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Author Topic:   Hanson

Posts: 2
Registered: Jul 2008

iconnumber posted 07-28-2008 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for shaashjav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I have some holloware but I do not know the pattern or its age. I also can not find any information on the maker. The bottom reads Hanson 900. Any information on this maker wood be greatly appreciated.

I have had this piece for about five years and I was wondering about the age of this item. I have been checking silver books and doing research on the internet but I can not find anything on this particular silver company. I have other pieces of sterling and found information on those pieces like its age and history of the item. Really puzzled over this company and I thought you could be of help with age and history of this company. Thank you

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Posts: 2
Registered: Jul 2008

iconnumber posted 07-29-2008 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for shaashjav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My interest in this particular piece is because I collect dragons. I like to know the age and history of my pieces. Like what country they are from.I think silver and dragons work very well together.

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 07-29-2008 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting--the goblets "feel" modern to me--but the shape of the stem and foot harks back to 1870s "aesthetic reform" style metalwork, while the dragons make me think of Chinese export (or possibly Japanese export) silver. 900 is a funny mark--it's coin quality, but not a mark that I can remember seeing a lot.

Could these actually be made,say, within my lifetime (b. 1955) in Japan for the western market? Hanson could be an importer, or a foreign owner of a shop. These are an interesting puzzle.

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Posts: 169
Registered: Jan 2006

iconnumber posted 07-30-2008 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember being told by a great aunt who spent some time in Asia that you could tell a Japanese dragon by the fact that he would have only 3 toes. Chinese dragons had more.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 07-30-2008 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The Chinese dragon is a central figure of both good and evil in their fables and legends. According to the Chinese the dragon originated in their middle kingdom and has always had five toes. The dragon by nature is a gregarious creature who wanders the earth.

However, the farther it goes from China, the more toes it loses. Hence, when it reached Korea it only had four toes and by the time it got to Japan it only had three. This also explains why it never made it to Europe or the Americas in that by the time it got that far it had lost all of its toes and could not walk.

Dragon toes

It is sometimes noted that the Chinese dragons have five toes on each foot, while the Japanese dragons have three. To explain this phenomenon, Chinese legend states that all Imperial dragons originated in China, and the further away from China a dragon went the fewer toes it had. Dragons only exist in China and Japan because if they traveled further they would have no toes to continue.

However, historical records show that ordinary Chinese dragons had four toes (this dragon was known as Mang), but the Imperial dragon had five (as in the Five elements of Chinese philosophy) (this dragon was known as Long). The four-clawed dragon was typically for nobility and certain high ranking officials. The three clawed dragon was used by the general public (widely seen on various Chinese goods in Ming dynasty). The Long, however, was only for select royalty closely associated with the Imperial family, usually in various symbolic colors, while it was a capital offense for anyone - other than the emperor himself - to ever use the completely gold-colored, five-clawed Long dragon motif. Improper use of claw number and/or colors was considered treason, punishable by execution of the offender's entire clan. Since most east Asian nations at one point or another were considered Chinese tributaries, they were only allowed four-clawed dragons. The five toes rule was enforced since 1336 AD (Yuan the second year). "(For commoners) It is forbidden to wear any cloth with patterns of Qilin, Male Fenghuang (Chinese phoenix), White rabbit, Lingzhi, Five-Toe Two-Horn Loong, Eight Loongs, Nine Loongs, Long-live, Fortune-longevity character and Golden Yellow etc."


So it seems that the question of how many remains a Toenundrum wink .

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Posts: 975
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 07-30-2008 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
rolleyes Scott, you are such a punny guy!

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Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 07-30-2008 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would also guess that Hansen is likely the exporter or marketing company that imported them from somewhere in southeast asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, etc.). The SILVER and 900 are saying they are 90% silver which is a lesser quality that the 92.5% silver that would be sterling, but there is no guarantee that they are actually 90% silver. There is so much fakery from China, Thailand, and many other countries in the region (not Japan) that I no longer place any trust in such markings. I also agree that these appear to have little age to them - they seem to be export items targeting the western markets.

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