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What Is It ?

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While cleaning out our parents home, my sister came across the item below. We have no idea what it is, nor do we even remember it. Since, we've never seen it, it's probably 30-40 years old and maybe older. It likely came from overseas, but your guess as to exactly where is as good as ours. China?

 

020-what-is-it-full.jpg

 

It's about 2 1/2 feet tall and made entirely of wood. It is far too fragile to be any kind of cane-like steadying device.

 

021-what-is-it-head.jpg

 

It has a two inch deep hole, which would fit a dowel rod or cigarette (but probably not a cigar), in the back of its throat. Given the shape of the top of the mouth, my best guess is that it was designed to hold incense. However, the ashes would not drop into the base, which would make it a very large, poorly designed, incense holder. I don't really think it's an incense holder, but that's all I can think of.

 

022-what-is-it-base.jpg

 

The off-center base. There are no tell-tale markings or anything anywhere which would give an obvious clue as to its origin or function. Does anyone have any ideas, or even wild speculation?

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It MIGHT be an incense holder where you hang a pail or handled pot on the mouth.

does it have any opening in the bottom such that would allow air to circulate to the mouth?

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No opening in the bottom which would allow air to circulate to the mouth, but you are on to something with the hanging suggestion. I received this response elsewhere on the interweb:

 

I have seen a similar piece before, and it was a stand to hold a hanging piece for display....a carved stone piece hung by a short fancy cord. Hope this helps.

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Looks like a four-pronged cane to me :)

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