✅ SOLVED Jade Bat Bowl Asian? South American? Native American?

Indian Steve

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I found this over 25 years ago at the landfill that I worked at. Back then, I showed it to a local gemologist who said it was a good quality jade but who knows. It is 8 inches across with these cool bats and a medallion in the center that looks Native American. I just pulled it out of a drawer where it has been hidden for years and would like to ask the opinion of Treasurenet experts. Any Ideas?
 

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Red-Coat

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Not Native American, but Chinese. The central symbol is for one of the ‘Five Blessings’ (longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, a peaceful death) of Chinese belief. They’re often depicted in the homophonous rendition of five flying bats because the word for "bat" in Chinese sounds like the word for "good fortune".

Although they’re often referred to generically as ‘shou’ characters, that particular one is ‘lu’ for wealth/prosperity. Couldn’t find a non-copyrighted image, but if you Google for ‘shou character’ or ‘lu character’ you’ll see lots of similar representations.

A bit of background in Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shou_(character)



Wouldn’t like to guess the age of that piece from pictures alone but it looks rather nice quality.
 
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Red-Coat

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Thanks Red-Coat! Any idea how I would be able to come up with the age of it?

Only really by close examination with a loupe to see if there are signs of modern tool marks (especially rotary tools), or any use-wear (but jadeite is very hard, assuming that's what it is), or accumulations of dirt or other deposits within the grooves. Even then that's only going to give you an indication unless it proves to be relatively modern. The absence of any reign marks is not a good indication for antiquity on a quality piece and, even then, the marks are often copies of older marks.
 
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Clay Diggins

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It is Asian, most likely Chinese. I seriously doubt this is old or jade. The "scratch" style of lines in the design are not a possibility with jade nor is the carving method traditional to Chinese jade work. The ground work and carving method are more common to utilitarian or curio pieces.

A piece of jade that can produce a plate sized carving would be quite valuable, there would be some real effort put into the carving and presentation. Due to it's extreme toughness Jade is a difficult stone to carve. The material this is made of is likely to be Serpentine, Soapstone, Adventurine or possibly Argellite. Other dyed stones are often used to simulate Jade.

Try a hardness test in an inconspicuous spot. If you can scratch it with a knife it's not jade. Suspend the piece gently by it's edge. If you strike it with a piece of metal the stone should ring like a bell if it's Jade. Don't worry about hurting it Jade is one of the toughest material known to man.
 
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