– scroll down to see further images –
This intricate Chinese implement of solid silver is tongue scraper, used to remove the white coating from the tongue after a meal. It is the most complex example we have seen. The stem or handle is of pierced silver and includes a fine twisted silver wire section.
The plate of the scraper itself is pierced and decorated with flower motifs and a pair of fat carp or goldfish over a small, pierced, Chinese ‘cash’ symbol. Goldfish are auspicious for their associations with gold and thus wealth. And two fish swimming together are a metaphor for sexual harmony and marital happiness – all on a tongue scraper!
The top of the handle has a fine silver loop to permit the scraper’s suspension from a set of other grooming tools.
The item is in fine condition. There are no maker’s marks. The loop will allow the scraper to be worn as a pendant.
Nikles van Osselt, E., Five Blessings: Coded Messages in Chinese Art, Foundation Baur/5 Continents, 2011.