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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
August 21, 2017, 09:05:05 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 20, 2017, 02:25:22 pm
Dear Adrian,

Thanks for sharing the two nice bottles!

I am with Joey and Pin on the first Zhang Baotian bottle, nice one, but the condition might be a concern. Be careful  when you try to get the stopper off, Don't let water get into the bottle.

I like the the second bottle better, especially the B side of painting, very vivid brushes. It was painted by a Ye Bengqi's student Wang Simin in early 70s.

Best,

Steven
2  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, 06:16:24 pm
Thanks Pat!!

I don't take it as a debate, we just put the things to together, so the info we have can be closer to the truth. That is all about it. We all learn together.

Best,

Steven
3  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, 12:40:47 pm
Dear Pat,

Here is a video taken during early 70s while Ye bengqi is still painting. And I was told that Ye bengqi was still painting the day he died which was 1975.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kryCtklo2fs

Best,

Steven
4  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 19, 2017, 12:09:17 am


Steven,

I guess I'll direct it to you, since you've mentioned a familiarity with modern craftsmen.
How are modern bottles being produced today?  Are CNC's used?  Are 3D lasers used to measure and transfer information from older bottles?  Then fine details finished by craftsmen? 

Thanks,

Rube.




Dear Rube,

Sorry that I missed your post at first place,  but I will try to answer your questions as I can.

The bottles are still made by craftman one by one, hand by hand, from the material choosing, cutting, shaping, hollowing, polishing..etc, every single process are still done by the hands, but the machines being used today are much faster than old manual one.    there is no CNC, and 3d laser involved so far as I know.

Best,

Steven



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: Teasing the Crane in the Tang Collection? on: June 18, 2017, 11:40:41 pm
Hi Pat

The hands on the Xue chencai's bottles are consistent on both signature and painting techniques, So like what you said the chance that there are 2 xue chencai is very  little. or most likely impossible. Ye Bengqi had a 50 yrs career span, so I assume that is possible for Xue chencai as well.

Steven
6  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 18, 2017, 11:17:15 pm
Dear Pat,

I think the fact that Xue cao fu is Xue chencai's father  has been accepted by most of the collectors, and I remember that I read the article about that, if the Xue shaofu is still painting in 60s-70s, then it can't be wrong with his family info provided.

the motif can't be random a train station lantern, since the the three characters are the main characters  model operas which is the The Legend of the Red Lantern  revolutionary opera, which is not exist before 1966. Plus the motif of the other side"Heroic Little Sisters" is also a typical revolutionary scene which is from a real story happened in 1964, so we have to accept that Xue shaofu was still painting at least during late 60s. but its still reasonable. Ye the older start his painting at 1892, his youngest son is still painting until early 70s, which expand about 80 yrs.

We can go through some dated Xue chaofu bottle, and figure out the actually date.

Best,

Steven

 
7  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 18, 2017, 01:16:36 pm
Dear Cathy,

Thank you for your greeting! we do celebrate father's day in China.

And I am glad that you have done so much research on the subject matter, well done. But copying an 1000 yrs old status doesn't make your bottle 100 yrs old.  Please look close on the carving of your bottles, compare with the carving on the old bottles, also compare the carving on relatively new bottles,  you should be tell eventually.

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.

Yes, Put the bottle away for a few of yrs, you might agree with me on what I have said above by the time.

Steven
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 18, 2017, 11:32:07 am
Thanks Joey!! Just had it fixed. Smiley
9  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 18, 2017, 01:34:50 am
Dear Cathy,

Please take close look at the carving of two Bat's wings on two different bottles, you might be able to find out why I said the carving on your bottle is not right.

Altho I have not seen the details of the carving of the bottle Pin shared, but the overall feeling looks right to me.

I have never said your bottles were made recently,  it could be 20-30 yrs old. Do you know what is the average income of a family in China back to 30 years ago. I would say less than $500, I mean its annual income for the whole family, Do you still think its not worth time and effort to make something look artistry by western's eyes.

The modern bottles I shared will cost roughly $2000.00 or even more, since the materials are more expensive now, and in order to make any this quality bottles, lots of time and labor need to be involved. the labor cost is 10 times higher than 30 yrs ago.

Sorry that you feel discouraging because we are focus on the date of the bottles, If you stated it as a modern bottle, then we would more focus on the beauty of the bottle itself.

I am actually not against modern bottles, but we are on a  snuff bottle Forum, I thought people want to know the date of their bottles, plus the value, If we don't know the date, how can we put the value on? the antiques have their artistry value plus the historical value while the modern ones only have artistry value. And I thought that you want to know the truth of the bottles not only want to  hear the praise, if we all have positive comments, how can you learn from the mistakes?
 

Steven
10  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 17, 2017, 10:18:27 pm
Dear Cathy,

If you can't find the same examples, it doesn't mean that those bottles are right and old, There is no connection between them. I have a quite few of bottles I can share with you that they are one kind of bottles themselves, but they are totally modern.  So the way that you judging bottles were wrong. You should look the bottles themselves. There are some good signs for the first bottle, like the mouth and foot  and well done, but you need to see more signs which are not right, for example how the bat was craved, the decoration of the other side, the traditional chinese art have to follow something, the desecration won't come out from nowhere.


