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Old 8th December 2020, 08:54 PM   #1
Gonzoadler
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Default Chinese daggers - more colourful as christmas trees

Hello,

I want to share these very colourful silver daggers, jeweled with corals, turqouise, jade and malachites. In my opinion they were made in the late 19th. century. They are quite similar, but one is more ornate and enamelled.
This one is decorated with boars and monks made of jade. The jade of the other dagger shows abstract motifs.

I learned a lot about some other pieces here and now I have another question to the forum:
I saw other similar daggers at auctions.
For what purpose these daggers where made?
Are they official presents? An expensive decoration?
Maybe lucky charms?
Or officially worn weapons for important persons? (I don't believe that)
Who knows more than me?

Best
Robin
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Old 8th December 2020, 08:56 PM   #2
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Old 8th December 2020, 08:59 PM   #3
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Old 9th December 2020, 05:39 AM   #4
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These are souvenirs made in the 20th century.
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Old 9th December 2020, 06:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
These are souvenirs made in the 20th century.
Exactly!

Souvenirs for tourists. Some of them are even marked with the famous "MADE IN CHINA" logo.
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Old 9th December 2020, 09:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the first answers.
I donīt think that these daggers are modern souvenirs, but of course it is possible that they are old ones. Most auction houses date them around 1900. Also they are really rare, completely handmade, well made and not cheap:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...se-mounted-dag

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...ger-with-stand

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...jeweled-dagger

Not one of them is marked with "made in China". Also only precious materials were used. Actually the German auction house Thies sells a bigger similar piece:

(edited: links to live auctions is strictly forbidden on our forums)

Of course there are some modern souvenirs in the same style, but they are often only silver plated and the quality is not really comparable:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...oise-medallion

Of course my daggers are looking a little bit kitschy, but this is not uncommon for Chinese antiques. I hope it is OK that I linked some auctions.
Maybe more opinions regarding my two pieces?

Regards

Last edited by David; 9th December 2020 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 9th December 2020, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
Thanks for the first answers.
I donīt think that these daggers are modern souvenirs, but of course it is possible that they are old ones. Most auction houses date them around 1900. Also they are really rare, completely handmade, well made and not cheap:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...se-mounted-dag

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...ger-with-stand

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...jeweled-dagger

Not one of them is marked with "made in China". Also only precious materials were used. Actually the German auction house Thies sells a bigger similar piece:

(LINKS TO LIVE AUCTIONS PROHIBITED)

Of course there are some modern souvenirs in the same style, but they are often only silver plated and the quality is not really comparable:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item...oise-medallion

Of course my daggers are looking a little bit kitschy, but this is not uncommon for Chinese antiques. I hope it is OK that I linked some auctions.
Maybe more opinions regarding my two pieces?

Regards
1. The task of the auction house is to sell the item
2. Not all auction houses have good specialists ...

I'm sorry, but these are not antiques. Vintage at best ...

Last edited by Battara; 9th December 2020 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 9th December 2020, 10:48 AM   #8
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Talking

But the last one from Thiele auctions is with provenance.
Of course I can state that they lie, but I don't think so.
Who should buy such a souvenir an who should sell it?
It's laborous and expensive to produce.
Please, show me pictures of sale advertisements or from a modern market with these daggers, any evidence.
Or explain your answere, why you think so?
"It's new, period." is not really convincing.
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Old 9th December 2020, 12:58 PM   #9
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Everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion and we all believe what we want to believe.

I have owned a couple of such daggers and I am pretty sure they are all 20th century decorative pieces. And yes, some of them are well made and decorated with semi-precious stones that have been used as gifts/presents. In fact, that is their main purpose: to be used as gifts, presents, souvenirs.

Regarding the description from the auction houses, please note that almost all auction houses, in their terms and conditions of sales, have disclaimers that absolve them of any discrepancies/errors/misinterpretations in the descriptions of the lots sold. So they basically can describe any lot as they please, without bearing any responsibility for the accuracy of description... and they describe their lots to fetch higher prices.

