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  • Cool Find!

    I picked these up for $22.50 at a local antique store. I don't know much about them except they are ox cups. At first I thought they were a matched pair but they are slightly different. The quality of the one with a broken ear isn't as good. Any information is much appreciated.

    Von

  • #2
    Interesting how they are so similar, cool find!
    http://joshinmo.weebly.com

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    • #3
      Here's a few more photo's. I don't know if they are old or what they are made from but I do think they are worth a roll of the dice.

      Von

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      • #4
        They look like green soapstone Ox libation cups.
        TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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        • #5
          Hi Hoss,

          Thank you for the information. How heavy is soapstone?

          Von

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          • #6
            I tried scratching both of them with my finger nail and a knife blade and the material is too hard to be soapstone. I was thinking it's onyx?

            Von

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            • #7
              Here's a better picture.

              Von

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              • #8
                Waterbuffalo were depicted a lot too in Chinese carvings. I said libation cups because the early ones were made from horn. These are shaped like horn I doubt these are very old maybe 70 years or so. I doubt they are Jade or Onyx. This little Hotei is green soapstone and I cannot scratch it with my fingernail. I used to have several sets of wise monkeys carved from the green soapstone Pier One exports sold tons of them back in the 70's The green soapstone is not as soft as steatite.
                Click image for larger version  Name:	hotai.jpg Views:	1 Size:	111.5 KB ID:	246578

                TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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                • #9
                  That's a cool little fat dude! I scratched pretty hard with a knife blade and it didn't leave a mark at all. After looking more at them I think you are right about the age.

                  Von

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                  • #10
                    The Chinese have turned thousands, maybe millions of tons of soapstone (& onyx for that matter) into carvings & desk sets for export to Western markets. As Matt said, water buffalo was a favorite theme as were Buddhas & koi; in fact most of the Chinese calendar characters like monkeys and Tang-style horses have been widely produced.
                    The onyx pieces were/are notorious for having been dyed with toxic chemicals. My parents bought a green ashtray years ago & the first time it was washed, green dye ran all over Mom's hands & the dye stained them for months afterwards. Bad juju. I avoid Chinese stone & ceramics (coffee mugs) because I have no idea how they were manufactured.
                    Child of the tides

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                    • #11
                      Yikes!!! I'll keep that in mind! I may soak them when I get just to see what happens?

                      Von

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                      • #12
                        They (the Chinese) also still have a very active ivory trade. They say it's all mammoth ivory. I remain skeptical.

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                        • #13
                          Well the Chinese claim to have switched to mammoth ivory from Siberia. It is available in the Siberian tundra by the tons....

                          https://phys.org/news/2010-08-extinc...ant-ivory.html

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