Question about possible Chinese porcelain shard found in the Nevada desert

Started by mattk, Aug 13, 2019, 21:49:13

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Hi! I have a question or two for the forum.
Earlier this year I was walking along the old grade of the Central Pacific Railroad in central Nevada. Basically in the middle of the desert miles away from anywhere. I found what I believe might be a piece of Chinese pottery in the dirt.
I was wondering if anybody on here could identify it and its approximate age. Is it possible this belonged to one of the Chinese laborers who built the Central Pacific Railroad through Nevada and on into Utah in 1869? I realize the condition is lacking but I think the historical aspect of this piece is potentially very interesting! The workers camped out in many places as the railroad was being built and tended to leave objects behind.
Thanks for any help you might be able to provide on this.

Take care,



As far as I know there are lots of items that have been left behind by the railway workers...
Judging by the bottom shard this was most likely a bottle or bowl. Depending on the size of this is it could also be from a cup. The mark is unknown to me, but the glaze is one that was common on bowls made in about the second quarter of the early 19th century.


Thank you for the reply, Peter! I appreciate your help.
It looks like it was around 2 and a quarter inches wide. I'm going to assume it had been laying in the dirt since the late 1860's.
One has to wonder about the marking and whether there is any knowledge out there today about what it signifies.

Take care and thank you again! 


Just noted that there seems to be a protrusion at the 2 o'clock position if viewed from the bottom. That would mean it is neither bowl nor cup. Perhaps a pouring vessel...the type looks like a bowl with a mouth on one side, without a handle.