I remember George shared some wonderful info regarding the carving of Jade with us recently.  read through it, it might also help.

Please don't take the some of our negative comments as offense. I believe that after 5 years, when you look back those posts, you will know notice that you learned more from those negative comments.

Best,

Steven

attached Pls find some modern bottles which has much better quality than what you have over there, If you want to commission some batman bottles I would love to connect you with the craftman.




 
11  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil / Re: Batman and Robin on: June 17, 2017, 07:41:41 pm
I have  to say that I am with Joey those two bottles are modern .You might not know how many craftsmans out there in China who can make wonderful stone bottles better than this. How many these kind of bottles you want? I can be the middle man. Grin : Cheesy Wink
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: Teasing the Crane in the Tang Collection? on: June 17, 2017, 05:53:39 pm
Thanks Cathy for joining the Quizzes!


Would you be surprise if I say that bottle is painted late 60s to early 70s? I actually owe Pat an  apology when I get into the topic. As many of you might have seen the argument between Pat and me regarding the date of Xue chencai bottle, I insisted that is should be 10s-40s, but we I saw this bottle, I have to say Pat was right about it.

The two motifs of the bottle are from 1965 after, then there is no way Xue Chencai can paint it earlier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_the_Red_Lantern

The Legend of Red lantern is an opera which was popular during the culture revolution, Wang Xisan and Liu Shouben all painted it during early 70s. So I assume that Xue's bottle is dated same as Wang xisan and Liu Shouben.  Having said all those, old painting techniques and colors are still available during 70s or 80s.  So its would not be  surprise if a faker can use it to copy the old bottles.

As we know there is a couple of  fakers during 70s ,80s in Hongkong who faked a bunch of quite good bottles. As I was told recently, one inside painted artist Shi Chuan in Shandou , Guangdong province was involved in those fakes.  Those are what I heard of, but there might be more I have never heard of.   So I have to say The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.

Best,

Steven

 
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: Teasing the Crane in the Tang Collection? on: June 17, 2017, 10:21:56 am
Dear Cathy,

Its possibly smart to put the bottle away a little, I believe that you will know more when you take it out next time.

Let me explain a little bit more on the bottle itself and the colors.

As we know that  painting new on the old bottles is very common practice,  old masters painted older bottles is common as well,  Lot of inside painted bottle dated 18th, which doesnot mean the bottle was painted in 18th,  which means the bottle itself is older.  Even after 1950, Most of students of  Ye bengqi painted a quite lot 19th bottles which include agate bottle, quartz and inside painted bottle( the old painting was washed and cleaned).

Talking about the colors, I am sharing one of Xue chencai bottle here, which is from the Joey's collection. can you tell me when do you think the bottle was painted? modern or old?

Best,

Steven
14  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 16, 2017, 04:46:02 pm
Dear Cathy,

Thanks for your explanation, and you made your points.

However the exact same copy is not my strongest argument, even without it I can easily tell a quite lot of factors that is contemporary copy.

Are you agree with it it not genuine Ding Erzhong, If you agree, then we can talk about the date which was faked.

First of all, Have you seen any old Ding Erzhong copies before?  I don't know if Joey have seen any old copies of Ding Erzhong bottles, at least I have not seen one, All is because, Ding is not commercial artist, you can tell from the bottles he choose are all glass bottles, since they are not painted not for selling good price. that is why his bottles were not highly valued at middle period as Zhou leyuan.  why people copy fakes, to pursuit the profit, if there is no profit, then no fakes. And that was why there are tons of Zhou Leyuan fakes. But not so many fakes for other old masters.

Second, Have you seen any exact same old copies which have exact same scene and same scripts. I have not seen any. The chinese traditional painting, so call freehand painting which is not like the western painting which normally will have some reference to copy, the artist image some scene using their imagination to start to paint, there is no way the old masters would copy something stroke by stroke, even the position of the script are exactly same. Only modern artist will do that to fool people to pursuit profit.

I would agree with you that some of painting on the bottle were painted with old tools, and its not totally modern skills are used as other fakes you have seen, But those are not a sign for determining  its not a modern fake, The fakers were using the old tools, painted old bottles, those are all the fact I have known  . The fakes are different during different period, there were some fakes during the 70s -80s in HongKong, 90s in Beijing, 2000 after in Henan, 90s-now Henshui. There are all with different styles and different skill level. from the appearance of the bottle, I would vote it being early fakes between 80s in Hongkong, possibly same period as the Tang collection which you shared at first Place. That is my vote, I certainly is not eligible or confident to tell exactly when it was faked. 

I would not argument with the painting much since there are still a  lot to be learned by you to be able to master chinese art and calligraphy, you could look more traditional painting, by the time,we can talk about which kind of techniques were used in Ding's bottle on painting the leaves, and why the calligraphy looks close, but not there for a Ding's calligraphy etc.


Best,

Steven


 

 
15  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 16, 2017, 09:39:57 am
Dear Joey,

Thank you for agreeing with me!

