Elephants from Indochina

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
sebastian4743
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Elephants from Indochina

Postby sebastian4743 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:24 am

I have these two elephant boxes which I would like to know more about. I assume they come from the first half of the XX century from Indochina. I think this might be the present territory of Kingdom of Cambodia. I also assume that they are made of silver of .999 purity. Can you identify the maker and tell what the letter T stands for ("T999")? Looking forward for any hints. Thank you!

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dognose
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:40 am

Hi Sebastian,

The 'T' is an old standard of measurement that occasionally is still is to be found in use in South East Asia. It's origins are to found in India and the 'Tola' system, a unit of measurement introduced by the British East India Company.

Trev.

sebastian4743
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby sebastian4743 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:50 am

Hi Trev,

thank you for your time. Tola is a unit of mass. How is a tola connected with the 999? Is there something else to it than only mass which does not make any sense to me as one box weights approx. 100 grams.

Please advise.

dognose
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:37 am

Yes, Tola is a unit of mass, but it was also the standard measurement of gold and silver bullion.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:47 am

Although the below information refers to the 'T90' mark, it will still apply to 'T999':

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Source: Chinese Export Silver - Adrien Von Ferscht

Trev.

Aguest
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby Aguest » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:46 am

So the hallmark "T90" really has two parts of information, let me see if I understand this correctly :: The "T" means "Tola" which is a unit of mass for the measurement of silver, so the "T" means that the entire object is composed of Tolas ::: But the "90" refers to the purity of the object, the metal is 90% silver :::: I see how this is confusing, it leads on to believe that an object has "90 Tolas" in it, which is not the case : The "T" just means "this object is composed of silver" and the "90" means "the percentage of pure silver" in the object : I wonder who came up with this "Tola" system, it sounds like the British East India Company designed the Tola system?

dognose
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:07 pm

I think what is of concern here is that the mark does not identify a maker, but only that it indicates, in a localised style, the purity of the metal. The indicated purity may or may not be correct.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Elephants from Indochina

Postby dognose » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:03 pm

Not sure if the below information helps or hinders:

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Source: Essays on Indian Antiquities - Edward Thomas - 1858

Trev.


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