Monday, May 12, 2014

Puzzling Evidence - The Dragon of Lao Tian Li 老天利, continued

Ebay vendor bigpelican has on offer a fine example of one of Lao Tian Li's dragons - see previous post on this topic here.  (Photos posted with permission)
Note the liveliness of the dragon and the detail in its rendering.

Fine detail in the feet, and background clouds of notable neatness and precision.

Signature engraving - I don't know what the FI inside the diamond signifies.  The characters, of course, read from right to left - "Lao Tian Li Made."

What does all this have to do with beads?  To be continued...


  1. Hello. Meet signature Lao Tian Li by stamping or chisel. Whether the method signature is an indicator of early or late work?

  2. My impression is that the difference might be between works for sale in China and works made to be exported. The stamped signature can be seen accompanied by the words "MADE IN CHINA," which is a country of origin stamp required for imports into the United States in the first half of the 20th century.

  3. Hello. You're probably right, work made for the Chinese market, but then went for export, possibly accompanied by a wax seal, the example in your theme

  4. The wax seal, according to another poster in that thread in the Asian Art forum, was used after 1949 by the People's Republic of China. There was an effort to curb the export of antiques that had been ongoing since the looting of the Summer Palace in 1860.
    Guessing that the bureaucrat in Shanghai who applied the export seal either didn't recognize the Lao TianLi signature, or didn't think it was antique enough.