Chinese Personal Items

Archaeologists discover fragments of all these styles at sites in Montana and elsewhere in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Unless otherwise noted, all items on this page are in the private collection of Gary Weisz. In addition, all photos on this page are by Gary Weisz.

Chinese Personal Items Artifacts

Chinese brass buttons purchased from Beijing, China.

buttons buttons


Chinese brass buttons of the type commonly found on United States archaeological sites. Purchased from Beijing, China.

buttons


Silver Chinese buttons purchased from Beijing, China.

buttons


Metal bade or pin-back button from a Chinese restaurant. Back is stamped "P.C. STAMP WKS SEATTLE" or Pacific Coast Stamp Works. Pacific Coast Stamp Works began operations in Seattle in 1903 and operates today under the name Mastermark.

button


Chinese brass buttons purchased from Beijing, China Note the raised relief endless knot, which is a sign of longevity.

buttons


Chinese glass buttons purchased from Beijing, China.

buttons


Chinese cobalt glass beads, starbust pattern from Shanghai, China.

buttons

Brass Chinese padlock, ca. late 19th Century from Beijing China. Photo on left shows brass lock as closed with splitting key. Photo on right shows disassembled lock with (top to bottom) lock body, sliding bolt and splitting springs, and the brass key.

locks locks


Brass Chinese lock with splitting springs as found at Chinese archaeological site in Idaho. Splitting key on left came from Chinese site in Montana.

locks


Chinese brass locks with keys. Ox motif lock at top from Nanning, China. Bat motif lock at bottom from Shanghai, China.

locks

Chinese bone dice, purchased from New York. Similar dice found at Los Angeles Chinatown excavations.

gaming pieces

Metal wok spatula with Chinese lettering, purchased from Wisconsin. Similar spatula found in Tucson Arizona Chinatown and at German Gulch excavations in Montana.

tool


Chinese brass scales purchased from Oregon.

tools


Wood Chinese needle-puller purchased from Beijing, China.

tool


Chinese metal tweezers from Beijing, China.

tools


Incised Chinese character cut into a mattock found buried atop the 1882 Northern Pacific Railroad 600 feet long rock cut at Cabinet, Idaho. This character was translated as probably being "abundant", but could also be the Chinese surname "Feng".

tools tools

Chinese memorial tablet plate purchased from San Gabriel, California. These were displayed at Chinese funerals in China and buried with the deceased.

funerary


Chinese memorial tablet plate from the Asian American Comparative Collection, University of Idaho. Donated by Gary Weisz.

funerary


Semi-porcelain seal paste box memorial tablets purchased from California.

funerary

Read more about Chinese Oil Lamps at: Life in Guangzhou Online Newspaper


Chinese rush wick oil dish from the Tek Sing 1822 shipwreck. Chinese oil lamps remained basically the same from at least this point to the early 20th century, purchased from England.

oil lamp


Chinese split bamboo rush wick oil lamp stand with oil dish purchased from Oregon.

lamp


Chinese iron oil lamp purchased from Connecticut. This style of lamp is called a Po Po lamp (grandmother lamp).

lamp


Chinese rush wick oil lamp with three mice on rim, with oil lamp resting on mice's noses. Lamp from China and dish from San Gabriel, California.

lamp


Chinese oil lamp dish, purchased from Virginia.

lamp


Chinese traditional rush wicks for oil lamps, from Guangzhou, China.

lamp

Two brass box hinges displaying Chinese characters found on archaeological sites in Idaho.

chinese artifacts


Paktong (nickel/silver alloy) table fork used to spear food from serving bowls or dishes. A similar item was excavated from Union Station excavations in Los Angeles.

chinese artifacts


Silver Chinese thimble purchased from Beijing, China.

chinese artifacts chinese artifacts


Paktong (nickel/silver) Chinese thimble from Brugge, Belgium.

chinese artifacts


Brass shoehorns purchased from Tianjin, China.

chinese artifacts


Chinese stone seals with box, purchased from Beijing, China.

chinese artifacts


Chinese wood seal with bell design at top, purchased from China. The name reads Gold Bell Shop.

chinese artifacts

Chinese calligraphy brush holders and washers. Left from Naugatuck, Connecticut, and Right from Beijing China.

chinese artifacts


Chinese calligraphy water dropper used for mixing ink, from Beijing, China.

chinese artifacts


Molded Chinese candles with "Double Happiness" design. Note that both candles have the traditional hollow reed wicks.

candle candle


Chinese brass candle snuffers from Beijing, China.

chinese artifacts


Chinese stoneware spittoon with dragon motif purchased from Shanghai, China. A spittoon was commonly used by opium smokers.

chinese artifacts


Wood shuttles with bobbins, for Chinese hand-weaving looms. Top from Beijing, China and Bottom from Nanyang, China.

chinese artifacts


Wood thread winding boards and a red thread spool purchased from Beijing, China.

chinese artifacts


Chinese baby's longevity lock necklace for "Long Life" and "All Ones Life Safety", from Beijing, China, similar example in the Asian American Comparative Collection.

necklace