Quality of work some engraving on Chinese box?

Guido.

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Feb 20, 2021
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Hi Members

This box seems to be a mixture of engraving and repousse (or electrotype) casting, to me it looks to have some hand work,the jagged edges marked in red,would be interested in comments about how good or bad this work is ?the box is quite small 9cms diam,7.5 cms high.
Looks to have Chinese makers mark (unknown at this stage)

is this classed as engraving work? not sure of it's age at this stage.

I felt an interesting piece to have in my collection of boxes.

Regards Guido. chin 1.JPG chin4.JPG chin10.jpg chin6.JPG chin8.JPG chin9.JPG chin 4.JPG
 

monk

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the part is placed on a bowl of pitch or other support medium. the design is hammerd from the back using a variety of shaped punches. tho only (engraving) if it even is engraving, would be afew tiny details on the dragon. i'm not an xpert, but i'd say the quality is rather high. as to the area in red, it looks to be a sort of wispy cloud.
 

Goldjockey

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Monk is correct. Chased repousse' with some stamp work (same method as leatherwork, basically). Thai silversmiths are masters at these techniques. Not saying it is or isn't, but to me the style looks SE Asian or Thai rather than Chinese. Would not personally classify it as engraving.
 

Guido.

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Hello Monk-Michael
Thanks for your comments ,Monk the red area I mentioned you can see some jagged cutting along the line,also under a glass I can see the same edges on a lot of the sections on most of the pattern of the box.
I am happy you both feel the work is hand work,that's great.

The shape may be a copy of a Tang Dynasty style (AD618-907) lot 550 ,6.5 cms high ,1cm smaller than mine.
An original sold at Christies 12 Sept 2019 for $350.000 USD.
Rare finely engraved parcel gilt silver jar and cover. There is an image on their site.

You may be correct Michael it may be Thai work,still looking into maker,symbol on base may not be maker.
Pity mine is not an early one.

Regards Guido. christ box 2.JPG christ box 1.JPG chin4.JPG
 

oniemarc

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If it's hammered from the backside...wouldn't you be able to tell if you simply look inside the it?
Might be a completely stupid question...but that would be the first place I would look?
 

Guido.

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Hello yes your are correct, hammered from the back,the question is more if done by stamping (machine ,method or by hand)
I am sure machine engraving is much cheaper and quicker than hand engraving.

I have an example of a box the to me was probably machine stamped (I may be wrong)
Made by a very large company Gorham ,this box made around 1900,from original design 1869.
I feel was stamped out large press .In the times when industralisation came to the silver industry.
Regards Guido gor 1.JPG gor3.JPG gor4.JPG gor2.JPG gor2.JPG
 

Goldjockey

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My mother had quite a bit of handmade silver Thai jewelry, Japanese and Korean artwork, some really old pieces from China, hand carved teak funiture, etc. Really beautiful stuff. I grew up surrounded by Asian art. The piece above doesn't necessarily look Thai to me, but I'm no expert. Why do you think the piece above is machine stamped? It certainly doesn't look it.
 

Goldjockey

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Maybe, but not likely. Look at the unevenness in the pattern and spacing in the borders top and bottom of the central design theme wrapping around the piece. I've never seen a rolling mill turn out work that inconsistent. Templates were certainly used, and perhaps male female repousse' stamps for the individual patterns. Even if a hydraulic press rather than a hammer was used to apply pressure to create the bump outs, this would be done one at a time, section by section by a careful and practiced hand. Note that the background is textured by hand with a texture stamp. These are hand rather than machine processes, so I think 'machine made' or 'machine stamped' would be a mischaracterization of the level of handcraft and skill necessary to produce a work like this.
 

Guido.

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Feb 20, 2021
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Hello Michael

There must be a mix up ,The Thai box round one ,I feel is hand done,
I am not sure if you are seeing the "Goraham " long oblong box? this is the one I feel may have been stamped out.

I agree with you the Thai one would have been hand done (in my opinion)

Regards Guido.
 

Guido.

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Feb 20, 2021
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Hi Members
I have discovered that my Chinese tea container ,Has what is called a Da Fu mark,
It is classed as Chinese Export silver ,made in Vietnam,by Chinese makers late 19th,early 20th cent.

seems not much is known about this type of silver ,no records seemed to have been kept.

Regards Guido.
 

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