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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
July 21, 2018, 06:49:55 am
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Glass Dragons

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Author Topic: Glass Dragons  (Read 1587 times)
rpfstoneman
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2015, 10:00:41 pm »

Hazard to guess the age of this bottle?   It is one of the finest chi carvings that I have seen.  If contemporary or new it is a fabulous work of art. 

Red Chi Dragon Glass Overlay Bottle:
Decorated in a rich ruby red overlay depicting a chi long (chi dragon) on a fine snowflake ground.   Identical round ear chi long design front to back on the bottle face with the chi’s tails curving up along the bottle sides.  The chi details are crisply incised and polished into all crevices where chi design joins the finely bubbled ground of the bottle body.  A very well hollowed bottle that sets on a perfectly carved raised oval red foot ring.  The base is inside the raised foot is incised toward the outer edges of the raise foot to match the curvature of the bottle body.  Coral stopper set in a brass collar (not original and new).  Height without stopper is 5.7 cm by 5.0 cm in width.
 
Bottle had snuff remnants inside when acquired.



All comments welcome, particularly on the possible age of this bottle for I am still struggling to come up with an appropriate period.

Charll


* Red Chilong H5907.jpg (23.86 KB, 750x500 - viewed 39 times.)

* Red Chilong Maga3.jpg (18.66 KB, 750x500 - viewed 22 times.)

* Red Chilong Maga4.jpg (21.39 KB, 750x536 - viewed 27 times.)

* Red Chilong Maga1.jpg (40.76 KB, 750x538 - viewed 28 times.)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 10:16:00 pm by rpfstoneman » Report Spam   Logged

Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

Steven
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2015, 10:44:36 pm »

Hi Charll,

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful bottle. the detail was finished very well, so was the polishing. The size is very decent too.

The bottle looks have some age to me, but I am know little about the overlay. Will let the experts help you out.Smiley)

Steven
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Fiveroosters
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2015, 01:11:06 am »

Dear Charll,
I think almost impossible to judge the age without having the possibility to see the traces of wear, micro chips on the rim, etc. But the carving of this your bottle, regardless the age, is really superb!
Congratulations.
Giovanni
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Wattana
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2015, 03:01:48 am »

Dear Charll,

This is a difficult call, to judge from photos alone. I agree with Giovanni.

The present bottle looks very close to one I purchased as modern around 10 years ago. Knowing it to be modern, I bought it because the carving was very good (two chilongs in crimson red overlay, similar to this). Unfortunately the camphor glass began cracking 5 years after I bought it. In fact, every camphor glass bottle I have is disintegrating. Having discussed this problem in earlier posts, the conclusion is that the chemical composition of the glass is at fault.

Consequently I would be wary of buyng any bottle made with this type of glass again, unless there is a watertight provenance going back at least 40 years.

But it is superbly executed.
Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2015, 04:27:28 am »

Charll,

Impressive carving of the dragon on the bottle.

I go along with Tom on the possibility of ' crizzling ' effect of modern bottle of this material. My bad experience as well.


Inn Bok
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Joey
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2015, 06:15:28 am »

Dear Charll,
     The bottle looks superbly carved. The colour looks right for 18th C. The 'camphor' glass body looks right for 18th C. The footrim looks perfect and correct for 18th C.
But without handling, I can't tell.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2015, 02:04:42 pm »

Wonderful dragon carving for sure !  I can not add anything to what has already been said except that I agree the camphor glass looks modern to me.. The only thing that perplexes me is that all the modern bottles with this similar camphor glass are much larger. The size of your bottle could make one believe it old..

Regardless, a really nicely carved dragon and thank you for sharing it !
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Wattana
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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2015, 09:09:02 pm »


The only thing that perplexes me is that all the modern bottles with this similar camphor glass are much larger. The size of your bottle could make one believe it old..


George,
     In fact, I find the reverse to be true. Some of the older genuine examples (see Helen White's book of the V&A Collection) can be quite large.
     All my modern disintegrating camphor glass bottles are well under 6.0 cm high.