I really don't know who is the real artist of the bottle , and we might not be able to find out unless the artist himself or herself claim that. Since when the artist try to copy someone else, he or she will hide his or her own painting style, so we can't tell it from the painting. Plus there are hundreds of artist who can do such copies nowdays. Having said that, I do see some artist copy old painting with his own style, who is Suo Zhenhai,  as we know that he has very distinguished style which can be relatively easy to be told. If you look the suo's catalog, there are a quite few of old copies with his style, I have to say I appreciate this kind of copies a little bit more. It would be gold if the script can be written " follow someone's brushes"

Yes, I agree with you that the artist is contemporary one, old painter won't do exact copy, Ye family did some good Zhou leyuan copies, but even tho, they are not copy stroke by stroke. no mention exact inscripts.

Best,

Steven
16  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 15, 2017, 11:23:00 pm
Dear Cathy,

First of all. I really impressed by the knowledge you have learned in such short period, I have seen a quite few of great bottles posted by you, Altho I did have a chance to post my comments one by one. Congratulation!!

I am glad that you post the hi-res photos of the ding signed bottle, so that we can have a better look at the bottle, and analyze it with details.

I have to say that bottle is a good one no matter its genuine nor not. and it worth the price you paid for.Smiley

I have to repeat one thing another time( Chinese people say, repeat three times if one thing is important.Smiley)" Ding Erzhong NEVER painted exact same bottle twice" Actually that is not only for Ding Erzhong, also for all the old masters, No old master painted exact same bottle twice. When I say same, which means the overall and detail layout of the paintings and the inscripts. Some of old master painted same motif again and again, but there would be some different layout here and there, the inscripts will be definitely different even the motif is same.  And Ding is especially the one who has more varieties on his painting since he is a scholar instead of some commercial artists like Ma shaoxuan and Ye family.

So based on only the reason above I can pretty much positive that bottle is not genuine.

But also, Let us go through the details of the bottle.

I have three comparisons for you, one is a comparison of the calligraphy. I have to admit some of characters are really close, but the ones circled with red was hesitated  written, and some of them are not even close to the fluency of Ding Erzhong's calligraphy, the calligraphy of Ding Erzhong is the best in the middle period artists, even better than Zhou Leyuan in my opinion, and his calligraphy is very consistent, I can't find any Genuine bottle with lower level calligraphy.

The second one is a tree leaves, the genuine one's strokes are very well organized, clean the neat, but the ones on your bottle are not well organized, even the painter was trying to copy every single strokes, but He can't  even copy the techniques Ding used. so it looks similar, but not there.

The third one is a overall looking of the landscape side, there are too many details not there to be a ding bottle, I don't have to point out one by one. I believe if you have a trained eye, you should be able to find out more than what i can do.

One more thing to point out that I am not sure if your bottle is rock crystal or not, but as I know that Ding NEVER paint snuff bottle in quartz. If you go through all the Ding bottles , every single one is glass bottle. I am not saying your bottle can not be a exceptional one, but with all the factors I have laid out. I would insist that bottle is not right one.

Sorry for being so mean and raining your parade, But I believe that you will find a genuine one in not so long future if you keeping learning like that, and that is the lesson you have to learn. BTW I have acquired my first ever Ding Erzhong bottle after 8 years studies, I will share with you later. And before shareing with you my Ding Erzhong bottle, I will have to share one fake Ding bottle I bought when I first got into snuff bottle collecting, I have to say its embarrassing, and its not even close as good as your bottle.Smiley

Best,

Steven
17  Public Forum Categories and Boards / Porcelain and Yixing Chinese Snuff Bottles 瓷器和宜兴鼻烟壶 / Re: Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle on: June 10, 2017, 05:34:03 pm
Dear Ming,

I guess this is the first time I co-response with you on the Forum. and I must miss something  important, since I don't have much time to spend on the Forum like I usually do this year.

Congratulations on the bottle! I think its a very nice 19th bottle, well painted , and beautiful color too.

I agree with everything other says about the bottle. specially Joey, He always have great taste for all kinds of snuff bottle, and have a collection of THE BEST blue and white porcelain snuff bottles. 

but I'd love Steven's opinion - I trust his judgement over the screen more than my own.
Best,


Dear Joey,

I will take it as a compliment.Smiley

Best,

Steven
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 07, 2017, 10:45:16 pm
Dear Cathy,

I agree with you that you bottle might be better than Tang one. Yes, once you have better photo, we can have more insights.

Best,

Steven
19  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 07, 2017, 08:27:03 pm
Dear Cathy,

I have to say that the bottle in the middle is a modern copy as well.

Ding NEVER Paint same bottle TWICE, since he is a scholar, not a commercial inside painting artist, specially at same year with the same script. If you have better photos, I might be able to explain more why its a modern fake.

Best,

Steven   
20  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 07, 2017, 07:09:02 pm
Thanks Curt for sharing!

But I think the Ding Erzhong bottle from Tang collection is a fake one. I have seen a couple of fake ding bottles on the market. Be cautious, they are good copies, but we better watch closer.Smiley

Steven
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