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This Chinese snuff bottle community forum is dedicated to the novice, more experienced, and expert collectors. Topics are intended to cover all aspects and types of bottle collecting. To include trials, tribulations, identifying, researching, and much more.

We also freely pour out our pains of spending money, only to later find that our choice in a bottle was not as we expected ! There is no extra charge for our "pain management" program !

We are also working extra hard towards supporting, and giving well deserved recognition to all new and upcoming student artists of "Very Modern" inside painted bottles.

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Among other things, donations help keep the forum free from Google type advertisements, and also make it possible to purchases additional photo hosting MB space.

Forum Bottle In The Spotlight !

Another extra special bottle that our fellow collector Pin shared. The "thousand word" classical text is painted by LI Ruchen with a beautifully shaped bottle of upright rectangular form, and sloping shoulders. Congratulations Pin !

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Contemporary Schools Of Inside Painting, by Peter Bentley

Part One (pdf)
Part Two (pdf)

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Reign Marks on Qing Ceramics 1644-1912

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Gotheborg's Marks On Chinese Porcelain

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Snuff Bottle Collector
The web site Snuff Bottle Collector is a labor of love as an expression of gratitude to and admiration for a group of artists and craftsmen whose concentrated, patient works deserve a world audience.

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The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society


Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
June 24, 2017, 07:13:25 am
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1  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Help with artists please. on: June 23, 2017, 06:24:02 am
Dear Adrian,

    I'm at the stage that any time I get a good bottle at a fair price, I consider it a lucky break... Roll Eyes Grin

    It is so easy today to overpay, or to buy fakes, that you thought were genuine, that getting the genuine article for below top market value, is a plus in my book.

   Let's take the Xue Chengcai I bought from the late Robert Kleiner. I paid him about US$1,200 for it as a bottle from ca.1945-1948 (I understood that the artist had died in 1948, but Robert must have had wrong information), whereas I paid Robert almost US$4,000 for the box of 10 Cultural Revolution bottles he'd bought from the Michael Kaynes-Klitz Collection sale.

   If I'd known it was also CR period (ca.1966-1976), I'd not have 'splurged' and paid over 3 times the price of what I considered a CR subject and period bottle worth to me.

  But now I know that CR bottles are worth more than I thought they were; in fact, while looking to see if I had a 'Kaynes' Society SB Review that Pat mentioned, I found a volume from 1972, with a section with a sales catalogue from Y. F. Yang, celebrating his first nine years in HK as a dealer (June 1962-June 1971), and it had CR theme bottles for sale DURING the CR! And CR bottles by Liu Shouben were
US$240 to US$420. Shandong and other lesser artists' bottles from Beijing/Hebei, were  US$70-90.

  Incidentally, a Chen Chuan in a square quartz bottle was US$400 in 1971. I bought a Gan Xuanwen in the same type of bottle in July 1981 in London at Sotheby's, for 1/4 the price, but admittedly that was with the advice of the late Eunice Cameron of blessed memory.  2 Ma Shaoxuans were on offer for US$481 each. Wang Xisan works, signature and seal; signed 'One Bottle Studio' but with his seal; no signature or seal, but described by Y.F. as by him; were available for prices from US$500 down to US$300.

    Best,
Joey
2  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: Booted by the ICSBS on: June 22, 2017, 10:06:31 pm
Dear Pat,

      I want to apologise on behalf of the ICSBS. The odd thing is, Virginia Remsberg, who was running the office from Jan. 2013 till July 2016, was incredibly efficient as a rule. Ask whoever I got Journals sent to (George and Steven, and possibly Charll).

     I will get you whichever Journal you did not get.

     Re.Cathy - a number of people got caught in a scam, purporting to give a membership or renewal in our Society for a 'bargain price' of US$30.
You might remember that George once asked about this, not realising it was a scam, and posted photos of 'Journal' covers in Chinese.

    Best,
Joey
3  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: A joke I couldn't resist posting! on: June 22, 2017, 07:54:25 pm
  I like the story about the smart little boy who was said to always shoot an arrow into a tiny circle, and never missed.

  The Emperor went to see for himself, and decided that the boy must be a military genius, and took him away to serve the Imperial army as a strategist.
He was smart and also had common sense, so his advice was always good, and they won.

