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It is probably tramp art. Lots of those things were made by men riding trains from one place to another looking for work in the 30's.
Hard to say what might have been stored in it.
Very defiantly, I would guess a one of a kind object.
What a cool link ~ thank you. I need to peruse it more thoroughly.
I've seen lots of tramp art over the years. Some which I have collected. Most commonly wooden carvings and some in the south where they decorated intricately with sea shells. Have you ever seen a monkey carved from a peach seed? Strange things, anything is possible.
This piece may be tramp art but to me it just seems to have a different flavor. Just not sure about that but it is worth my researching it. Thank you...
Interesting idea! I had not thought of a hat pin holder.
One friend that is a barber suggested a straight razor holder. It would have to be a thin straight razor. But it shows no internal signs of use. No wear where a hard surfaced item had been taken in and out. A hat pin wouldn't leave wear marks I am sure.
Okay, I take back my hat pin holder idea. I googled wood hat pin holders and could not fine one. It is wood, not ivory or imitation ivory? Too long for toothpick holder, too short for knitting needles...ah, what a mystery.
CountryGardens ~ I got lost in that tramp art site. Nice stuff but I didn't seen any made from antlers. Whew! The prices are definitely out of my league ~ lol
Schickenlady ~ I would consider this more vintage than primitive. I think I feel that way because of the quality of the engraving work and that it is "signed" so distinctively. I just don't know.
I do have an ebay account but have never seen the discussion thread. I've sold some there but mostly shopped. I will have to check that out this next weekend when I have spare time. I have trouble hanging with y'all on DG during the week ( lol ) but thank you.
Kobwebz ~ I agree! It is beautiful. I only wish you all could run your hands over it and feel the finish, the patina. It gives off an illusion of age, of being something very important to someone. I only wish it could tell its' tale.
Tallulah_B ~ I agree, some of the tramp art was very ornate, very delicate. It truly deserves a place in collecting history.
Keepingactive ~ It is not wood, ivory or imitation ivory. It is made from antler or horn. The men that have admired it say it does not appear to be antler from a common game animal like the deer in the US. Which only contributes to the puzzle.
edited to add commonly known as stag. The antler would have marrow in the center like a bone. That is why the center is hollow. I would guess the hinged end is the base of the antler but the end cap was fitted very well.
You know, I noticed something after I took these photos that I hadn't seen before. I posted this photo above but the pea vine actually twines around the hinge pin and when it comes out on the other side, it sprouts a leaf. It is so delicately interesting...
I wish I could find a resource for the way it is signed. That might tell me more.
I do find it fascinating every time I handle it. The gardening part of me makes me think it may have been for seed storage. I wonder if there was some significance about the pea pod and vine. In fact, by carving the whole container seems to resemble a large pod. To the left of the pod, you can see the seam that was carved down to the end.
Depending on the region, the containers are made from gourds, bamboo, bone, carved wood etc…and often have finely detailed stoppers. In Indonesia and Asia in general, shapes and materials used for the receptacles that will contain lime powder or betel differ from country to country.The receptacles, boxes and carry-cases for the lime powder are generally superbly carved with a great variety of human figures, animals, plants portraying important aspects of each culture and referring to the status of the owner.
I hope you are closer too ~ lol I am intrigued by the idea of it being scrimshaw. What an elegant piece in your photo.
Cville_Gardener ~ unfortunately, I am on dial up and that site won't load the photos for me. I will try it tomorrow at work if given the opportunity. Thanks for the link.
Most of the men that have looked at this are in agreement that it is a horn or antler of some type. The color and rough texture seen running the length of this indicate that it is an antler. It actually has more of that but I didn't take photos as it was left intact when the carving was done. One older man that we know used to work with genuine ivory and he eliminated that right off.
If I were to guess, I would suspect this was from the Asia but am not sure why. Please tell me what lime powder would be used for?
One man that researches the old west, commented that it could have been a container for priming powder for flintlock rifles. He also said that in the early days in this country, black pepper was highly valued ~ commonly called black gold. He said it may have been a container for that.
I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions. I look forward to seeing the scrimshaw link tomorrow too. Thanks pod
as a side question: could this possibly be a bone? Has anyone seen bone with the brown textured markings of an antler?
Thanks for looking at some different items for me. No, I still do not have an ID for this unusual piece. The friend that gave it to me stops by occasionally to see if I have had any luck. He is humored by my curiousity.
The needle cases you located are interesting. They are along the same lines as this only smaller in length. I have one friend ( a barber ) that spent Saturday afternoon trying to convince me that it is a straight razor case. He even built a scenario of the type of gent that carved it and carried it.
We have a distant acquaintance that married a lady in China. She dabbles in Chinese antiques. I sent her photos in hopes she may have a clue.
Another friend ( a retired Air Force pilot ) was in over Thanksgiving. He was fascinated by it and thought it was more Mediterranean in style rather than from the Far East or the Orient. His son took photos and is researching the signature although I don't think he will have any success. He called it a trademark and I think it is a signature on a work of art.
I could only wish you all could handle it, run your fingers over the pod and feel the swell of the peas in the pod. Trace the intricate vine and tendrils as they wrap around the case and entwine the hinge pin to leaf out on the other side. It is delightful to watch peoples' faces and hands when they look at it for the first time.
