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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
April 19, 2018, 08:12:51 pm
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1  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 15, 2018, 12:15:47 pm
Dear Joey,

It seems the best explanation, to me, is that it was a case of showing off a lapidaries skill at hollowing through increasingly small mouths.

It is surprising how many mouth openings of 5mm or less there were when I graphed all the mouth opening sizes I could find, as you say it must have been impractical not just for filing the bottles with snuff but also for getting the snuff out.

Regards, Adrian.
2  The Gathering / The Lounge / Re: Wang XiSan Cat Bottles on: April 15, 2018, 11:41:13 am
Thank you Pin, another interesting article.

Regards, Adrian.
3  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 14, 2018, 01:33:40 am
Dear Joey,

I read from the e-yaji site that these very small openings, 5mm and less, are sometimes termed "stick incense" mouths and may have become fashionable around the mid Qianlong period when bottles started to be very well hollowed through increasingly narrow mouths which sits with an 18th Century dating and would seem logical.

I have also read that the much larger mouth openings allowed leaves from herbs to be left in bottles overnight to impart some flavour to the snuff.

Regards, Adrian.
4  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 09, 2018, 02:32:38 pm
Hi Luke,

Yes, not all old bottles had wider mouths but I was surprised at this one as it is probably one of the narrowest mouth openings I have.

Everything else is saying it's a genuine old bottle and it certainly fits with examples from the Treasury books.

I have just been approved on the e-yaji site so I will do a bit of reading there and thanks for the heads up about it.

Regards, Adrian.
5  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 07, 2018, 05:49:50 am
Dear Joey,

Thank you, I've had worse news than you've given  Grin

It was another ebay purchase with a "Buy it now or best offer" and a 30 day auction period. I put in an offer very soon after it was listed, even though good Realgar bottles fetch far higher prices at auction, and I was going to go back and accept the "Buy it now price" as I thought it was reasonable but saw it was sold. It was only the next day when I checked my emails that I saw it had sold to me  Shocked

The mouth opening is very narrow, just under 5mm, whereas I thought earlier bottles tended to have wider mouths ? but it shows a lot of wear from use.

Regards, Adrian.
6  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 06, 2018, 03:19:15 pm
Hi Rube,

Mine arrived today so here it is. Not as "traditional" as your example which seems consistent with having been blown into an uneven mould and then polished smooth to produce the colours.

Height is 53mm with a Lapis stopper and a flat foot and showing signs of wear.

Regards, Adrian.
7  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Agate carved with Peacock and dog. on: April 02, 2018, 12:03:24 pm
Thanks you two.

It's a shame the carving gets lost in the agate as the agate is featured enough without the carving and the carving is well done and would be easier to appreciate on a plain jade bottle for instance.

Regards, Adrian.
8  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Easter Bunny Realgar Glass Bottle on: April 02, 2018, 11:58:58 am
Hi Rube ,

I'm a big fan of a nice realgar bottle as I know you are so good to see you've managed to add one to your collection and yes, I see the bunny.

As we seem to have similar bottles you may not be surprised to hear I secured a decent realgar yesterday. I'll post it here when it arrives.

Regards, Adrian.
9  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Agate carved with Peacock and dog. on: April 02, 2018, 09:03:02 am
This is one of 3 bottles I recently bought from a European auction.

I don't know if Bulls eye agate would be the correct description but the bulls eye side has a dogs head carved in the bulls eye and the reverse side has a peacock carved over the whole of the body.

It's very well and smoothly hollowed with a nicely worked footrim. 60mm high with a jadeite stopper and a good loose spoon (not pictured).

The carving of the dogs head is turned 90 degrees around from how you would expect so if the bottle was held flat in the left hand so snuff could be removed with the right hand it is seen correctly.

It could be possible that the peacock and dog were later works done to the bottle ?

Regards, Adrian.
10  General Category / General Forum Information and Guides / Re: HAPPY PASSOVER & HAPPY EASTER ! on: April 02, 2018, 07:28:19 am
I'm late as usual but Happy Easter to you all.

Regards, Adrian.
11  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Crouching Tiger... Hidden Dragon? on: March 23, 2018, 01:59:02 pm
Hi Daniel,

The round shapes in the bottom would likely be from a drill bit worked straight down into the bottle. If the drill bit is a smaller diameter than the neck opening then it can be used at an angle and removes most of the material when hollowing.

A fan shaped hollowing may be more likely an early 20th Century bottle which were made more for collectors than for actual use and where they didn't want to spend time properly hollowing. More modern drill bits can work into the shoulders of a bottle easier although with narrower bottle mouths they can't really hollow the shoulders as well as a hand worked tool.
 
On old bottles they seem to have used drills made of copper tube in different diameters and grooved at the business end. The actual cutting was done by powdered mineral material as copper itself is quite soft. This powder was poured around the drill bit and trapped in the grooves and the drill bits worked by very primitive hand tools.

I use modern tube drills which are impregnated with diamond dust or similar. Tube drills leave a deeper cut ring around the edge of the hole with the centre of the hole being less deep as the hollow in the centre of the tube doesn't cut but leaves a core which can be snapped off.

I have what I believe are older but lower quality bottles where you can make out marks from drilling at the very base inside. It would have been easier to smooth the sides of a bottle than the base. On the sides you work a hand tool up and down and side to side easier than you could smoothing the base of the bottle.

Your description of the inside sides of your bottle looking like a small spoon has gouged or scooped out material is a good one to picture what it looks like. This is where a modern, high speed drill bit has "dug in" . Modern drill bits can remove material at a fair rate and do this very easily.

