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    3 feet tall Chinese lions

    Fruit skin dogs Hello, I am writing regarding these 2 items I purchased.

    We were told the original owner paid 1.500.00 each for them. I have since been told they were "garbage cans". Can you shed any light on the origin of these items, or what they were used for?

    They are about 3 feet tall and have an opening in the mouth and also in the bottom part in the back. There are a couple of chips, and the pottery underneath looks like the same color as the tokoname clay. They are so heavy it takes 2 adults to move one!

    Thanks for any info. you may have on these including what the characters say.

    Yixing City Fruit Skin Bins

    The two lions are indeed as you were told, waste baskets.

    The horizontal mark reads : Zhong Guo Yixing (China Yixing City), and the vertical mark reads: Guo Ke Xiang, or clearly enough "Fruit Peel Bin".

    The Yixing city is in the area from which the famous - even the modern - teapots made of reddish brown pottery comes from. Even if it seems likely that the "Yixing city" mark is referring to the original owner it might also very likely be the area of production.

    If you want me to put a likely date on them I could not get closer than to suggest an early 20th century date.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Best regards,
    Jan-Erik Nilsson

    The translation of the text courtesy of Simon Ng, City University of Hong Kong.