Prince Tommaso di Savoia died in 1931 so if one dagger comes from his collection, it doesn't mean it is 19th century.

In conclusion, I fully agree with Mahratt.

PS: Here is the one it was in my possesion, then sold it a long time ago. It was solid silver with semi-precious stones and exceptional workmanhip... and marked "MADE IN CHINA"...
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Old 9th December 2020, 01:33 PM   #10
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Robin, I agree, these are very 'Christmasey' , astutely noted (wouldn't mind having one under my tree!).
Your questions are well placed.

I agree with Mahratt, the use of the word vintage is likely the best description, and these do seem to have been a style and character around for quite some time, probably embellished versions of much earlier examples.

I have seen these in antique stores, often, if not typically, listed as 'Tibetan'. I have been under the impression these may have been votive pieces in Tibetan temples, and dramatic symbolism is key in Tantric Buddhism and Bon religions. Precious stones and symbolic values of them is well established in the ritual and presence in these temples. I think of the spiritual 'phurbu' daggers, which are of course smaller but often ornately appointed.

It seems many of these I mention from antique stores were indeed 'vintage' having some age to them, extremely well made, and we may presume China, however remember China's suzerainty in Tibet. Tibetan artisans in border regions often produced weaponry for China as a kind of periodic tribute expectancy. These may have been among that circumstance, and perhaps copied from the votive type weapons I noted.

I agree most auctioneers have a degree of latitude in thier offerings, however most of the more well known ones are somewhat guarded in descriptions as their clientele is usually notably knowledgeable, and reputation is important in the higher strata of collecting. While certainly commercial entities have tried to capitalize on these kinds of 'vintage' examples in more modern times, there are still good numbers of them out there which are/were genuinely intended as either votives or occasionally diplomatic gifts possibly in the manner of the 'tribute' circumstance.

Obviously a number of possibilities, but regardless, these examples shown seem of outstandng quality, the use of precious stones and metalwork not withstanding. I would think these out of the usual lesser qualityof tourist souvenirs.

As noted, everyone is entitled to opinion, and this is mine.
Thank you for sharing these, gave me a Christmas smile!
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Old 9th December 2020, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
I hope it is OK that I linked some auctions.
Maybe more opinions regarding my two pieces?
Just to clarify your question about links to auctions. From my viewing most of these auctions seemed to be already over. But one of them was still active until December 12th and i deleted that link since posting live auctions does indeed violate the rules of these forums.
As for the remaining links, i will leave them for the Ethno Mods to decide. The one thing i will say about posting such links is that they will become absolutely useless to future discussion is just a short period of time because the online auction house will delete them soon and the links will then become dead ends. Therefore we always encourage people to post example images directly to these pages so that they will remain in our archives. (Of course, you still should not upload images here if the auctions you take them from are still active. )
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Old 10th December 2020, 12:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
. In fact, that is their main purpose: to be used as gifts, presents, souvenirs.

Regarding the description from the auction houses, please note that almost all auction houses, in their terms and conditions of sales, have disclaimers that absolve them of any discrepancies/errors/misinterpretations in the descriptions of the lots sold. So they basically can describe any lot as they please, without bearing any responsibility for the accuracy of description... and they describe their lots to fetch higher prices.

Prince Tommaso di Savoia died in 1931 so if one dagger comes from his collection, it doesn't mean it is 19th century.
Agreed. These daggers come in a wide variety of configurations, some short swords actually (even with cut-down old Chinese and Japanese blades with clumsily reshaped tips and even pseudo Manchu or Mongolian-ish inscriptions in koftgari). Decorative, for the tourist trade is the common denominator.

