During the course of studying the Chinese in Montana, it is clear that the internet lacks a central location to help the public and archaeologists identify Chinese artifacts. This section of the Chinese in Montana website is completed in partnership with Gary Weisz, an avocational archaeologist in Idaho who possesses a tremendous collection of comparative materials he has acquired over the years. I hope to expand the artifact identification section through additional submissions of artifact photos. If anyone has additional information or more photographs relating please send Merritt an email that can be found under “Contact Us”.
Ceramics imported by Chinese immigrants in the United States covered both table/serving and utilitarian wares. The styles of Chinese tableware included "Bamboo", "Double Happiness"and/or "Sweet Pea", "Celadon,""Four Flowers" or "Four Seasons", and designs. Chinese utility ceramics are generally a brown-glazed stoneware that can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what the vessel originally held. For example, the spouted jar vessel usually contained soy sauce or another type of sauce when it was originally purchased hence the spout. On the other hand the wide-mouthed or globular jar usually held dried or pickled foods such as eggs or onions, as well as dried rice and sugar. Archaeologists discover fragments of all these styles at sites in Montana and elsewhere in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Unless otherwise noted, all items on this page are in the private collection of Gary Weisz. In addition, all photos on this page are by Gary Weisz.
Double Happiness or Sweet Pea
Four Seasons or Four Flowers
Unidentified Ceramic Styles
Other Chinese Ceramics
"Bamboo" Style Ceramics
Two semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowls found from Chinese archaeological sites in Montana associated with the Northern Pacific Railroad construction.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased in Bangkok, Thailand.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased in Bangkok, Thailand, note the different shape than first example.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from England, recovered by salvage divers off the shipwreck Tek Sing which sank in 1822.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased in Bangkok, Thailand. "Bamboo" bowls found in Montana include the above blue & white, and this example a blue & grey. Note the color difference to above examples.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from California.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from Bangkok, Thailand. Notice the distinct chrysanthemum element in this example.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from Bangkok, Thailand.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from Bangkok, Thailand. Grey body compared to previous example.
Semi-porcelain "Bamboo" bowl purchased from California. Brilliant blue motif on a white body.