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Old 21st May 2018, 05:21 PM   #1
josh stout
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Default mere pounamu

I recently have started carving jade and I was looking for examples of mere to copy when I ran across one for sale. I know originals are impossible to find, but something about this one made me think it was worth a gamble. The price was reasonable for a modern machine made example, but I think it was made traditionally. I would love comments. I got what I paid for if, it is new, but I think I may have won the lottery. Please let me know your opinion.

It is slightly more than 10 inches and quite thick. I have shown it next to a New Guinea axe (adze) that I assume used similar techniques. The first two dark jade photos are of the axe to show the lines left by grinding. Then the posts are of the mere to show details of the manufacture. The lines do not look like modern tool marks, and the detail inside the lanyard hole also looks traditional.
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Last edited by josh stout : 21st May 2018 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 26th May 2018, 09:04 AM   #2
colin henshaw
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Unfortunately, the Maori piece looks like a modern production, to me...
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Old 27th May 2018, 03:13 PM   #3
josh stout
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Too bad. I was hoping it might be old, but certainly thought it might be a new example given what I paid.

Can you give me any hints about what makes you think it is new? To me the tool marks look hand done. (IE not modern machines)
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Old 27th May 2018, 03:47 PM   #4
Tim Simmons
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These green stones are neither Jade or Nephrite. Yes the hole appears to be made by hand with some kind of mandrel. As you can clearly see the turning of the tool by hand suggests that the stone is rather soft which Jade and Nephrite are not. I too enjoy stone carving.
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Old 27th May 2018, 07:19 PM   #5
colin henshaw
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"Can you give me any hints about what makes you think it is new?"

A combination of things - form, material, the grip part is especially wrong. Comparison with old Maori mere that I've seen/handled in the past. Maori material is a difficult area ... as objects have been made more or less continually up to the present day.
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Old 30th May 2018, 04:39 PM   #6
josh stout
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I appreciate the comments. I am going to need help on this one.

So it is a green stone does not scratch with steel, it is translucent when held up to a light, and it has a density of 3.13. (1162g)

I am not sure what that would be if it is not jade.

It seems like there is some agreement that the tool marks look like they could have been done with a non-motorized hand drill. I also still think that the surface marks look like they were done rubbing against a stone and not with a mechanical grinder.

I am willing to accept that the handle form may be off. It is better than most flat modern examples, but the better antiques seem to show a curved line to the ridges instead of straight across, as in this example.

For me, the strangest aspect of this one is that it is not better polished. My New Guinea axes show a better finish.

I have included a few more photos of the whole thing.

I would appreciate any help figuring out what I have.
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Old 30th May 2018, 05:59 PM   #7
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Might depend on how hard you scratch. Another indication as to jade or nephrite is the price. A big sound lump with good colour will cost a fair bit even before hours of workmanship.
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