Provenance is something that auctioneers and retail dealers are pretty cavalier about. About a decade ago, at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show, I saw a very nicely made example of this genre, a jian (double edged sword), with the lavish silver and hardstone deco befitting something sold at Vegas, with a "provenance " document linking it to the estate of a US military officer who served in the Far East, including China, in the early 1930s. It was merely a typrwritten letter from someone in the family, dated some years before I saw the sword, attesting to the fact. Together with some old new clipping about the owner, but not mentioning the sword. I rather doubted whether it was even the original typed document that it claimed to be. . The sword may well have been early 20th cent. it was a fine example of the type for someone who really liked this stuff, but the unsubstantiated war story really didn't do a thing for it.

But buyers are funny. Someone else might buy the story and think the piece is truly important because of this.

" Men tend to believe in those things which they wish to be true." --Julius Caesar.
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Old 10th December 2020, 12:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Robin,

I have seen these in antique stores, often, if not typically, listed as 'Tibetan'. I have been under the impression these may have been votive pieces in Tibetan temples, and dramatic symbolism is key in Tantric Buddhism and Bon religions. Precious stones and symbolic values of them is well established in the ritual and presence in these temples. I think of the spiritual 'phurbu' daggers, which are of course smaller but often ornately appointed.

!
Jim,
I first saw these in great number on my trips to Hong Kong in the mid 1970s, ( even bought a very nice one as resale merch, whose blade was probably wootz based on what appeared from etching). The dealers over there all described them as "Mongolian" despite the fact that their stores were well-stocked with gilt-copper sculpture and architectural elements yanked out of temples and monasteries looted by the PLA in the 1959 uprising.

For some years I buried my nose in ethnographic research, rooting through books on Inner Asia by travelers and explorers, and examining lots of on-site photos of noblemen, temple treasuries, etc. You'd think that these things would appear in some paragraph or picture . But...NADA.

Just because there are Buddhistic motifs in the deco doesn't mean a link to Tantrism, monasteries, etc. A lot of them are common to Far Eastern deco art themes in general. Also, Beijing was noted for its silversmiths, making decorated utilitarian objects (tinder pouches, horse fittings, trousse scabbards, tea pots, jewelry, etc) for all and sundry. Just as Canton was cranking out furniture and ceramics in a variety of styles for sale to Chinese and foreign buyers (Westerners would order sets of dinnerware emblazoned with their family crests via export merchants in that city). It was a common saying then that there wasn't anything a Chinese workman couldn't copy, that some foreigner wouldn't buy.
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Old 10th December 2020, 06:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
But the last one from Thiele auctions is with provenance.
Of course I can state that they lie, but I don't think so.
Who should buy such a souvenir an who should sell it?
It's laborous and expensive to produce.
Please, show me pictures of sale advertisements or from a modern market with these daggers, any evidence.
Or explain your answere, why you think so?
"It's new, period." is not really convincing.

Everything has already been written by colleagues on the forum
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Old 10th December 2020, 09:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Everything has already been written by colleagues on the forum
No, not really
I can only read speculations and no real knowledge. I can also begin to speculate, but I prefer to use some facts and not only accusations against auction houses: Between 1898 and 1914 Kiautschou Bay was a German leased territory in China. Many officials and soldiers brought their souvenirs to the German Empire after they came back home. In other countries with chinese colonies it was did in the same way.
These pieces were often stereotypically Chinese decorated, because this was what the European market wanted. Exotic decorations were "in fashion". Also the colonists often had much more money than the local Chinese people and were able to buy such things for higher prices in higher quantities.
As examples I added pictures of some teapots, vases and daggers which were such antique souvenirs in my opinion. They are all made of good quality and would be far to expensive for a modern souvenir. Also many of this pieces have authentic signs of age.
I think my thesis is much more realistic than the others here. If somebody can show me facts, not speculations, that can refute my words in a proper way, please do that.
If I search for "chinese silver daggers" on liveaustioneers, I can find a lot of touristic pieces. But also there are some much older pieces of good quality, which are recognizable because of the much higher price results.

