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Huge and Intricate Chinese Rosewood Carving

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Asian Statues525 of 875Asian man and pheasant figurineVery Large, Intricately Carved, Rosewood Statue of a Samurai[?]
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (3665 items)

    A friend cleaned out someone's attic today and brought me these two Chinese carvings. This one is my favorite, although it would be much better cleaned up and waxed/oiled. This piece is 24 inches tall and beautifully done. Does any one know what this image is of? or anything about it - including value? thank you!

    happy new year everyone at CW!

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


    1. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      Incredible...looking forward to some info a but it.
    2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      thank you racer4four! i just finished waxing and polishing it and i replaced the pics w/ new ones which are better.
    3. southcop southcop, 5 years ago
      A CARVED ZITAN FIGURE from china,which is very similar to Ebony, rare and great color.
    4. walksoftly walksoftly, 5 years ago
      That's impressive!!!
    5. mikelv85 mikelv85, 5 years ago
      No words for these but ...... AWESOME ! and you are soooo lucky ! :)
    6. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      Wow! thank you Jim, Mikelv85, walksoftly, and southcop!! that's great info Jim. what kind of wood do you think it is? this one is definitely much older than the other one. i've taken some pics of the bases too and posted them here:
    7. surfdub66 surfdub66, 5 years ago
      AWSOME! ! ;-)
    8. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
      i think it probably is rosewood, or at least made to look like rosewood. putting some wood wax on it and polishing it sure did bring it to life.
    9. Trey Trey, 5 years ago
      Happy New Year!!!!
    10. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      Yep! Would be perfect on your new pedestal :-)
    11. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      thank you kyratango! and happy new year to you too Trey! [just a little late...]

      does anyone know the word for the little carved flowers you see on this piece? there's a word for them and i'd like to search pieces which have these. thanks!
    12. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      thanks jim. there's a name for them and i forgot what it is. begins w/ 'pin' i think.
    13. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      Forget about Zitan wood, not even close to. It's dyed so can't identify the wood, but for the style of carving, I guess it's made from Lychee wood. It was a popular export product from China in Republic period, I had a few. Scratch the bottom to see the true color of wood, should be brownish.
    14. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      BTW, do NOT wax or oil it as it's dyed. It's a rule of thumb that do not try to polish Chinese wood piece. The only exception is to remove thick lacquer on rosewood furniture to show it's nature color. It's a shame to have rosewood lacquered
    15. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      Shrine! you are too rare on the board... I missed you :-)
    16. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      thanks shrine! but i don't see any sign of die on it and when i scratch the bottom, it's the same color. also, i did wax it w/ Feed 'n Wax Wood Polish and it really works well on it - brings out the richness of the wood.
    17. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      there's no laquer on this piece.
    18. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      kyratango? I just moved to a new place and it's definitely a disaster to pack up, move to storage and unpack my antique collections.
    19. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      ho2cultcha, trust me, it's dyed and lacquered. or should I use the word 'stained' and 'Varnished'. For wood craft, if is made of bare wood, except softwood like pine, you could find pore/vessel with naked eyes. Even if some hardest wood like Zitan, they do expose their vessels. One this piece, I can't see any.
    20. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      Shrine, when fully enlarged (by clicking both ctrl shift buttons and +) you can see the wood texture on pic 1, specially on the belly of personnage on the left and the censer!
      Hope all your collection is safe now, and unpacked :-)
    21. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      I'm going to be stubborn on this one. there is NO varnish or laquer on it. the shine that you see is from the Feed-N-Wax i had just applied to it. it has absorbed it since then and is no longer shiny like that. i can see the pores of the wood clearly now. the wood is very heavy and hard. it might be stained, but i don't think there's any laquer or varnish on it. i don't think it would have absorbed the wax if it had been varnished or laquered. regardless, i appreciate your feedback Shrine!
    22. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      kyratango, love to see your comments. Yes, you are right about the texture on the belly in Pic 1. To be precise, I guess you referred to the darker part in the wood like black ribbon. I don't know what's its official name, but somebody call it black vessel. I will use this name in the following context. Before I continue, there is a important fact to be point out, in most rosewood and semi-rosewood species, the timber can be divided into 3 parts:
      1, the Heart Wood which is at the centre of stem, usually looks much darker than the outer part. It's formed by retired cells. When the tree is young, there is no Heart Wood, and as it grows, the new cells form at the outer rim, and the old cells retire to become Heart Wood, which is dense and strong, supporting the tree from inside. When people mention rosewood furniture, they are talking about the piece made from heart wood of some rosewood trees.

      2, the white matter, which is formed by the living cells, at the outer rim of stem. It transfers nutrients and water. Can't be used in rosewood crafting.

      3, the skin, we all know it.

      So, where the tree is rich in oil and resin, these matter sometimes penetrate the dead cells and trapped there. These cells would become darker, in some cases, black. That is what we called Black Vessel.

      Come back to this case, we can see some black vessel but that doesn't necessarily lead to bare wood. Like varnish film on French furniture, people see through it. In Chinese woodcraft, Tong Oil is the traditional way to make clear lacquer. I found Tong Oil in nearby hardware warehouse, quite expensive.
    23. shrine shrine, 4 years ago
      ho2cultcha, Please check the reply I put above. To your question, the wood would remain some ability to absorb oil if it's treated by Tong Oil. Tong Oil penetrates wood a bit, not like normal varnish, which stays on the surface.
    24. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
      Tung oil, lacquer & varnish are all different finishes.
    25. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 4 years ago
      thanks walksoftly! yes, shrine - i agree that the piece had been treated w/ something like tung oil, but that is not lacquer or varnish. i do use tung oil sometimes, but currently i prefer the oil / wax i'm using. it's easy to apply and makes the wood come alive.

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