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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5840
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have a Pewter Chinese urn with ancient symbols indicating

Customer Question

I have a Pewter Chinese urn with ancient symbols indicating (per research) the remains of a man in his sixties. Can I upload pictures? I would like to know its value.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.
Hello, At your convenience, please provide more clear, in-focus images of the urn and the markings. ~Nora
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Attached 3 pics.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can send pics by mail if you prefer.
Expert:  Nora replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thank you for the images. I am not able to discern the marks or characters on the piece due to the resolution of the images. I will opt-out and open your question again to all the experts at no additional charge. If someone knows the answer they will post a response to you here. You do not need to re-list your question and this does not cost you extra. There is not a guarantee that you will receive a response. I will not be able to respond back after opting-out I do hope you find the information that you seek. ~Nora
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your Chinese urn.Could you very kindly attach larger images. The ones you sent have come through thumbnail size. That way I'll be able to read the Chinese inscription on the top for you and possibly the mark on the base, too, though it looks a little indistinct, and of course give you a value.Also, how big is it?Many thanks,Robert
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have to get the urn out of storage and try to take better photos to send. Thank you.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
That would be great if you can do that. There's no rush this end, I'll be here whenever you are ready and your question stays open for as long as you wish.Many thanks,Robert.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I'll get to it ASAP.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
New photos. Thanks
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the excellent photos, I can now see exactly what you have.This is an interesting and quite scarce example of antique Chinese tin ware (made from a metal which is the equivalent of Britannia metal in the West -a white metal tin/zinc alloy) that dates to the late Qing period, circa 1890 - 1912, made in what is now the modern city of Zhaoqing, just west of Canton in Guangdong province, China.It's a lidded container, most likely sold as a tea caddy, with what looks like a red enamel floral finial and taotie form handles, based on an archaic bronze vessel shape called a "you" from the Western Zhou dynasty, nearly 3000 years ago.The inscription on the cover is in an archaic script that reads (left to right):商立戈父甲鼎"A rewarding tripod vessel (urn) from father Ding Li"It is one of many inscriptions recorded in Lu Dalin's book, Illustrated Research on Antiquities. Lu Dalin (1044-1092) is recorded as China's first great archeologist and these 3000 year old Western Zhou inscriptions became popular auspicious adornments for teapots, vases and urns like these at turn of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.The marks on the base read:净水"Pure Water" -probably a brand name- (on the left).贺锡"He Tin" -the manufacturer's name- (on the right).And in the center:肇城 高興造"Hajime city [now Zhaoqing] with happiness made".Being so old this would be quite in demand if you were to sell in China or Hong Kong. Similarly marked tin vessels by this maker are being offered for sale there for $800 and more, although this would be a retail price (rather than an auction value) and it's hard to tell from these Chinese sites whether any have actually sold for that amount, but that's what they are listed at.So if you were to sell here in the West at a good antique auction having a specialist Asian sale, and armed with the information I've given you, I would estimate your urn would fetch in the range of $250 - $400.I do hope this helps!Best wishes,Robert