Regards

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Old 10th December 2020, 11:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
No, not really
I can only read speculations and no real knowledge. I can also begin to speculate, but I prefer to use some facts and not only accusations against auction houses: Between 1898 and 1914 Kiautschou Bay was a German leased territory in China. Many officials and soldiers brought their souvenirs to the German Empire after they came back home. In other countries with chinese colonies it was did in the same way.
These pieces were often stereotypically Chinese decorated, because this was what the European market wanted. Exotic decorations were "in fashion". Also the colonists often had much more money than the local Chinese people and were able to buy such things for higher prices in higher quantities.
As examples I added pictures of some teapots, vases and daggers which were such antique souvenirs in my opinion. They are all made of good quality and would be far to expensive for a modern souvenir. Also many of this pieces have authentic signs of age.
I think my thesis is much more realistic than the others here. If somebody can show me facts, not speculations, that can refute my words in a proper way, please do that.
If I search for "chinese silver daggers" on liveaustioneers, I can find a lot of touristic pieces. But also there are some much older pieces of good quality, which are recognizable because of the much higher price results.

Regards

pictures:
Strange, then you do not see the difference between the daggers that you showed in your topic and the jugs (and other items). They are decorated in completely different techniques. And they are items of different quality levels.
Forum participants, many of whom have extensive experience, expressed their views. But if you don't agree, you can consider that these are very rare, unique daggers
The main thing is that everyone is happy)))
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
No, not really
I can only read speculations and no real knowledge. I can also begin to speculate, but I prefer to use some facts and not only accusations against auction houses: Between 1898 and 1914 Kiautschou Bay was a German leased territory in China. Many officials and soldiers brought their souvenirs to the German Empire after they came back home. In other countries with chinese colonies it was did in the same way.
These pieces were often stereotypically Chinese decorated, because this was what the European market wanted. Exotic decorations were "in fashion". Also the colonists often had much more money than the local Chinese people and were able to buy such things for higher prices in higher quantities.
As examples I added pictures of some teapots, vases and daggers which were such antique souvenirs in my opinion. They are all made of good quality and would be far to expensive for a modern souvenir. Also many of this pieces have authentic signs of age.
I think my thesis is much more realistic than the others here. If somebody can show me facts, not speculations, that can refute my words in a proper way, please do that.
If I search for "chinese silver daggers" on liveaustioneers, I can find a lot of touristic pieces. But also there are some much older pieces of good quality, which are recognizable because of the much higher price results.

Regards

pictures:

I find this response somewhat disappointing in suggesting that those of who have added entries here have based our comments on speculations and NO REAL KNOWLEDGE. While personally I have only just over fifty years of study and collecting, and Oriental items are admittedly not my central field, I have engaged in research often on these topics many times through the years.

To suggest that Philip and Mahratt are without 'real knowledge' is laughable as both are published authors who have written on these subjects, and frankly Philip is probably one one the most often cited authorities in these fields.

The comments toward auction houses are not based on 'speculation' but on instances we have all experienced, and where these cases were thoroughly investigated and typically resolved and often widely noted within the arms community.

Most speculation, particularly in this discussion for example, is based on experience and knowledge, which of course typically renders it considerably reliable in lieu of irrefutable provenance or proof on topics or items. As always, and as any responsible author will submit, all material is always subject to rebuttal as more evidence is discovered and presented.

I dont believe anyone here was trying to 'refute' your observations and views, but expressing thier own based on personal experience and knowledge. Such input is considered viable material in discourse here and intended as shared opinion for evaluation. Obviously any observation made where sound proof or evidence is not presently or readily available will generally defer accordingly to compelling and well supported material .

