Story Told by Stamps of a Kuangsi Square Trough 

No. Ks10/28

Weight: 403 grams/10+ taels


Date: 1840 A.D.


Inscriptions: 道光二十年/象州/二月日/黃致祥

Xiang District

The 20th Year of Tao Kuang

The 2nd Month

Huang Zhi Xiang (the smith)

黃致祥 (Huang Zhi Xiang) was the sole and exclusive assayer in the capital city of Kuangsi province for many years during the Tao Kuang period. He used a vertical assaying stamp carrying his name when assaying a square trough, and pressed it on the center of its surface. On this piece, however, his stamp was a horizontal one pressed on the lower space which was the usual location of the smith's stamp, and the center of its surface is left in blank. These clues indicate 黃致祥(Huang Zhi Xiang) was not only an assayer, but also a smith who cast square trough under consignment. When acting as a smith, Huang didn't waive his assaying service even though there was the potential for a conflict of interest; this is probably because that there was no rule requiring such a waiver. This piece may be an example of Huang casting sycee for others; since Huang was the sole assayer in the capital city, he saved the effort of identifying himself in that role and only pressed the smith stamp.       

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