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Subject: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Victoria Fri, Mar 01, 2019 IP: 109.157.165.233

Hello,
Could anyone please give me information about the age of my wooden box. I think it may be made of zitan.
Thank you.
Victoria.





Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Mark Adams Sat, Mar 02, 2019

Zitan wood is a general term which includes numerous species of wood, however it is commonly agreed that it belongs to the genus pterocarpus- purplish-black fine grained hardwood.
Based on your picture I do not believe said it zitan wood.
Also with zitan wood you will normally see gold flecks usually at or around the base using a 10x loupe.
If you look at Christies site after typing zitan you will quickly see the difference.
I also do not believe it is 18th century based on the low quality of carving. Hence 20th century.
Still it is attractive little box.
[email protected]

Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Victoria Tue, Mar 05, 2019

Hello Mark,
Thank you for the information.
I believed the box was made of zitan because of the appearance of the wood on base. I have compared this to items on Sotheby's, for example, and to me it looks similar. Please find a photo attached.
Regards,
Victoria.



Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Mark Adams Wed, Mar 06, 2019

Hi,
If it is genuine zitan versus other rosewood it should sink in water.
Determining wood species is very difficult by way of pictures as you can imagine.
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Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Victoria Fri, Mar 08, 2019

Hi Mark,
Thank you for the information.
Regards,
Victoria.

Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: kirk Sat, Jun 29, 2019

That's true, but its not the only wood that sinks. All of the early Chinese hardwoods do, apart from nanmu sap. Nanmu hearthwood does though if it's a semi fossilized ancient tree. Certain species of Jichimu and Teilimu also sink, as do about 30% of the species listed on China's National Hongmu Standard, of which, officially there are 32 species, but there are many peer reviewed papers out there that discuss the need to expand that list, significantly. Laohuali, Huanghuali, Huali, and certain species that produce Huamu; also sink. Chr###, even cocobolo sinks.
I don't think it's wise to put this piece of information out there. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Subject:Re: Chinese, zitan? lobed box.18th century?
Posted By: Mark Fri, Jul 12, 2019

The box looks to have the golden thread of Zitan.
Likely 19 th century!
"Nice box for a collector"


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