I look forward to your addition of same on this topic regarding these dagger based on other than observations based on auction commentary or 'speculations' on age and authenticity based on assumptions thereof.
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Strange, then you do not see the difference between the daggers that you showed in your topic and the jugs (and other items). They are decorated in completely different techniques. And they are items of different quality levels.
Forum participants, many of whom have extensive experience, expressed their views. But if you don't agree, you can consider that these are very rare, unique daggers
The main thing is that everyone is happy)))
Show me the differences. The main difference I can see is the use of silver filigree. But also that you can find on some pieces. I want to show similarities:

-Teapot 1: One casted and chiselled element is similar and the kind like the lionīs head is made is similar, too.
-Teapot 2: The kind like the corals and turquoises are fixed is identical.
-Dagger 1: The hanger of the dagger is identical!
-Vase 1: Fixing of small stones identical.
-Vase 3: similar filigree and quality of chiselled heads
-The last big dagger is completely in the same technique, one carved jade element is nearly identical (small boar head). Similar blade.

Also the dagger in post #9 has many similarities to this pieces and seems to have the same age.
Now itīs your turn

PS: Iīm not interested in bandish my daggers. But if it is forbidden to contradict the answers of forum members who donīt seem to have more knowledge about chinese weapons and silverware than me, than that is a bad discussion atmosphere here.

Regards
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:16 PM   #19
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
Show me the differences. The main difference I can see is the use of silver filigree. But also that you can find on some pieces. I want to show similarities:

-Teapot 1: One casted and chiselled element is similar and the kind like the lionīs head is made is similar, too.
-Teapot 2: The kind like the corals and turquoises are fixed is identical.
-Dagger 1: The hanger of the dagger is identical!
-Vase 1: Fixing of small stones identical.
-Vase 3: similar filigree and quality of chiselled heads
-The last big dagger is completely in the same technique, one carved jade element is nearly identical (small boar head). Similar blade.

Also the dagger in post #9 has many similarities to this pieces and seems to have the same age.
Now itīs your turn

PS: Iīm not interested in bandish my daggers. But if it is forbidden to contradict the answers of forum members who donīt seem to have more knowledge about chinese weapons and silverware than me, than that is a bad discussion atmosphere here.

Regards

Contradiction is not at all unacceptable in discussions, however derisive remarks at personal level and questioning knowledge of other participants is not in particularly good form and indeed not conducive to good discussion 'atmosphere'.
I am grateful for your sharing of these very attractive items as well as sharing your observations and clearly stated knowledge.
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I find this response somewhat disappointing in suggesting that those of who have added entries here have based our comments on speculations and NO REAL KNOWLEDGE. While personally I have only just over fifty years of study and collecting, and Oriental items are admittedly not my central field, I have engaged in research often on these topics many times through the years.

To suggest that Philip and Mahratt are without 'real knowledge' is laughable as both are published authors who have written on these subjects, and frankly Philip is probably one one the most often cited authorities in these fields.

The comments toward auction houses are not based on 'speculation' but on instances we have all experienced, and where these cases were thoroughly investigated and typically resolved and often widely noted within the arms community.

Most speculation, particularly in this discussion for example, is based on experience and knowledge, which of course typically renders it considerably reliable in lieu of irrefutable provenance or proof on topics or items. As always, and as any responsible author will submit, all material is always subject to rebuttal as more evidence is discovered and presented.

I dont believe anyone here was trying to 'refute' your observations and views, but expressing thier own based on personal experience and knowledge. Such input is considered viable material in discourse here and intended as shared opinion for evaluation. Obviously any observation made where sound proof or evidence is not presently or readily available will generally defer accordingly to compelling and well supported material .

I look forward to your addition of same on this topic regarding these dagger based on other than observations based on auction commentary or 'speculations' on age and authenticity based on assumptions thereof.
At first: I didnīt meant your answer with my post. You donīt have my opinion, but you argued differentiated.
And to the other points: If sb. is an expert he should argue like an expert. That means that he should underpin his opinion comprehensible. Simple meanings and not verifiable statements are not comprehensible. I made comparisons with other Chinese silver pieces and I can find identical or similar elements in many cases. There are a lot more pieces in the internet. And all this silver pieces are dated to the end of Qing dynasty by more or less famous auction houses. Because of that I think this daggers have the same age. Maybe a bit later than Qing, but not so much. That could be wrong, but persons with another opinion can only convince me with comprehensible statements and facts. I canīt read that until now.

