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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
August 14, 2018, 05:59:44 pm
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Blue & White Porcelain Bottles

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Author Topic: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles  (Read 3139 times)
rpfstoneman
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« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2014, 12:59:25 am »


Well, this recent purchase turned out to be a nice find!  Anyone have a tighter idea on the age?  Charll

Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Rounded rectangular form with a slight tapering to the base, blue and white, soft paste porcelain bottle.  Qing white glaze blue &white figure motif with Gu crackles (or ice crackles).  The scene is of nine (9) figures on railed patio assisting members in plucking tree frawns.  Possibly an extended family for the figures appear to be grandparents, parents, and children.   Blue ringed neck with three bats.  Fine brush strokes with detail and good use of varying density of the cobalt blue pigment; garments and tree leaves are a dark, rich, deep blue.  Raised unglazed foot rim and glazed base with a six character Yongzheng mark.  Height is 7.3 cm without stopper.  A lingering sent of snuff.

Period: early 19th century, maybe earlier.
   
Condition: Abrasions from use, some pitting marks in the glaze, gold enameled restoration at base of the bottle were a portion of glaze was dislodged sometime in the past. 
 
Provenance:  Collected by George W. Bierce (born March 15, 1871, death Sept 1, 1962) in China in the 1920’s, and has been handed down in the Bierce family over the last ninety years.  George Bierce was an art and antique dealer in Cleveland Ohio, traveling extensively for antiquities and art, and had a working association with the Cleveland Historical Society.



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

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« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2014, 01:56:35 am »

Dear Charll,
congratulations for another nice addition to your collection. Nice bottle and surely old, but I would exclude the possibility of being it 18th century.
The decoration is really strange, some features are new to me:
I have never seen the hands of the figures drawn that way, they looks like mitten gloves.
Never seen the grass made that way, looking the same as pine needles.
The faces too are strange and somehow also the rocks.
I can’t then say that the style is typical of some specific period, let say Tongzhi or either. Really strange, but no doubt the bottle is old.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2014, 02:03:03 am »

Wow Charll... What a beauty, and really an interesting theme !

A special figural example for your collection for sure ..

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« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2014, 06:43:49 am »

Dear Charll,
     I agree with Giovanni, re. its being old. I also can't tell you its dating, but would say Tongzhi and later is reasonable, though it could well be Daoguang. I wish the late Robert Kleiner could have seen it. He would have nailed it immediately, I'm sure.
     Is that a gold lacquer repair I saw on the foot in the first photo? That would show it was in a fine Chinese or Japanese collection before it was in the American one.
     Beautiful bottle, Charll. Congratulations.
    Oh, I now have a panda bottle by Wei Jianchao ! The same artist who painted your two panda bottles. Rick very kindly let me purchase his.
     I am so pleased to finally have one, though somehow 'finally' doesn't seem the right word, seeing as how I disdained what I saw as a 'tourist subject' ,  till I saw your two magnificent examples in late Oct. of 2012.
    Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2014, 12:26:36 pm »

Giovanni,

You may be right about later 19th century date.  I was hoping it was a bit earlier based on a past discussion I had with Robert Kleiner.  Robert in discussing soft paste use on dragon pillar bottles indicated that the use of soft paste was more prevalent in the late 18th century up to the 1830's, at which time it's use faded for some period of time do to the cost or more limited supply of the material.  He seemed to infer that if the bottle was old, it could likely fall into this earlier time frame.  But hey, this was just a conversion and I have not found such conclusions in print as of yet.

Also, the pine needle looking plant around the rocks are just that, young pine seedlings from my perspective. 

Joey,

It very well could be a black lacquer fill on the repair.  There is an old gold coating over what was a black fill material that sure looks to have the texture of lacquer where a bit of the gold has been rub away.

Anyway this bottle just had to many things that looked and felt right for me to pass it by.

