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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
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A hand shaped bottle

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Author Topic: A hand shaped bottle  (Read 960 times)
Fiveroosters
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« on: December 07, 2012, 04:16:39 pm »

Dear all,
being excited by the thread on the glass pebbles bottles, here I am posting another glass one, which technique of manufacture is puzzling me. Here again I will divide the pictures in two posts. In this first post you can see the bottle. Note two things.
In the second picture the red arrow is indicating a fracture in the middle finger. It is completely detached.
The last picture is showing how the bottle is made. There is an inner part of opaque ivory color glass, on which the black and red spot are applied. Then everything is covered by a further transparent amber color glass.


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« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 03:50:53 am by Bottle Guy » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 04:18:23 pm »

Here are further pictures showing the detached finger. In the first picture you can see that the structure of layers is the same through all the bottle. But note also that the inner opaque glass is not perfectly circular as is instead on the opening of the bottle. On the two sides of the finger the two layers of different glasses are going to zero. The second picture show that the sides of the finger has ribs which should indicate that the hand has been made by means of a mold. Nevertheless I donít think so, because I canít understand as it can be possible to made such double layers of glass, especially with the red and black spots between them, by means of a mold. Also, those ribs can be seen only on the intermediate fingers, not on the thumb or the sides of the hand. In the last picture the red arrow shows that the end of the fingers is a bit flattened. This can be seen on all fingers. I always thought that this depression was meant to simulate the nails, but now I suppose that they are the consequence of a clip. In fact I suppose that the hand has been made by blowing the first opaque layer of glass, and once still plastic the colored drops added to it, then dipped it into the melted second type of glass, and the fingers has been shaped by pulling them with clips. I have seen how in a factory glass in Murano (a Veniceís island) they made small animals that way, by pulling the legs, head and so on by means of clips when the glass is still malleable.
What do you think?
The bottle belongs from the same old collection of the two pebbles.
Giovanni


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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 04:25:08 pm »

Dear Giovanni,
    I have had  examples (and actually still have an example, from Claudio Gentili's collection) of  18th C. bottles made in the same way.  but in a simple flattened flask shape, and (in the one I still have) the clear glass outside layer was put on to a depth of 2 or 3 mm., and then carved with the design of flanking archaistic dragons. Incidentally, it is Beijing Palace Workshops. How they would make a complicated shape like your hand bottle, I don't know.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 05:52:48 pm »

Hi Givoanni,

That is a SUPER interesting bottle, have never seen any bottles like this, not even close...Smiley

I know 2 layers or 3 layers glass is a sign of old bottles, but I have no idea how can the craftman make the shape like that by blowing, I really help someone can have a good explanation.

Where is the glass expert who join us recently. Wink

Steven
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 09:06:19 pm »


All,
I spent about 45 minutes discussing and asking questions of Chris Randall (the dealer) in Portland on how various bottles are made from glass.  You have your bottles carved (actually ground) from blocks of glass, there are bottles made by means of the more traditional glass blowing techniques, and then there are bottles which are blown but done so into a mold.   Blown molded bottles tend to be more uniform and regular in shape then free hand blown bottles in the more traditional bottle forms.  Free hand blown bottles can have more variation in wall thickness and may not have a true or be complete balance in form upon close inspection.
 
Molded bottles can be simple in form or have designs that can also be quite intricate which can be detailed out by finish grinding and polishing.  Then you have the odd shaped hand bottle such as Giovanniís post.  Based on my discussion with Chris I would say that this bottle was formed by blown it into a mold.

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

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 02:16:23 am »

Charll,
 Very good post, except that, in studying my late mom's collection of Ancient Glass, 1/4 of which I now own,  I learned that the accepted term is mold-blown (incidentally, a technique invented during the early Roman period, ca. 50 BCE to 100 CE).
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 02:50:02 am »

Thank you dear Joey, Steven and Charll.
Dear Charll, I am not expert of glass making technique, but, going by what seems logical to me, and at the same time admitting that there are some sign of molding technique (the ribs on the sides of the intermediate fingers), I can't understand how all this can be made by blowing the glass into a mold. I imagine that, if made that way, one has first to blow the outer layer, the amber color one. OK, then the maker can drop inside the red and black dots. Very good. Then he has to blow inside this the opaque layer of glass. Here is the problem. How can it adhere so perfectly everywhere? There must be air trapped between the two layers at least in some point, no? And how can this last layer go inside the narrow holes of the fingers and distribute itself uniformly all around the finger? I would expect that it will fill the finger, not take the tubular form.
Beside that, I have no explication for the shape taken by the opaque inner layer at the sides of the fingers, as seen in the cross section view of the first image of my second post. I cn't explain that but I would exclude that a blown glass inside a mold can produce that shape. Instead, I suppose (just a personal supposition, I can't prove it) that if you imagine to have the big bubble made by the two layers of glass still in malleable state and by means of the clips you pull out the fingers, then you have the maximum stretching of the glass paste just at the joining points between the fingers. I mean that at the base of the fingers the glass is pulled in two opposite directions, on one side toward the left finger and on the other side toward the right finger. This forces can produce that narrowing profile at the sides of the fingers. To be clear, the same that happens if you open your hand as seen in the picture below.
Kind regards
Giovanni
  


