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Author Topic:   Identification Help Beautiful Chrysanthemum Mug

Posts: 63
Registered: Sep 99

iconnumber posted 06-04-2019 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lisa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My brother recently acquired this cup & has no idea what it is. I am not familiar with oriental sterling, so told him I would ask the experts. Any information would be extremely helpful. Hopefully, my photos show enough to make some kind guess on the piece.

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 06-04-2019 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know nothing about Asian silver marks. So all that follows is just gut level thinking.

It is a very beautiful cup. Someone who is familiar with East Asian script might recognize whether it is:

  • Chinese: 汉字
  • Japanese: 日本語の表記体系
  • Korean: 한글
  • Mongolian: ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ
  • or ???

My guess is Chinese/Japanese.

I believe there is not/was not an assay standard for marking Chinese silver..... So when marks are found they were what ever the maker/artisan/retailer wanted to convey.

I'd start by trying to find someone who can conclusively ID the writing/language. Can they tell you what the script is saying?

Getting a calibrated X-ray fluorescence test could also reveal something about the metal, its purity, trace elements. For example, if only copper and silver is found and there aren't significant other trace elements then the silver/copper it is most likely electrolytic refined silver; which could mean the silver/copper was made recently.

The electrolytic silver refining process includes a crude silver anode and a refined silver cathode. The electrolytic process is similar to gold, except that the silver anodes are dissolved in a nitric acid bath. The resulting silver will be about 99.9% pure.

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 06-04-2019).]

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iconnumber posted 06-05-2019 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It _looks_ Chinese to me but that's all I can add. Likely 950 fine, it looks like solid silver. Nice find!

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iconnumber posted 06-05-2019 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The two bottom left Chinese characters mean silver (yin).

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-05-2019 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chinese Translations


  • silver - Yín

  • 白银

  • 银子

  • 银器
    silverware, silver

  • 银币
    silver, silver coin


  • silver, galactic, silver-colored, silver-coloured

  • silvery, gray, silver, grey, grey-haired

  • 像银
    silver, silvery


  • 镀银


  • 镀以银

  • sterling - Yīngbàng


  • 英镑的

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 06-05-2019).]

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