Saturday, December 11, 2010

Retro Saturday

I want to share with you all a couple of bronze/copper urns that have been in Ron's family for a long time.

I can only surmise through 'family stories' that these urns were payment for work rendered by Ron's maternal grandfather back in the 1920's.

Grandfather Regan was a tailor in the town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  He had a very good reputation and worked for the 'prominent' people in the town.

It was said that he got these urns in lieu of payment for some work he had done.

Usually on urns/vases you can find some kind of 'identification' mark or signature. In the above photo of the first urn, all I could find was this 'face' which isn't on the second urn as you will see. I suspect this is the artist's 'stamp'/signature.

                  Urn number two......

We got these appraised a few years ago at a local 'Antiques Roadshow'. The appraisers thought they were very old but couldn't pin-point how old and where they came from.

I really like the detail.

The 'signature' (below) on this urn as far as I can tell is this 'bird'. It is the only 'bird' at the very base.

The bottoms are no longer intact but we have them. They need to be soldered back on.

As you can see, they have different design scenes and have something written on them on the left side. The 'characters' look identical, maybe this was the company that produced these?

Not being familiar with any of the Asian languages, I am uncertain if it is Japanese or Chinese. Only because of the art work depicted (bamboo and cranes), do I suspect that these urns are Japanese. But I cannot say for certain.

Maybe they were originally 'umbrella /cane' urns. Probably put by or near the front door. Then again, maybe not! Like most urns, they could have been for floral arrangements and the like.

Ron's Mom used them during Christmas and filled them with Pine boughs and Red-berried twigs......they made for a very effective and stunning seasonal display.

They are heavy and stand approximately 18 inches tall.

We have always liked these and have them visible around the house. And since it is Christmas we will follow in Ron's Mom's tradition and fill them with Pine boughs.


  1. The detail is incredible. What a very cool story that goes with them. Treasures for sure. :)

  2. I always love your retro Saturday posts! When the first picture came up, I said, "Oh, wow." These are beautiful urns!!! You will have to post a picture of them after you've filled them with pine boughs and berries.


  3. beautiful pictures
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  4. OH! How beautiful, having a hard time holding up my jaw! What wonderful things they are and how fortunate you guys are to have them!

    True treasures!!!

  5. They are gorgeous urns. I hope you show them again after you fill them with Christmas decorations.--Inger

  6. Wow, they are top banana. Wouldn't it be great to know more of the story behind them? That's the best bit about antiques.

  7. They're stunning! And yes, they'd look wonderful with greenery and red holly berries. I hope you dress them up that way for Xmas!

  8. They're fantastic. Isn't it nice to follow family

  9. be sure to post a follow up pic when you fill them with greens! They are absolutely gorgeous and I would venture to say Japanese although I have nothing to base that on. The detail is beautiful and intriguing...if urns could talk.

  10. They are beautiful. I wish you could find out the whole story of their origin. Maybe someday : )

  11. Way cool! I hope you post a photo with the pine boughs.

  12. Oh, how beautiful! And, the family history makes them even more precious.


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