I fully agree with everything you say!
BUT, (you knew there was one coming
) and this is a big but, that is the whole point of posting this message.
What I am postulating (maybe that is to a strong word) is that this may indeed be a signature cane of a factory, or although highly unlikely an individual, and that would then at least give us some reference point on Chinese weights.
The theory is shaky, I admit, but I believe that there is enough out there that at least as a theory this is possible. As I have never seen the bird cane I cannot really comment on it but, as addg, and myself, have said on this post the flower/rose cane is used on the outer edge as a single cane. Even to a westerner like me who is not atuned to the eastern astetics (sp?) it is clear that this cane does not fit into the rest of the picture of the weight. (As an aside, who in their right mind would design a lovely weight with the most amazing detailed canes, that you cannot apreciate without a magnifying glass, and then put an amaturish cane depicting the letter "P" slap bang in the middle of it! Simply somebody that wants to have their work attributed to them!)
Over and above the cane not fitting in with the pattern it is either used only on specific weights OR it was only used after or before a certain point in time. I am hoping that the time issue is correct as that would also give us some kind of refrence to date.
I would love to research this a bit further, so if anybody has a weight with the flower or the bird cane please send me photo's. If possible 3 views; total weight, the base and obviously the cane; please also send me the weight (I mean how much it weighs, although I'll pay postage if you dont want it
) and an idea of the size. The adress is " karelm at myrealbox fullstop com " (sorry for the riddle but I get enough spam as it is!)