Regards
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Old 10th December 2020, 02:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc

PS: Here is the one it was in my possesion, then sold it a long time ago. It was solid silver with semi-precious stones and exceptional workmanhip... and marked "MADE IN CHINA"...
That is a good point, but you canīt really make a dating with that inscription. For example in England, foreign products are marked in that way since the end of the 19th century (since 1891 in many other countries). That is also the origin for the designation "made in Germany". That was be thought as warning before inferior German products, but the quality of German products was good and it became a seal of approval. It only shows that your dagger was made for the export, most likely after 1891.

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Old 10th December 2020, 02:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzoadler
At first: I didnīt meant your answer with my post. You donīt have my opinion, but you argued differentiated.
And to the other points: If sb. is an expert he should argue like an expert. That means that he should underpin his opinion comprehensible. Simple meanings and not verifiable statements are not comprehensible. I made comparisons with other Chinese silver pieces and I can find identical or similar elements in many cases. There are a lot more pieces in the internet. And all this silver pieces are dated to the end of Qing dynasty by more or less famous auction houses. Because of that I think this daggers have the same age. Maybe a bit later than Qing, but not so much. That could be wrong, but persons with another opinion can only convince me with comprehensible statements and facts. I canīt read that until now.

Regards

Thank you for the well thought out response. I think the term 'expert' is also one a bit overused and often misplaced. Most highly knowledgeable authorities typically consider themselves well informed but always open to new discoveries and ideas and are anxious to keep learning .

Again, I would point out that comments made on auction houses were not meant as 'accusations' but simply pointing out that their descriptions are not always entirely accurate. Probably the most reliable are those which use cited references from well researched books and well established authorities on the examples being described.

I very much like the examples you are posting of these most attractive pieces, and the comparisons of the various elements included in the work are most intriguing. One of the most well known facts about artisans in China, as Philip well noted in his earlier posts, is that they are able to produce most convincing items remarkably faithful to their original and traditional prototypes. These artisans are also highly skilled at artificial aging of items. It is a daunting task to accurately date items of early forms which have been produced as souvenirs as that industry has existed for quite some time. The early examples of late 19th century are 'antiques' in their own right even if not authentic as to the genuine examples often represented.

While the 'Qing' dynasty denominator is somewhat impressive sounding, it is a somewhat vague descriptive term. Virtually most Chinese material culture items seem to be 'Qing' (1644-1911) unless otherwise specified.

Most internet resources concerning antiquities and arms are typically considered 'benchmarks' for further research as far as investigating examples, and obviously making determinations from photos is, using your term, 'speculative'. Accurate determinations beyond that require hands on handling and close examination of the item.

Well noted on the use of 'MADE IN .......' markings on items, which is nothing more than a modern commercial stamp, and has nothing to do with identification of antiquities. The notation of this most obviously modern marking is typically meant in a pejorative sense.
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Old 10th December 2020, 02:51 PM   #24
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Gonzoadler, i have no expertise in this field, but i do have a keen sense of observation. In your comparison posts the only technique i really see repeated in the antique vessels is the mounting of the multi-coloured cabochons. Pointing out repetition on certain Asian motifs does not really prove anything. Motifs are bound to be copied onto later items as they are part of the culture in general. But motifs are not the same as technique. The major decorative technique that is used in your knives seems to be filigree work that is filled with coloured enamel. This technique is not used very much in you examples of antique vessels, but it is a major decorative feature on your knives. These swirling designs were no doubt meant to mimic the vegetal designs on the antique vessels that are actually carved into the silver. But despite the amount of work and craft involved in creating these enamel-filled filigree patterns, they are still a big step down from the silver work in these older pieces. Also the mounting of the stones and jade pieces on your knives is greatly inferior to the antique vessels you show.
Regarding "Made in China". AFAIK, in 1891 items from China were simply marks "CHINA". It wasn't until 1919 that "Made in China" became a requirement for imported items. So any item actually marked "Made in China" will be a 20th century item.
Your knives look to me to be made for foreign markets sometime after the 1920s, though more likely after WWII. They are gaudily over-packed with Chinese motifs in an attempt to attract and feed a mostly European audience.
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Old 10th December 2020, 04:04 PM   #25
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The cloisonné or cell enamel is an old chinese technique and you can find that on much older pieces. So this is no real criterion. The silver mountings have a similar "handwriting" like them from the showed pieces in my opinion. So I would say it is the same "factory" which made them. The carving of the stones seems to be better, but some of the stones on the vases are much bigger and easier to carve. Of course some carvings are simply better, but not all. The vases and teapots are very different in their configuration, too. And I found some ornate chinese silverworks with enamel and filigree. Of course it is a thing of believe how old they are. Personally I think most of this pieces are made between 1880 and the 1930s. After the Japanese invasion the circumstances in China donīt let me believe, that they still made such pieces.

