How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Great House Antiques Your Own Question
Great House Antiques
Great House Antiques, Appraiser/ Researcher/ Entrepreneur
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2191
Experience:  30+ years in all aspects of the Antiques and Decorative Arts Industry
Type Your Antiques Question Here...
Great House Antiques is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Coffee Grinder help? -: I purchased what I believe is a

Customer Question

Coffee Grinder help?

For Erin-Marie: I purchased what I believe is a coffee grinder. It seems to be brass and is just over 12 inches in height. It's fairly heavy and has what i think are Asian symbols of some sort on it. I think its fairly old. Maybe 30's or 40's? Any information would be great! P.S - I can't include pics from here so will add them to the question.

Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 2 months ago.

I've a hunch of what you have based on the description but I'll be on the lookout for the picture before I get ahead of myself.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 2 months ago.

Is that clear glass on the front and back and can you tell what's visible behind the glass?


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's mirrored glass all around. We feel that it has been replaced at some point though and is not original to the piece.
The insides are not visible.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 2 months ago.

You are on the same track as I. While it is currently a hand-crank coffee grinder/mill, I feel like it may be a marriage piece as the drawer, top plate and handle to not conform to the same decoration as the body and these shapes are more commonly seen on European grinders. I've also never seen a Chinese coffee grinder before, tons of tea implements but very few specifically for coffee. Therefore, what I'm trying to determine is, if the piece was married together what might have the base been in it's first 'life'. Your thoughts...


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Wow. From me and my BF (who never thinks this of anyone) - you are brilliant!
As soon as you suggested a marriage item, he yelled "chinese lantern"!
After looking at a couple, I am sure that you are both right.
I'm still interested in your thoughts on age and value!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok....Now we are also thinking it could be a Japanese or Buddhist lantern.
BF also thinks it could have been some sort of elegant travel bird cage.....I think its far too heavy for that but some of the pics he's showing me are similar.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 2 months ago.

A lantern is a good choice, the way the Dragons are molded are more indicative of Chinese rather than Japanese .... I was thinking perhaps a carriage clock base c. 1890 - 1900 and your interior photos make me lean even more in that direction but a lantern is an interesting and probable suggestion; I'm going back into my archives to do a little more research.

A lot of carriage clocks had openings in both sides as well as a panel in the top, similar to this extravagant model. Because I can't find an exact match to your base, if you'd like I can open it up to the whole community at this time and see if they have more to add. Once I do that, I'm not able to respond to this specific thread so before I do, do you have any additional questions from me?


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I don't have any more questions now but I would love to have it opened up to the community because I'd love to have a value on it.
I think the symbols on them mean something as well.
Thanks for everything!
More to come this week.
Expert:  Erin-Marie Wallace replied 2 months ago.

Certainly... I will pass this onto the rest of the expert community, and look forward to further assisting you.