   After 20 years, the Emperor told the now mature but still quite young man, that he'd chosen the then boy, due to his unbelievable skill with bow and arrow. The loyal man then confessed to the Emperor that he'd not known or he would have informed the Emperor that he was wrong.

   The Emperor replied that he'd not been wrong, since the armies were always victorious due to his strategies.
   The man then said, "But as a boy, I fired the arrows first, and then drew the line around the arrow shaft..."  Roll Eyes Grin

Best,
Joey
4  The Gathering / The Lounge / A joke I couldn't resist posting! on: June 22, 2017, 06:12:26 pm
   John was a very disruptive and very stupid pupil at Islington Comprehensive Secondary School. His teacher Ruth sent critical reports of his incompetence and stupidity to his mother almost on a daily basis. His mother decided that they should move and they left for Manchester.

   Some years later, Ruth discovered that she needed heart surgery, the type of surgery she needed could only be done by one highly specialized surgeon who was in Manchester.

Ruth underwent her surgery, successfully. She woke up to find an attractive young man who had carried out the surgery at her bedside.
She was about to say thank you, when she turned blue, and she died.
Her ventilator had been unplugged by a janitor who thought he was unplugging the vacuum cleaner.  The Janitor was John.

If you thought John was the surgeon, you probably voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

Joey
5  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Help with artists please. on: June 22, 2017, 05:31:32 pm
Dear Adrian,

     The artist is Zhang Baotian, not Zang Baotian. And he's a good artist at his best.

     The 'last' bottle you posted, is signed by some guy named 'Bei Jing'! Odd name for someone.  Roll Eyes Grin
     Seriously though, it is very crudely painted.
My Xue Chengcai (which Steven kindly posted for me somewhere) seems a lot more sophisticated. But since mine is ca. 1965-1970, and yours might be at the start of his career, 30 years earlier (if he learned from Xue Shaofu? If the latter was indeed his father?), they could well be by the same hand.

   But you really had a lucky break. Congratulations.

Best,
Joey
6  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: Booted by the ICSBS on: June 22, 2017, 05:20:51 pm
Pat,

   I'm sorry to here that this happened to you, and will check out what happened. By the way, we only get 3 Journals a year (Spring, Autumn, Winter); they stopped producing 4 a year at least 10 years ago, if I'm not mistaken. But that's not meant as an excuse, just an explanation.
Which year were you a member?

Cathy,

   How much did you pay for membership? I ask because ours is expensive, at US$150 or US$165 a year.
   But there is a crowd in Taipei who took a website almost identical to ours, and were charging US$20 or US$30 a year! And claiming to be the ICSBS, based in Baltimore.

   If it is the ICSBS, then I will look into it, as I will over Pat's issue.

Joey
7  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Porcelain and Yixing Chinese Snuff Bottles 瓷器和宜兴鼻烟壶 / Re: Same Artist? on: June 22, 2017, 01:53:29 pm
I agree with Pat & Charll.
Best,
Joey
8  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Teasing the Crane in the Tang Collection? on: June 22, 2017, 01:49:24 pm
Dear Pat, et al,

    Here is what Y.F. wrote me.
Self explanatory.
Best,
Joey


Dear Joey,

Thank you for your email.  It was very nice to hear from you, and hope you will recovery the cough soon.

Joey, regarding the Xue Shaofu and Xue Chengcai.  Until today I have not seen the Xue Chengcai's bottle, and I don't know what they are relationship.

Xue Shaofu, in the early days people can buy his bottle in a glass shop for the wedding gift in Beijing.

Hope everything is going well with you, and take care.

Best wishes,

Y. F.



 On Jun 19, 2017, at 4:28 AM, Joey Silver wrote:

 Dear Y.F.,

    Hope you are surviving Ramadan well.