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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 02:54:43 am »

Thinking further, I think that my supposition can also explain the ribs. Exactly what happens to the skin of an open hand as seen in the previous picture.
Giovanni
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 03:26:37 am »

Here is a youtube video showing what I mean by shaping the bottle by clips, or more correctly pliers:

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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 04:23:40 am »

Dear Giovanni,
   No offence, but I believe you've the order of work ass-backwards. First, you mold-blow the hand shaped bottle in the innermost layer. Then you dab on the other colours, either in molten glass, or in powdered enamels and then fire it to fuse them. Then you dip it into molten clear glass. The trick is, you have to keep the innermost layer hot enough it doesn't crack when put in contact with molten glass, but not so hot it loses its shape.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 06:01:45 am »

Dear Joey,
you are right, that way it works. Nevertheless I am convinced that my bottle was not made that way. The reason is that, if made that way, it means that the mold has the shape of the inner layer, and it is hard to believe that it has been made with the shape that we see in the picture here below. It makes no sense to mold the fingers that way and not round.
Giovanni
 


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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 10:26:04 am »

Hi Giovanni,

Sorry but I have to agree with Joey about this.  Two things stand out to prove his description. First the opaque inner glass is far too thick to have been blown into such a thin outer layer. And the fact that despite this thickness there is a hole in middle, points to the opaque glass having been blown into a mold first.  The reason that you think the opaque glass finger isn't uniformly round is the unfortunate placement of the break.  If you look at the photo of the break on the other side, you can see that it actually took part of the palm 'skin' with the finger.  Now if you will look your own hand with spread fingers, you can observe the same taper at the joint.



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Best regards,

Tom B.

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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 11:23:07 am »

Dear Charll,
I think that I did not express my mind correctly. The picture of my hand with the spread fingers was just to show that the skin is tapering between the fingers. Now, supposing that the mold was made that way, I mean to reproduce also that tapering (but frankly I have doubt regarding this) I think that such tapering should not be made that way. As you can see it is very thin at the end, it finish sharp as a blade, a bit strange. Anyway I am not expert, everything is possible. What is important is that the result is good.
I am wondering if the hand has some meaning, as the mudras in Buddhist iconography. Do you think it possible?
Giovanni
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 10:35:23 am »

Dear Giovanni,
    I reread this thread, and realised that no-one answered your question re.symbolism.
    I know that the hand of Fatima (in Islam) is a sign of blessing in the Moslem World.
We Jews have the Hamsa ('Five' [fingers], in Arabic), adopted from them, amongst Jews from the Moslem World, who've 'brought' it into general Judaism, so now we all have them as symbols of blessing.
    I honestly don't know if the hand is a symbol of blessing. I'll check in Terese Tse Bartholemew's great book, "Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art", and get back to you.
Joey
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 10:47:32 am »

Dear Joey,
I too have that book. I did not check yet, and will not have time by now, I am in hurry. I know about the position and significance of the hands in Buddhist art, but if I am not wrong it doeas not seem to me that this hand has to be related to that.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 11:56:21 am »

Dear Giovanni,
     I checked it, quite thoroughly I thought, but found nothing about hands. Buddha's Hand Fruit and a Hand warmer, yes. Hands, no.
   Best,
     Joey
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 10:11:11 pm »

Hi   Giovanni, Joey

I   don't particepate    Part -  tici-  pate     (  need   SPELL  CHECK for  that word !)  I  do  follow   your   stuff  on this   subject

Please   keep   posting  !

Cheers
Peter
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 10:18:09 pm »

That is a very unusual bottle indeed.  Unlike anything I have ever seen but I can not imagine this would have been in 'Chinese taste' of that time.  Seems like a 19xx bottle to me. 
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 10:09:36 am »

Pat,
   You could well be correct! I hadn't even thought in that direction.
Joey
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 01:59:07 am »

Thanks guys for going further on this. Dear Pat, that is indeed interesting; I didn't thought about that before, but may be that you I right in saying that this bottle is not Chinese taste.
Giovanni
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