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Posts: 50
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wendlekins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Please could someone help me identify this sweet old Pepperpot Cat.

It is marked Sterling and S above under one foot. I thought it might be American and looks to be dating to c1900-1920 in style.

I wondered if it was American?

Many thanks

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The piece is American as indicated by the word "sterling" placed on pieces since about 1870 to guarantee a purity of 92.5%. Can't help you with the other marks.


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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Sterling" can also appear on objects from other countries intended for export to the US. The decoration on the sides seems to me to have a "flavor" that might be Latin American.

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Swarter. The term Sterling is used in many countries and is not a very useful determinant as to whether an object was made in the U.S. Unless someone comes up with a definitive answer on the "S" maker's mark, all you can go on is the style. The face reminds me of traditional designs used by the Aztec, Maya, Inca, etc. on objects made for the tourist trade. Typically they represent cats such as jaguars or ocelots or such rather than house cats. The sunflower design on the side reinforces this thought. Another possibility is that it could be Southeast Asian. Either way, it does not strike me as being American nor does it strike me as have much age.

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the clarification! If this piece is imported, shouldn't it also have marks from its country of origin, or do laws requiring domestic silver to be marked not apply to exports (different from country to country?)?


[This message has been edited by tmockait (edited 02-13-2006).]

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FWG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My gut feeling would be to look to Japan, or possibly China, both of which sometimes mark silver for the export trade with 'sterling'. The decoration on the sides, the face, and the 'bow' on the back all feel Asian to me. And of course the cat is a revered figure in Japan, and the Japanese have a history of whimsical silver pepperpots.

South American pieces are more likely to have a numeric marking than 'sterling', in my experience. Mexico is more likely than most Latin American sources to use 'sterling', but in recent years (and I agree with Kimo that it appears fairly recent, I'd say likely post-WWII almost certainly) there should be a different system of marking. And the decoration looks more Asian than Latin American to me.

In any case, it's an absolutely adorable piece!

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wendlekins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all for your comments.

Because I have it in the flesh (or perhaps I should say fur !!!) I thought it had Japanese decoration with the chrysanthemums. It appears to be decorated in the aesthetic style and from the condition when I bought it, it appears to be early 20thC.

Also it is very well made.

It reminds me of the Louis Wain Cats.

Thanks for explaining about sterling too.

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Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 02-13-2006 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Japanese, post WWII. Here's a demitasse spoon finial with the same cat symbol, marked with a rising-sun trademark, STERLING (sorry for picture quality, quick scan). Have another in carved wood, and a tiny carved ivory charm.

Cheryl wink

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