   I would be very grateful if you could write me what you remember
 about Xue Shaofu and Xue Chengcai in any details. I have a bottle by
 the son (?) Xue Chengcai, that the late Robert Kleiner sold me as a
 1945-1948 bottle documenting the Great Patriotic War (against the
 Japs), but my friend Zhiyong Li swears must be Cultural Revolution,
 honouring the anti-Japanese resistance (Red Lantern Girl subject, but
 it looks older than 1960s/1970s).
  Thank you,
 Love to the family,
  Joey
9  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Help with artists please. on: June 20, 2017, 04:35:37 pm
Dear Adrian,

     I was just looking again, and realised I'd not commented on the similarity to
Ye Zhongsan subjects. You are correct - it is very close to Ye subjects and to Ye style, following Zhou Leyuan subjects.
Well spotted!
Best,
Joey
10  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: A Recently Discovered Obsession... on: June 20, 2017, 04:31:09 pm
Dear Daniel,

    The great advantage to starting in 1970, besides the fact that I was 13, and made my mistakes for CAD$10-40 as a rule (the cost of 3 - 12 pastrami sandwiches at that time, for the sake of comparison! I love pastrami from Pancer's in Toronto... Grin),
was the fact that you could buy better or worse quality, but at least every bottle was a genuine snuff bottle, made to hold snuff, and from ca.1700-1900.

   If I'd known then what I know now, and had had the self confidence to buy as an adult, I would have bought bottles like the box of 10 18th C. angelskin coral SBs I was offered in Mar. 1970 for between CAD$95-125 each, that today would be worth CAD$5,000 or more each. 

   And we won't even discuss the 18th C. Beijing Palace Workshops enamel on copper with a genuine Qianlong nianzhi mark to the base, on sale for CAD$35, that was sold before I could get my mom to go with me to buy it from her friend the antique dealer! 2 years later, I discovered another dealer had spotted it, sent a friend in to buy it, and then sold it to a dear lady in Vancouver, the late Mary Margaret Young, for CAD$6,000!  Sigh...

Best,
Joey
11  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: A Recently Discovered Obsession... on: June 20, 2017, 04:17:04 pm
Dear Giovanni,

   My natural spring/well, behind my house in the 'area' surrounding the house (a walkway, 3m. wide, which runs almost totally around the house, and keeps the damp soil and water from pressing against the lowest level of the house), is 3m. X 3m. X 1.65m high.

  We've drained it every day for the last 2 weeks (not on Shabbat, though), to work on it - since it is a perfect Mikva (Jewish ritual immersion bath). The couple in my gate lodge have converted and need to immerse themselves in a Mikva.
It naturally refills in 8 hrs. But the water is freezing cold!
Thank G-D I'm already Jewish and don't have to immerse myself!

  Meanwhile, we had 2 days of scorching heat, Sun. & Mon. - 26 C during the day! Roll Eyes Grin

Best,
Joey


Dear Daniel,
welcome! It is refreshing hearing someone from Canada, here in Italy where I live we are experiencing one of the hottest years ever. And drought. My well has dried up for the first time since I lived here.
Kind regards
Giovanni

12  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Help with artists please. on: June 20, 2017, 02:20:10 pm
Dear Adrian,

      I think Pin was referring to what looks like damage to the neck rim on this quartz bottle. The bottle reminds me of the quartz bottles used by Gan Xuan, ca.1800-1830,
and other Early Period artists.
Best,
Joey
13  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: A Recently Discovered Obsession... on: June 20, 2017, 02:15:45 pm
Dear Daniel,

     I've been collecting since I was 13, in Toronto Canada. I've NEVER bought a bottle on eBAY! I buy from fellow collectors, at auction, and from private dealers.

    I was pleased that you added a bit about yourself - if you noticed, all who welcomed you listed where they lived.

   Again, good luck in your collecting.
Best,
Joey Silver


Thank you all for the warm welcomes. After reading this forum - it's nice to see a lot of genuinely kind and respectful people here which is refreshing for an online community. I forgot to add that I am in Vancouver, Canada - which fortunately has a high percentage of old Chinese heritage population (in fact our Chinatown is only second to San Fran's in size) so I am hoping I will have a bit more luck picking up some local bottles. Cheesy

Can I ask, where does everyone usually source their bottles from? Ebay is usually swarmed but finding quality bottles is becoming more and more difficult the more I am learning.

Cathy,

That would be me. Can't wait to see them! I haven't seen them posted here (yet? as I haven't even made it to the jade section of the forum). I really like the honey agate one as it seems it would be nice to roll around with in the hand (part of the pleasure is the tactility of these bottles!). Thanks!

