Antique Chinese pan iron used for smoothing silk and other textiles. This example dates from the late 1800s, if not even earlier (see all Photos). Chinese citizens were using heated metal to smooth fabric nearly one thousand years before the rest of the world. The pan iron was perfected by Chinese artisans more than 900 years ago and was designed to hold glowing coals, heated sand or hot rocks. A Chinese drawing from the 12th century CE shows two women crouching while they stretch newly woven silk between them as one holds the material under her left foot while she smooths the stretched fabric with a pan iron in her right hand. The pan iron is filled with glowing coals. In the foreground in front of the two women is a wrought metal stand or trivet for resting the pan iron, a bowl of water for moistening the fabric, a pile of ironed and folded silk fabric and a basket of new silk waiting to be smoothed. If the purchaser of this pan iron requested, then I will be glad to include a copy of the 12th century Chinese drawing in with the item, just remind me when you purchase the pan iron.
The pan iron listed here is constructed of sand cast iron with archaic symbols and monster faces depicted in relief (see Photos). If any viewer knows more about the symbols on this pan iron, kindly drop me an email - - thanks, Doc. It appears to be made of two separately cast pieces with the hollow handle added to the pan. Most Chinese pan irons on the market today are made of copper alloy rather than iron. Iron examples were prone to rusting and required special care and storing to avoid corrosion. Bronze and brass smoothing pan irons were more durable and less susceptible to rust and corrosion. Of course, bronze casting is thousands of years older than iron casting in both Chinese culture as well as among Western Europeans.
Finally, this Chinese pan iron has been painted black using traditional black lacquer sometime in the last 40 to 80 years and probably for display purposes. The rim is intentionally scalloped (see Photos 1,3,4, and ), probably for functional reasons. The large flutes would make it much easier to scoop heated sand, hot rocks or glowing cinders out of a fire or large pot. The handle is made from a solid wood rod that is oval in cross section and hand shaped from a larger section of wood rather than turned on a lathe. One end of the handle was trimmed down so that it could be inserted into the hollow base of the cast portion of the handle’s socket. The other end was cut flat and one ca see the wood grain under strong light up close (see Photo 8). The last Photo shows this pan iron flanked by Western flat irons for comparison only. The two flat irons are not for sale here, only the Chinese pan iron shown by itself in the first eight photos is being offered for sale in this listing.
This smoothing pan iron can be used as a decorative accent on a shelf or counter, placed next to a fire place or used to hold flowers and set among other flower pots. So if you are looking for a nice antique oriental cast iron piece that will draw interest and conversation in most any setting, then you may want to consider this pan iron while it is still available. And as always, this antique also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see complete Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE & CONDITION: This pan iron has a maximum length of about 9 3/4 inches from front edge to outer handle tip and weighs about 2 lbs empty. The pan itself measures about 5 1/4 by 4 1/4 inches at its rim and narrows down to its flat smoothing base that is 4 1/4 by 3 1/4 inches. This cast pan iron is in very good condition with no cracks, breaks, missing pieces or repairs. Active corrosion is very minimal with less than 2% of the interior and exterior exhibiting any rust (see all Photos). Finally, the handle is secure and solid with no cracks or breaks.
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $11.70 for well packed USPS Ground and this is an estimated savings of $1 to $3 since insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount. A faster shipping option is also available (see Shipping menu). The insured postage you pay for delivery in the US is always less than our actual costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees added to any of your Docs Antiques purchases, ever. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland. Send us your address and we will email you up to four options for sending this item to your country. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and certain Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old. Please note that International import duties, taxes and other special charges are not included in the item price or our shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition waiver for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes when your country grants such petitions for items over 100 years old and the shipping option you select allows a waiver request to be included. Please check with your country's Customs Office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques listings here on Ruby Lane. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with a purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of the original receipt of the item at your address for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable, please insure the item upon return and add tracking). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary. Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help if you have any questions and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, then that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order. Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal by way of a credit card. Or see our Terms of Sale for additional information should you wish to request a customized layaway plan customized to your own needs and situation (email me a request for a customized layaway). Thanks for looking and we invite you back again when you have more time.