The Little Things…

We find ourselves much less motivated to post when we aren’t finding glorious mid century treasures, which is why we’ve gone for weeks without updating our poor blog.  We’re much more active on our Facebook page, where we post the new items we’re listing in the shop, and on Twitter, where we’re very active in the #thriftbreak community.  So we wanted to post today about an item that we know next to nothing about.

We liked the look of this piece — a candle holder in the figure of a woman, so we decided to bring it home from the thrift on the off-chance we can find out a little information about it.  The piece is made from cast metal (iron?) and really, really heavy.  There’s definitely some age to it, so we’re relatively certain that it’s not a recently-made piece.  It also has an intriguing set of initials on the bottom left part of the lady’s skirt.

THR?  Perhaps it’s not Roman script all, but a Japanese character?  So, what’s your guess?  Is our humble little candle holder vintage?  Where was she made?  What’s your best guess?


  1. Reply
    Anathalia June 27, 2012

    She’s lovely! To me, the signature does look like a Japanese character. Let us know if you find anything about it!

  2. Reply
    Moody June 27, 2012

    I would definitely say that it’s Japanese, not “English” or Chinese. Difficult to make out exactly what it says from the picture, but it could be a base symbol for air/wind.

    Could it be bronze instead of cast iron?
    That was a common metal for decorative items in Japan during the Taisho period.

    • Reply
      alison June 27, 2012

      Ohhh, interesting! It very well might be…the other half of Bit of Butter is better at figuring out metals than I am. I’ll take another shot of the character and post it in a few minutes!

  3. Reply
    Luola June 27, 2012

    The piece is reminiscent of a lot of Japanese cast iron candle holders I’ve seen. Unique in that it’s figural, though. And I’ve never seen a signed piece before. I’d guess that it was made in Japan, maybe 1960’s?
    Let us know what you find out!

  4. Reply
    Moody June 27, 2012

    I’m almost positive it’s Japanese after you’ve posted that third picture. Please check with someone who reads Japanese, but I believe it means “strength”. I had a set of candles at one point that had different calligraphy on each symbolizing the various aspects of feng shui. If memory serves, this was the one for strength.

  5. Reply
    sputnikmoss June 28, 2012

    I just showed it to my Japanese coworkers. ….one said it looks like Hebrew! So not Japanese!

  6. Reply
    SixBalloons July 2, 2012

    I don’t believe that is a Chinese nor Japanese character…

    • Reply
      alison July 2, 2012

      We’ve had people who read Japanese and Chinese read it and neither recognized the character, so we’re back to square one!

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