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Thread: Need help decipher the symbols on the razor

  1. #11
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    i reckon Neil Miller would have had an idea what you say
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  2. #12
    JP5
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    Asked wife what it looked like to her.

    Wife: 743

    Asked if it could be a bad attempt at writing Chinese/Japanese and she said it was possible.

    Maybe we are overthinking it and the person who engraved it didn't have a lot of 'schooling'.
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    It's almost certainly another one of the many Hallamshire attempts at Chinese. It doesn't mean anything except that it was sold during one of the Victorian era's infatuations with all things remotely Chinese.

    Not to be confused with the similarly misappropriated languages of India.
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    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voidmonster View Post
    It's almost certainly another one of the many Hallamshire attempts at Chinese. It doesn't mean anything except that it was sold during one of the Victorian era's infatuations with all things remotely Chinese.

    Not to be confused with the similarly misappropriated languages of India.
    Yeah, here is a razor I want just because I think it is so funny they put this on their blades. I wonder if the owners thought it was genuine Chinese calligraphy they were putting on their product.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP5 View Post
    Yeah, here is a razor I want just because I think it is so funny they put this on their blades. I wonder if the owners thought it was genuine Chinese calligraphy they were putting on their product.

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    Here's my educated guess about how stuff like that came to be:

    Manufacturer notices that 'Chinese' goods are popular again; sends out letters to their salesmen saying they're taking orders for 'Chinese razors now'.

    When the orders come in, one of the Little Masters hands the work order off to his crew along with an engraving from a book that he was told is Chinese (and it may even have been!).

    Since these are stamped, not engraved freehand, the job would've gone to someone cutting a die to hammer into the blades. That worker may or may not have been fully literate in English. He (or she! There were a lot of women employed in the ancillary parts of the trade, especially earlier) would've then, with absolutely no idea what the engraving was meant to represent, copied it into a steel die.

    At a book signing once, for a collection of short stories which included one of mine, I signed copies with the Akkadian cuneiform for the demon goddess Lamashtu (it was a book of horror stories).

    I am not remotely literate in Akkadian cuneiform, and I practiced it for about an hour before the event. I was copying it from a photograph of a damaged amulet from a museum and using internet translations to figure out which characters were the goddess' name.

    The results I got were pretty similar.

    Thankfully, the chances of literate readers of the language coming across my inscriptions is much, much lower.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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