Tom
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Tom
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paul
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2016, 06:11:23 am »

Dear Charll,

Over the past month I have been reading up like mad on glass snuffs and when I saw yours, I thought what a wonderful piece.

The trouble is nowhere on this thread does it give an update as to whether it is an old piece or not. For what it's worth, my opinion is that it is old (or looks like it is) and as a year has passed since this thread was started, is it possible for you to give an update.

It is only by knowing the result that I can gauge whether I am getting better with my judgement and whether I am ready to invest in what I consider to be better pieces.

Kind regards,

Paul.
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Joey
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2016, 11:30:58 am »

Dear Paul,

     I still believe it is 18th C., and possibly Palace Workshops.
 And it is at least a year older than last time we discussed it!  Wink Grin Roll Eyes
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2016, 12:14:28 am »

Quote
Coral stopper set in a brass collar (not original and new), and with a brass spoon.

Paul,

Thanks for coming back around to this bottle.  When purchased I knew that the stopper and spoon were contemporary and thus I was second guessing whether the bottle was new or not.  New or old the quality of the bottle itself was worth the purchase price of $800 US in my opinion.   Once I started ignoring the stopper and concentrated on the bottle itself I formed the following thoughts or opinion: 
1) the shape was right;
2) the detailing in the carving and design are of the highest quality;
3) the color appears to be appropriated for an early period bottle;
4) the snowflake glass is of uniform density and high quality;
5) the base of the bottle within the foot ring contours to match the bottle shape (meaning it is slightly peaked in the middle and carved lower along the inter edge of the foot ring); and
6) it has a high quality, smooth, polish over the entire surface, even into the crevices of the Chi dragons.

Someone spent a lot of time trying to make this bottle perfect.

With an assessment of all the “rights” once the stopper was excluded, I made the presumption that it was indeed an older bottle (i.e., possibly late 18th or at least early 19th century).  To verify I did take the bottle to the ICSBS convention in Chicago this last October.  Joey saw it, and I had a couple of dealers inspect the bottle.  All concurred that the bottle was of the highest quality for glass and has all the features of an early period bottle.  Thus the conclusion was is per Joey’s dating period.  Though the presumption is that it is indeed old, no one could emphatically deny that it was not new. 

Unless you have a clear line of documentation of a bottle’s origin or early collection provenance, it tough to actually confirm whether such a bottle is indeed old or new.  But for now I going with Joey’s (and others) dating of this bottle, and liking it!  Grin

Charll             
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 12:19:44 am by rpfstoneman » Report Spam   Logged

Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2016, 03:43:24 am »

Dear Charll,

I an really delighted for you. 

That was no small price to pay. When I originally saw it, I thought to myself that I would pay £100 for it. Just goes to show how either my pricing is still totally wrong, or that I am just too tight fisted.

If you were to put this in auction how would they describe it? Probably 18th century, or possibly 18th century, or do you think they would simply leave the date out. When they leave the date out I notice they often write 'belonging to various owners'.

Anyway as John Keats wrote. 'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever' and you can treasure it knowing you have at least two admirers.

Kind regards.

paul.
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Joey
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2016, 04:01:58 am »

Dear Paul,

     I loved Charll's bottle when I saw it on the Forum, and still love it. I feel it is a genuine 18th C. bottle, and very possibly Palace Workshops, but can't swear to it.

     Re.Provenance. I had occasion to discuss this issue with a collector of ancient pottery oil lamps recently. Just because an object (whether a Chinese snuff bottle or a late Second Temple period decorated 'Ner Darom' pottery oil lamp) is attributed to a certain collection, does not a priori give it authenticity, without an accompanying photograph. I will give an example.

    I recently purchased a lamp of the type described above, ostensibly from the collection of a well-known Jerusalem lawyer and lamp collector, who died a few years ago. It also came with a certificate of authenticity, dating the purchase of a decorated late Second Temple pottery oil lamp by the lawyer to 1965, and to an equally well known and respected antiquities dealer.  I first met the dealer when I was 10. I've referred to him, in and out of his presence for the last 49 years, as 'Uncle' Yeshaya. Now in his late 80s/early 90s, he is still going strong, Thank G-D.
 
