| Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries

Visitors' Forum

Asian Art  Forums - Detail List
Asian Art Forums

Message Listing by Date:
Message Index | Back | Post a New Message | Search | Private Mail | FAQ
Subject:Need help, what are these?
Posted By: J P LEVENE Sat, Sep 19, 2020 IP: 2a00:23c7:b588:6400:

Doing a Spring clean and found these in a box. They seem to be made of a carved stone with the metal around them. No idea what the symbols on the bottom are.

Can anybody help? What are they? Are they valuable or just something you buy in a tourist shop?


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.

Best regards,

Bill H.

URL Title :Tianbao fine silver

Subject:Re: Need help, what are these?
Posted By: Justin Levene Mon, Sep 21, 2020

Thanks Bill,

Really appreciated. I couldn't see the two auction links, just the embedded link, or am I being ignorant?

Subject:Re: Need help, what are these?
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Sep 22, 2020

I got carried away and forgot to attach the links. Here are the two and a couple of extra.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Need help, what are these?
Posted By: Edmund Prinz Tue, Sep 22, 2020

Hello - no clue about this marks; but from an artists / craftsman point of view, this poor soldering work and the cheaply pressed metal mounts don´t speak for a real treasure.
The Cups seem machine processed too ( the circular grinding traces and the even size )- if not glass they remind me on dyed italian alabaster.
Greetings Edmund | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |