang Hao or Someone ? on Asian Salt Cellar

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  1. #1
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    Grant Brandenburg

    Jan 2013
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    Mr. Yang Hao or Someone ? on Asian Salt Cellar

    I can't read Asian script, but I'd sure like to know what the marks on the bottom of this little item might tell me. I believe it's a salt cellar made of chalcedony quartz, which appears to maybe be color enhanced and mounted in silver with 3 cock roosters around the perimeter. My question is what the marks might say in English?... I picked it up yesterday at an indoor flea market that has recently reopened. It was quite dirty and tarnished when I bought it and I did a little cleaning of it. I couldn't tell you if I have the marks upside-down or sideways. It measures 4cm tall by 4.5cm in diameter..... Thanks for any help.
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  2. #2
    Charter Member
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    That's a beautiful little piece Grant, it cleaned up nicely too.

    It's almost looks too fancy to be a 'salt cellar' though and I'm not certain they used salt cellars in Chinese culture.
    Of course, it may have been made for a British ex-patriot living in Hong Kong.

    My suggestion would be to email your pics to a museum specializing in Oriental Antiquities.


    Royal Ontario Museum
    100 Queen’s Park,
    Toronto, ON


    Gwen Adams
    Technician (Asian Collections)
    Phone: 416.586.5720
    Email: @rom_gwena

    https://www.rom.on.ca/en/collections...aff/gwen-adams
    Yang Hao, tamrock and DizzyDigger like this.
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  3. #3
    gb
    Dec 2019
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    That’s Chinese export silver.

    I welcome anything Yang Hao might say, but my reading of the two sets of marks is that they say “sufficient” silver, and “made in the reign of Emperor Guangxu” (1875-1908).

    For the silver mark, many pieces like this were made from melted-down coin silver (usually trade dollars) but for which the standardisation sometimes came from a combination of fineness and weight… ie absolute silver content, rather than percentage silver. It’s probably going to be .900 fine but coin silver wasn’t usually assayed a second time. The silver standard in China wasn’t formally codified and currency-linked at .900 fine until 1914.

    The reign mark may or may not be authentic since it continued to be imitated long after Guangxu’s death and the piece doesn't look very '1800's' in style to me. Those also look like crisp and relatively modern stamps to me, so I think there’s more than a possibility that the piece is somewhat later… perhaps up to the mid 20th Century and I wouldn't rule out it being later than that.
    Last edited by Red-Coat; May 24, 2020 at 09:12 AM.

  4. #4
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    Grant Brandenburg

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    Thanks for the replies fellas and yes I'm aware Chinese date marks are in most cases not coupled to the actual period to which they designate. I was pretty certain it was a piece made in the 20th century. Also this cookie cutter technique in the construction of it and once very faint gold wash it had, are typical to much of the silver jewelry and other small items made for export sales that came from China. My guess it could be made as late as the 1950s/60s. The place I bought it has just again reopened and it's great to be out looking for the treasures once more. It's my local flea market and I've been hunting in that store now for 30 years. I took some pics of the place when I was there shopping. No telling how much I've spent in that place over all those years. One things for sure you need to frequently visit that place to increase the odds of finding any good stuff because it comes and goes and many pickers hit that place from far and wide.
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  5. #5
    cn
    Feb 2015
    Haerbin
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    Just adding to the conversation. The item looks to be silver and 红玛瑙 hongmanao english translation is carnelian/cornelian. I find the design interesting. I would guess it's a teacup but usually that design of a teacup would not have silver feet and rim. Therefore it could be a decorative asian item designed for the western market. Furthermore it's to be put on display and not for actual use. It could also be part of a set. Since it's a rooster there could be others like your teacup (assuming that's what it is) with the other 11 Chinese zodiac animals. I've attached a photo of a teacup that looks similar to your item.

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    Last edited by Yang Hao; May 24, 2020 at 10:25 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Agate Censer

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  7. #7
    Charter Member
    ca
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamrock View Post

    Thanks for the replies fellas and yes I'm aware Chinese date marks are in most cases not coupled to the actual period to which they designate. I was pretty certain it was a piece made in the 20th century. Also this cookie cutter technique in the construction of it and once very faint gold wash it had, are typical to much of the silver jewelry and other small items made for export sales that came from China. My guess it could be made as late as the 1950s/60s. The place I bought it has just again reopened and it's great to be out looking for the treasures once more. It's my local flea market and I've been hunting in that store now for 30 years. I took some pics of the place when I was there shopping. No telling how much I've spent in that place over all those years. One things for sure you need to frequently visit that place to increase the odds of finding any good stuff because it comes and goes and many pickers hit that place from far and wide.
    Man I just love 'hunting' in these kinds of shops here in Ontario, you never know what treasures are waiting to be discovered.
    For me, I think the excitement created by the Antiques Roadshow helped fuel my desire to find that 'priceless treasure'.

    Dave
    “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
    “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    ― John Wayne

  8. #8
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    Grant Brandenburg

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    Thank you so much Mr. Hao, Plug n Play and Dave. I was trying to think there was a name of this particular red agate rock, but it wasn't coming to me. Carnelian it is. When I first found it I thought it was slag glass. I'm pretty sure its a decorative novelty as it doesn't look to be sealed on the bottom to hold liquid. I paid 8 bucks for it, as I felt it just wasn't some average nik-nak modern collectible like the suff in the Asian import shops sold today that have the look, but are made of plastic. This piece to me is a true little treasure. Maybe not worth a great deal, but more than I paid I'm sure. I do wonder if maybe it had a lid at one time, based on what I'm seeing in the images plug n play has provided?
    Last edited by tamrock; May 25, 2020 at 07:07 AM.

 

 

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