Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identification

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
aazul3
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 am

Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identification

Postby aazul3 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:56 am

Hi everyone!

I have a silver early Chinese Buddhist stupa with some interesting marks. Could someone please tell me a little bit more about this item (for example, age)?

I was told that it is quite valuable (it has been passed down in the family). I can read Chinese characters, but that did not help me much. I know that the first mark says Beijing, the next one Lao Tian Li, and the final zu wen ("pure silver" - i.e., 999 grade?). From what I have read, Lao Tian Li was the most famous silver workshop during the Qing dynasty.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Adam

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aazul3
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 am

Re: Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identifica

Postby aazul3 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:00 am

Forgot to add: the stupa is 320 grams and around 23 cm tall.

dognose
Site Admin
Posts: 43693
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England

Re: Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identifica

Postby dognose » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:32 am

Hi Adam,

In future posts please remember to keep your images to a maximum of 7" (18cm). If the images exceed the max., then those with smaller monitors cannot view the entire image.

Trev.

aazul3
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 am

Re: Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identifica

Postby aazul3 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:27 am

Hi Trev,

Roger!

Kind regards,

Adam

davidross
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Re: Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identifica

Postby davidross » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:26 pm

Hello Adam,

Perhaps the photos are a bit large, but they are very good quality and the well struck marks are clear and easily read.I read the marks as you do, from right to left:

北京: Beijing
老天利: Lao Tian Li
足紋: Fine Silver


Lao Tian Li was an important maker of cloisonne, and examples of their work in silver seem to be scarce. Dates of operation are listed as late 19th century, also about 1910 to 1930. Once source notes that Lao Tian Li made medals for the new Republic of China (founded 1911), and exhibited at the San Francisco Pan-Pacific Exposition of 1915.

I think this form probably represents a reliquary. Initially, rather modest reliquaries were constructed to house the bones of bodhisattvas or Buddhist leaders. Later, stupas were erected over these reliquaries. Eventually, rather large stupas became a salient feature of Buddhist temple complexes. If this item opens or has a compartment, it is a reliquary. Most likely it does not and was designed as an altar piece.

Thanks for sharing these images.

Regards,
DR

pyfish
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:55 am

Re: Early Chinese Pure Silver Buddhist Stupa mark identifica

Postby pyfish » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:26 pm

good item, 北京 老天利 足纹

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