Subject:Re: Need help, what are these?
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Sep 20, 2020
Your boxed set of metal-clad cups, probably of textured glass, features base marks in seal script, reading from the top right down and across as '天寶紋銀' (Tian bao wen yin), translatable as 'Tianbao (heavenly jewel) fine silver'. The embedded link below leads to a previous discussion of this mark in the forum, indicating that there was a Qiu Tianbao Silver firm operating in Shanghai during the Republic period which had roots going back to the Qing Jiaqing reign (1796-1820). Subsequent research also found the 'Tianbao fine silver' mark on wares from stores in Tianjin and Beijing.
The two links below for your browser show past auction info (1) for an elaborate silver censer dated to the Republic era with the same mark as on your cups, and (2) another auction for a pair of metal-clad glass cups like yours but in a bluish color. The latter description doesn't mention any age for the cups, but in my opinion the bare bones workmanship in them and yours suggest a manufacturing date around the mid-20th century or somewhat later.
And finally, an image of a teapot from yet another forum discussion of such wares but with an unreadable mark. It's is more presentable, proving there's a somewhat better class of these products, even though the porcelain is transfer-decorated.
URL Title :Tianbao fine silver