What Is This?

A friend of mine showed me this bar of soap and told me it had belonged to his grandmother who was born in 1900 and must have treasured it for she carved her name on the back.  It was never used and kept wrapped in the same brown paper for probably over 100 years.

Shouldn’t be too difficult to research, right?  Wrong.  I researched “Thomas Woroms”…nothing.  I researched just “Woroms” and “Worom”…nothing (there aren’t too many Woroms in history).  I researched “Thomas soap”…nothing.  In researching “Nankin” I did find that it is an alternative spelling of a city in China.  The word “Nankin” is associated with color…as “Nankin Yellow” or “Nankin Brown” but nothing related to soap.

I researched the central figure holding the banner or flag and could not find a match for it.  The carved symbols do not seem to relate to any language. 

I’m not even positive this is a bar of soap.  It’s very light, which could be due to age.  It does seem to have a light scent to it but that could be my imagination.  I don’t want to rub water on it as it has been unused for at least a century or more.

Maybe this is a school project with the intent of teaching children the art of making soap, and to keep their interest included a stamp depicting a mystical figure and ficticious soap manufacturer.  I just don’t know…

Does anyone have any clues?

Thomas Woroms Nankin Soap

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