*Daniel
14  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: My Third Attempt... on: June 20, 2017, 08:10:14 am
Dear Jo,

    Have you decided WHAT you want to collect?
I don't mean whether or not snuff bottles.
I mean between:
A. 'real' snuff bottles, those made for use by snuff takers in China, during the classical snuff taking period (ca.1600-1930), including IPSBs from same period (Early & Middle, ca.1795-1930); or
B. modern bottles, which look like snuff bottles, but which were never intended to hold snuff.

   Incidentally, I consider Modern Period IPSBs (Inside/Interior Painted Snuff Bottle) to really be another medium of Chinese Painting/Calligraphy, like silk or rice paper, etc., since they were NOT meant to hold snuff.  And I consider the 'S' in 'IPSB' to stand for 'small'...   Grin

   If you are interested in 'A.', you need to study FIRST, and buy SECOND. You must educate yourselves (I think you mentioned that you collect with your husband?), to identify genuine old (pre-1930) snuff bottles, and try to study documented  genuine examples (at museums and from recognised dealers.

   There are serious dealers in LA, NYC, London, HK, etc., and you will be amazed at how eager they are to show bottles, WITHOUT doing HARDSELL (Anyone trying to give you a 'hard sell', is not to be trusted. And in NYC, those places full of fancy looking stuff with snuff bottles prominently displayed, and signs saying "AT GREAT DISCOUNTS", avoid like the plague!

   And you must buy the literature, and look at the illustrations carefully, and try to train your 'eye'.

   When you do start to buy seriously (and I DON'T mean seriously high prices, but seriously with knowledge), try to acquire examples with provenance before 1980 (the accepted date after which people really started faking, as opposed to making, snuff bottles.).

   You have to spend something in order to get a collection: You can spend seriously but intelligently, by buying ONLY from serious dealers (buying hundreds of bottles on eBAY from other people who themselves are as ignorant as you yourselves presently are on the subject, is simply a recipe for throwing away your money; if you just want to do that, better to give it to charity).
  OR, you can spend your time, LEARNING. And then you can spend get more bang for your buck

OR, If you just like the look of a collection or the objects, but don't want to invest the time or money, just collect the stuff which appeals to you, and don't worry about it.

Best,
Joey
15  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: My Third Attempt... on: June 19, 2017, 06:33:32 pm
Pat,

    I had the same gut reaction - a nice object, but totally modern, and thus not made as a snuff bottle (to hold snuff), but as an object to sell to collectors.
Best,
Joey
16  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: A Recently Discovered Obsession... on: June 19, 2017, 06:31:00 pm
Daniel,

     A warm welcome from me as well. I am a veteran collector (I started in Feb.1970, after first learning about them in Nov.1969), based in Jerusalem Israel, though I've a summer home in Ireland (it gets really hot in Israel over the summer!).

     Joey
17  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: HK Members Gathering - June 2017 on: June 19, 2017, 11:18:37 am
Dear Samson,

      You are right, and I thank all those who've fed me so well. Roll Eyes Grin
Best,
Joey
18  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles / Early, Middle and Modern Period Bottles 内画鼻烟壶/早期,中期,现代 / Re: Teasing the Crane in the Tang Collection? on: June 19, 2017, 09:19:18 am
Dear Pat,

      I will send Mr. Yang a query right away.
Best,
Joey
19  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: HK Members Gathering - June 2017 on: June 19, 2017, 08:13:14 am
    In the interests of full disclosure,  I must confess that I ate well in the presence of BOTH the Singapore Group in Oct.2014 and the HK Forum members in 2016.

    Of course, I also ate well in Piacenza, Italy; Plano, TX; Bangkok, Thailand; Paris, France; NYC; Rio Dell, CA; Palm Beach, FL; Chicago, IL.; and New Orleans; all in the company of Forum members!  Shocked Roll Eyes Grin
Best,
Joey
20  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 18, 2017, 08:07:56 pm
Dear Samson,

     And when most DON'T look right, the opposite is the case.
Joey


There are so many factors to be considered in order to  judge a snuff bottle, if one or two factors are right doesn't make the bottle right.

Dear Steven,

I agree. And when most factors are right then the overall look would likely be right too.

Best,
Samson
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