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Old 10th December 2020, 05:37 PM   #26
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Dear All,

Just to add some fuel to the engine (not on the fire).
As it was said by Jim and Mahratt, these daggers are not very old and mostly decorative.
Saying that, I also agree with Gonzoadler, these daggers are not crap, they aren't all the same, some of them are very well made and probably early 20th c. let's say 1920ties...
The recent ones are for tourists, but for the very well made ones and the oldest ones, I believe that they were diplomatic gifts.
As it was said by Philip they are not ritual, despite some Buddhist elements.
It will be nice to add to the discussion the swords, that you can find in the book sword and sabers. The book is full of mistakes and it's not a reference, but these swords appear in other books, such as Robert Hales. Again RH is not an academic reference, but the man spent his life collecting and we can give him some credits about the quality of these objects.
In short, these daggers and swords are not ethnographic but they are pieces of art to me.

Kubur
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Old 10th December 2020, 06:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Dear All,

Just to add some fuel to the engine (not on the fire).
As it was said by Jim and Mahratt, these daggers are not very old and mostly decorative.
Saying that, I also agree with Gonzoadler, these daggers are not crap, they aren't all the same, some of them are very well made and probably early 20th c. let's say 1920ties...
The recent ones are for tourists, but for the very well made ones and the oldest ones, I believe that they were diplomatic gifts.
As it was said by Philip they are not ritual, despite some Buddhist elements.
It will be nice to add to the discussion the swords, that you can find in the book sword and sabers. The book is full of mistakes and it's not a reference, but these swords appear in other books, such as Robert Hales. Again RH is not an academic reference, but the man spent his life collecting and we can give him some credits about the quality of these objects.
In short, these daggers and swords are not ethnographic but they are pieces of art to me.

Kubur
Kubur,
Thanks so much for the photo from Robert Hales. Now, when we place the photo next to it, all the differences in the decoration techniques are visible.

And by the way, I can't remember this shape of knives in China And you?
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Old 10th December 2020, 07:46 PM   #28
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I have noticed that all the examples are decorated with an off-white jade; I've heard this color referred to as Mutton Fat. Is there something special about this color for it to be seen so often as a decorative element?
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Old 10th December 2020, 08:57 PM   #29
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@Mahratt
Filigree, jade cabouchons, turquoise, corals, similar hanger with the same small silver ring...
Sorry, I can't see big differences. And why some differences are allowed if we compare tea pots?
And why it has to be a common dagger type of the past?
Are there no new forms at the end of the 19th. century in other cultures?
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Old 10th December 2020, 09:46 PM   #30
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So i'm trying to understand just what opinion you are most offended by here. Is it the insistence that your daggers are more likely early 20th century than late 19th century or is it the idea that these were most probably made for export to Western collectors?
This is not exactly the same style as your daggers, but here is an image from Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weaponry (frankly i don't know much about this source) that makes mention of Chinese cloisonné daggers and makes the claim that they were created for sale to the West.
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