Subject:Re: What is this? Maybe a candlestick? Japanese or Chinese?
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Jan 17, 2018
The form is based on that of an ancient bronze "Gu" (beaker), originally a vessel for drinking or libations, I believe. This one, possibly dating to around 1900 or a bit later, apparently is made of pewter, a tin-based alloy. It could have been used as a vase or anything else its shape accommodated, I suppose, but before engaging in any toasts, beware the fact that some older pewter also contains lead in its metals mix.
The mark has in its middle a stack of large characters for the name of the maker, Yan Yihe (顏義和), below which is the rubric "Old Shop" (Lao Dian - 老店), meant to assure customers they're buying the real article. At the left, the two characters "Ornamental Metal" (Dian Tong - 點銅), a term that has become virtually synonymous with pewter. Finally, on the right, the shop location, Chaoyang (潮陽), a district of the coastal Guangdong provincial city of Shantou (old Swatow).