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ObjectsConservator1, Restorer
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 90
Experience:  30+ years of conserving and restoring museum and private-owned objects.
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I have a horse statue that I was told was red or brown jade

Customer Question

I have a horse statue that I was told was red or brown jade but I don't believe it is as it is not translucent it is 7 1/2 inches long and 5 inches tall can you please tell me what it is and if its worth anything
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Rarewares replied 2 years ago.
This is called carved resin (a by product of trees) and is made to look like red/brown jade by having a high polish on it. I have also seen this statue carved from red jasper (not as shiny). They are being sold by the hundreds on Alibaba and Ebay, all carved a bit differently, but basically the same 'lucky horse' statue. The prices range from 23.00 to 75.00.
Real red jade has a slight translucence to it like the example shown here, lot 64.
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Expert:  Glenda B. replied 2 years ago.
It is very possible this is carved wood, then lacquered. Can you send a picture of the bottom of this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
im not going to send a picture as I can already tell you the base is wood
Expert:  Glenda B. replied 2 years ago.
I do not mean the base it sits on I mean the statue! I wanted you to check the base of the horse, to see what it looks like.
Also have you tested this to see if it is a stone?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
you don't need to be rude!!!! it feels more like a resin and no in can't send a picture of the bottom of the horses because of the way they are carved and attached to the base
Expert:  Glenda B. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry I did not realize I was being rude. I was simply stating I did not mean the base the horses are sitting on I meant the horse statue.
I am not sure how I could have worded that any other way to let you know I did not mean the base!
But, I am going to opt out of this. Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Try losing the exclamation points
Expert:  ObjectsConservator1 replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I'm happy to help with your conservation/preservation and materials identification questions.
Where and when did you acquire the piece? Are there any stamps or marks on the wooden base? A solid stone piece like this should weigh in the area of 10-15 lbs, so the mass/weight would be a clue as to the material.
Also, another way is to find an obscure area of the sculpture and for a test. Using needle nose pliers, grasp a straight pin. Heat the end with a lighter, then touch the point to the surface. If it melts slightly, then it's resin, or possibly a lacquer coating over wood. Stone, of course, will be unaffected.
You can also do non-destructive testing with a ultra violet light source, but you would need 'knowns' for comparison, so that might not be practical. Lacquer and resins, and most mineral/stones, have characteristic colors under UV radiation and this is routinely used in museum and antique assessments for authentication and conservation. It will also reveal any recent repairs.
Let me know if you have any further questions.

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