   The collector friend, whom I've known over 37 years, and is above reproach, and a retired Chief Justice of the National Labour Court of Israel, had sold me the lamp in question recently. It came with the certificate also mentioned above.  We had agreed that I'd bring it to Uncle Yeshaya to see whether the certificate was correct, that it had been purchased in his shop on King David St.

    We both arrived at the shop, and after a few minutes of shmoozing, I brought out the lamp. Uncle Yeshaya said that the lamp had not come from him, but from a different dealer, also well known and respected. And that it was bought in 1985, not 1965. A quick call to the late lawyer's widow, who never liked her husband 'playing with old stuff' (If Steve had not poked me in the arm, I'd have blurted out a rude comment; he knows me so well!), solved the mystery.

    When she sold the lamp in question, among 37 or 38,  to the judge, she just went to her late husband's filing system, and counted out the same number of certificates! He only ever collected 3 types of antiquities - these pottery oil lamps from the Ner Darom type (2nd C. BCE to 2nd C. CE) and Nabataean pottery and coins. I have a lot of the two latter from this man's collection, and a few of the former.

    So, unwittingly, his widow screwed up his meticulous filing system and careful documentation of provenance. Luckily for her, we all know each other, and know all the members of the 'rogues' gallery' ( Wink Grin Roll Eyes).
But it shows how easily one can have a falsified provenance, and often it might not be as innocuous as my present example. When I was purchasing Chinese antiques in Hong Kong in 1981, the dealers were issuing a certificate of authenticity, complete with photo. These are well nigh guaranteed to be the right cert for the right object.

Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
  
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2016, 04:11:58 am »

Dear Paul,

    If I saw Charll's bottle in a dealer's booth at the convention, dated 18th C., and with a modicum of reasonable provenance, I'd assume the price was between US$2,000 and US$4,000. Possibly a bit more.

    In my 1987 catalogue, I have a bottle similar to this one, #17. I bought it from a couple of friends in NYC in 1982.
I paid US$200 then. It was sold on my behalf for over US$2,000 in 1995 by Clare Lawrence LTD. That was 21 years ago.

   If you have recently purchased bottles of the quality of Charll's example  for UK£100, please, please, please,
 let us know where!  Roll Eyes Cheesy Wink

Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2016, 04:51:35 am »

Dear Joey,

Thank you again for your very interesting reply. I've been around antiques since I was 17 years of age and over the years I have seen many dodgy items with provenance and superb pieces with none.

Unfortunately many dealers will take the view 'A fool and his money are soon parted'. They say that you can't con an honest man and only when greed or avarice takes over is it easy to sell the wrong thing to the right person. This is why a thorough knowledge is necessary when it comes to antiques and why it pays to be a member of this forum. Charll is no fool and I believe he bought wisely.

Perhaps when Charll decides (if ever) to sell his nice snuff at one of the three major auction houses, in the same way that 'case stated' applies, then that itself will be the start of this wonderful pieces provenance.

And Joey, as nice a chap as you obviously are, if I ever find nice snuffs like Charll's for £100, there is no way I am telling you where.

Charll,

May I ask whether you bought it privately or at auction?

With kind regards to you both,

Paul.
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2016, 04:54:09 pm »

Quote
May I ask whether you bought it privately or at auction?

Paul, it was purchased at one of the secondary (i.e., one of lower and lesser known) auction houses here in the US. 

Charll
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2016, 01:49:59 am »

Dear Charll,

Thanks for getting back to me.

If it were to have come from a major auction house I was going to ask what age they attributed to it. I don't know about the lesser known auctions in the USA, but over here (UK) their wisdom and knowledge is greatly lacking and more times than not they are just chancers. The fact it came from a lesser known auction gives it, to me, much better chance of it being antique.

I know from what Joey said it is a good buy, but at the time you didn't know that for sure and I take my hat off to you for putting your money where your mouth is.

Enjoy it for ever.

Kind regards,

Paul.


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