The first picture is of drill bits I use. The longer thin one is the tube drill and it's only 3 or 4mm diameter so can reach into the shoulders through a decent neck opening but the ball type ones are best for working the shoulders.

The second picture shows where tube drills were used on an overlay glass bottle.

Regards, Adrian.
12  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Lime green flattened octagonal bottle. on: March 22, 2018, 04:41:14 am
Update on my shipping charges with Richard Woods Fine Arts.

I have been refunded $100 of the shipping charges so instead of being charged $50 for each lot I am being charged for just one package. It happened at the same time they dispatched the package so they clearly managed to get all 5 bottles, sold as 3 lots, in one smaller package. I had sent a message with my payment saying I couldn't believe they were charging so much for such small items and that they didn't combine postage.

While I could delete my initial post about this I thought it would be better to leave it as is.

Pin, lovely bottle.

Regards, Adrian.
13  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: early Shandong landscape bottle? on: March 21, 2018, 04:23:03 am
Hi Rube,

I have a few unsigned bottles that were probably by the same artist.

Regards, Adrian.
14  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Lime green flattened octagonal bottle. on: March 20, 2018, 01:06:38 pm
Hi Rube,

Yes, from Texas.

Regards, Adrian.
15  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Lime green flattened octagonal bottle. on: March 20, 2018, 10:05:22 am
Hi Luke,

Thanks to you, and all the others, for the comments. Looking forward to seeing your bottle as it has been a bit quieter on here recently.

I was registered for yesterdays Doyle's auction but forgot when it started because of the time difference and being busy but wasn't to concerned when I saw the prices realised as I wouldn't have won any lots.

I bought 3 lots from ebay from Richard Woods Fine Arts in the US and now find they won't combine postage costs so 5 snuff bottles are costing $150 to ship to me plus a 8.50 customs handling charge (possibly 25.50 if they come in 3 packages) and 20% import duty. The price I paid for the bottles has far more than doubled when all costs are included  Cry

Regards, Adrian.
16  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Crouching Tiger... Hidden Dragon? on: March 20, 2018, 09:37:21 am
Hi Daniel,

I haven't had any luck photographing the inside of any bottles which would show what I mean in a clearer way but this picture may help.

In the main body of the bottle, away from where the fish is carved, you can see what look almost like veins in flesh. This is where the thickness of the walls are uneven inside the bottle.

Hollowing out with a high speed tube drill or a abrasive ball on a shaft means they dig into the surface leaving it lumpy and uneven and it takes a lot of work to try and smooth it out. I have a very high quality modern bottle where it is far smoother inside but there is still a difference in the finished surface compared to a good genuine old bottle which has been worked by hand.

The best way to show the difference would be to cut an old and a new bottle in half but you might understand my reluctance to do that.

Regards, Adrian.
17  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Crouching Tiger... Hidden Dragon? on: March 20, 2018, 09:24:37 am
Hi Rube,

You are welcome to pick away for any help I can give you.

I have used a Dremel tool but basically any Multi Purpose Tool does the same job. I now use a fixed motor with shafts coming out of either side of the motor and a flexible drive shaft with a smaller than normal chuck on the end. I find tube drills work best which are available in a variety of diameters.

On stone bottles I fill the void with water when drilling which makes the drill bits last longer and cuts down on the heat generated. On something like agate it gets more transparent the thinner the walls get so you can see where the drill bit is.

You get a sort of feel of how thin its getting or where there are high spots, just don't break through the wall as you get the feel from holding the bottle in your hand as you work it.

I haven't tried working any ivory and you will be working blind as it isn't transparent so don't over hollow.

Regards, Adrian.
 
18  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Crouching Tiger... Hidden Dragon? on: March 17, 2018, 05:59:03 pm
Hi Daniel,

Yes, modern carvers do go to the trouble of working a concave mouth if they think it will be worth their while. The problem is that not all old bottles had concave mouths so it can't be a guarantee of an old bottle if it has a concave mouth, nor is it a guarantee of a new bottle if it doesn't.

One thing I look out for is how smoothly the inside of a bottle has been carved. Modern bottles tend to be rough on the inside which is caused by using modern rotary tools to hollow them out. What I can see on your bottle from your pictures is that the walls seem to be uneven in thickness which suggests a modern bottle.

To smoothly hollow out a bottle with modern high speed rotary tools is very hard to do where as making the outside smooth is relatively easy.

Modern workers don't want to spend the time hollowing out bottles by hand working a tool back and forth inside a bottle for days to make it smooth and it is very hard to replicate that finish with modern methods, I know, I've tried.

There is little to go by from the treatment of the base of bottles as a means to date bottles although I will add a picture later which suggests a particular dating.

I will try and photograph the insides of modern versus old bottles to show the difference in smoothness of interiors but it may be hard to show.

Regards, Adrian.
19  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Lime green flattened octagonal bottle. on: March 15, 2018, 03:10:40 pm
Hi Brian,

Glass bottles are a favourite of mine, probably because I think I can recognise good ones easier than I can in other materials.

I could tell you where I find them but I would have to kill you straight after  Grin

Regards, Adrian.
20  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Glass Snuff Bottles / Re: Lime green flattened octagonal bottle. on: March 15, 2018, 03:05:52 pm
Hi Rube,

I would say a spade shape seems to me to narrow towards the base looking face on but they tend to narrow towards the base when looking side on as well. Spade shaped may not have been the most accurate description I could have given but my picture doesn't really show how it narrows towards the base from a side view!

Regards, Adrian.
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