I feel there is a significance to the pea pod. Religious or otherwise, like some cultures consider a specific plant to be a connection to fertility or health. I may never know what it is or where it came from but have enjoyed sharing the wonder of it immensely.
No ~ no odor at all. That is the first thing most people do ~ especially those in law enforcement. They all suspect it to be narcotics related and I tease them about having a narrow focus. It has no internal discoloration either.
I don't know how vintage as the hinge pin that holds the carved hinges appears to be brass which would exclude the Native American vintage unless made in later years.
It is possible it was only a trinket carved with no use in mind but I'd prefer to think it had more value than that. 8 )
A friend offered to contact the wife of a mutual acquaintance last week. She is Chinese and dabbles in antiques and collectibles in China. I sent her the photos of this and received this first response:
Quoting: ... first thought was that the piece did
in did (indeed) look Chinese and pea pods represent fertility / babies.
After she was generous enough to do some research, this was what she sent.
Quoting: It look 宗(pronouced as Zong) to me, usually it is either the name of the maker or the family name of whom it was made for. The bean pattern was used widely during late Qing and MinGuo (A republic regime before the Communist China)
period. Not very old, about 100 year or so. It is done by a folk artist as it does not has the imperial quality.
I have sent a request for its' possible use or if it was only ornamental and will post if I find any further information.
I am quite comfortable with the verification as the quality of this item is ( in my opinion ) perhaps not imperial quality but far above amateur.
I really appreciate everyones' interest and assistance. One wonders how the heck it made it to east TX!!?! LoL
Schickenlady ~ thank you for that clarification. I knew there was a distinction between vintage and antique. Even though I feel rather antique, glad to know I am only vintage! lol Thanks too for your researching effort. Please tell me what your thoughts are on the "I dread whats coming" comment? I have often wanted to ask but promise I won't be offended should you tell me it is none of my business.
"Dear, my house is older than your country..." somehow doesn't surprise me. There is a certain arrogance there but I also have to chuckle. I hear friends that work in the carpentry restoration field and to a man, they say when they are done with an old house, all the people still have is just an old house. And, I would suspect those that are snooty about it would give anything to live here in a new home with modern conveniences. Want to bet?
Ahhh ha ~ the light bulb in my brain went off! And I should have guessed, I grew up in the frozen tundra of Minesota. My mind ran rampant when I saw your location but now I understand. I hate that crap too and the short days!
Trying not to whine this year but it is oh, so hard. I have given in to my body which is demanding food I shouldn't be eating and sleep that I can't get enough of. Feel like I need to hibernate.
If I was back in the north I would never leave home if I could get away with it. My sympathies!
Come on springtime!
I've been to Mankato many times. I grew up near New Ulm and my husband grew up north in the iron range area.
We still have family in Chisago City and the Twin Cities so we go home and visit family on occasion. Hopefully not in the winter!
Oh Hope ~ I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how cold it was. I do hope everything was o.k. when you got home. Tulsa was in the news for all the snow you received. You and your Mother are in my thoughts and prayers.
Today is my Moms' birthday. She is now 93 and I hate to be selfish but have prayed that if the Lord should take her, it will be in warmer weather. I don't think I would have enough clothing to stay warm.
Is all the snow not common for your area of NY? This year MN set records on the snowfall but what I can't get over is the minus zero temps my brother keeps telling me about.
In the early 70s when we lived there, my husband looked out the window in Feb and said ~ Look nothing is moving out there but man. What does that say about our intelligence?... we then packed our bags and left for sunny AZ. I have never regretted it.
The snow is not that uncommon,although we have had more this winter than in about 15 years, it's the freezing temps that we have had since mid Dec. My fiance and I are looking to move down south, possibly Tennessee, W.Virginia or North Carolina.
I have an old I have an old oil burner and I'm burning 10 gallons average a day. last delivery was $3.29 a gallon, that's $32.90 a day to keep the house at 60 degrees. The house is about 2500 square feet with 10 foot ceilings. I'm single and doing it on my own and it's not easy. Do have a wonderful fiance who lives an hour from here that helps with maintenance and repairs.
kobwebz the 10 foot ceilings sound like an older home. When I see older homes many times I think "how wonderful' but I never thought about what it would take to heat the place !! It must cost a fortune and even if that($) is not a problem then it must be difficult because of the age and size of the house. schickenlady it sounds like you have the same problem. When we lived in a home that was in fact new when we bought it we had to hang blankets over the doors and windows to keep thke cold out.
I am in NH. The rule of thumb is - dont plant until Memorial Day Weekend up here.
So I will start germinating the begining of April in the house. So a week or so later begin to transplant and then its warmer days and cold to freezing nights. The propane heater from the garage will go in the GH. It will get turned down to 50 at night and might cost 100 bucks to heat. Sunny days it will take care of itself.
I grow mostly veggies tomato, peppers, cukes, string beans the easy stuff.
GH is small 15x25'. This will be my 5th year with it, if I do it, which I am leaning towards doing ???
2 years ago I utilized every inch and maxed out at 2630 plants.
Mableruth, yep she was built in 1875. Have some pictures in the antiques forum it was called show us your old house. If you want to see it skip to new and scroll up a couple of posts. The cost of heating is a problem now that fuel oil has sky-rocketed,