Charll
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 12:49:28 pm by rpfstoneman » Report Spam   Logged

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

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« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2014, 02:22:35 pm »

Dear Charll,
I re-read what I have written and frankly I don't think that what I said can be understood as a dating to late 19th century for your bottle. I said two things: that the bottle is not 18th century, and that I can't say to which period of the 19th century it should be dated, because the decoration has some strange features. Sorry if I have been misunderstood.
I can only repeat, to be clear, what I found strange.
I have never seen such hands. Are them really wearing glooves?
You may be right about the plants being young pines and not grass. But in such case too I have never seen them, I mean pines so low, without branch.
The faces are not 18th century nor are them typical faces of the 19th century.
Just my observation, of course I have not seen everything in Chinese porcelain field and much less in snuff bottles field.
I would also add that the whole decoration is strange, because all the figures has the same appearance. Repetitive poses and way to draw them, same clothes, same shoes... it looks like a ritual scene.
If I should really be forced to give my idea about dating, I think that Joey is correct. Although the faces of the Tongzhi era are very typical and I don't see them on your bottle, I also think that the whole appearance of your bottle doesn't look younger than that. But it is just my feeling, because as said I don't see a clear indication to a particular era.
Anyway, a beautiful and, more important I think, an interesting bottle. The scene suggest me the olive harvest, but I don't think that it exists in Chinese iconography. Or not?
Kind regards
Giovanni

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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2014, 02:59:37 pm »

Giovanni,

Thanks for the additional insight and comments.  As you pointed out the entire group (family?) is dressed or attired in the same fashion as to suggest preparation for an event.  There's got to be more to this image than what we are just seeing, meaning some background story or theme.  Again thanks for the comments.

Charll
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« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2014, 08:19:01 pm »

There's got to be more to this image than what we are just seeing, meaning some background story or theme. 

I have hunted high and low Charll... No luck, but your right.. There must be a background story/theme going on..

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Steven
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« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2014, 11:20:50 pm »

Dear Charll,

Nice bottle, I am with Giovanni and Joey, it could be a19th bottle.

I might also find the background info of the motif for you,not 100% sure,but I think its close.

I think it should be" the picture of picking mulberry leaf" the kids pick mulberry leaves to raise the silkworms,that is how people get the silk from. When I was a kid, I did same thing,but mainly for fun to raise the silkworms, not mean to try to make any silk out it.

I assume the grass Giovanni pointed out is not grass, could be the Pine needles, since you can see the same leaves up on the tree.

Attached please find some reference images for the similar subject.

Best!

Steven


* 1859207-2.jpg (54.33 KB, 710x710 - viewed 14 times.)

* getpic_new.jpg (246.96 KB, 1000x1265 - viewed 15 times.)

* W020130517786550979099.JPG (81.01 KB, 500x433 - viewed 17 times.)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 08:56:12 am by Steven » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2014, 02:47:18 am »

Dear Steven,
I think that you nailed it, that's great! I said that the scene recall me the olive harvest just because it was clearly a scene of harvesting. I didn't thought about mulberry leaves; it must be that, and to me the last picture shown by Charll is a confirmation because we see small fruits on the branch. Dear Charll you have a very interesting bottle.
Thank you dear Steven for the suggestion. It recall me when I was a child. After the WWII here in Italy many farmers did grow silk worm at home to help the economy of the family. My parents also did that and I still remember the noise of the caterpillars while eating the leaves. All the limits of the fields here in the Po river valley were bordered by rows of mulberry trees. Only a few are surviving.
Giovanni
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« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2014, 03:04:39 am »

My goodness Steven... You never cease to amaze me !

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Joey
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« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2014, 04:25:51 am »

Dear Steven,
    Thank you again for a wonderful visit, and thank all the family for me as well, please.
The info about the mulberry leaves is very interesting. I had assumed that the silk worms were placed on the tree, and then taken off, but obviously, the leaves are picked and fed to the protected silkworms. One little correction, if you don't mind. 'Pine needles' is the correct term for pine tree leaves.
 Best,
Joey
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« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2014, 01:05:42 am »

Steven and Giovanni,

Thank you so much for the follow up information and discussion, and the ideas as to what the bottle image maybe portraying.

Charll

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« Reply #53 on: June 01, 2014, 12:49:42 am »

Another recent bottle that has me puzzled on the age?  Also can anyone decipher the three Chinese characters on the panel above Zhu Bajie (the pig)?

Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Underglaze blue and white porcelain snuff bottle in a small ‘firecracker’ form.  Bottle depicts a scene from the ‘Journey to the West’, a classic Chinese novel published in the 16th century (ca. 1592) during the Ming Dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en.  The pig character Zhu Bajie and the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) are seen tugging at a staff while the monk Tang Sanzang (also referred to as Xuanzang ) and his horse look on at the tussle.

The bottle has a ruyi-head collar on the neck that is a typical stylistic device of the late 18th and early 19th century (Kleiner, 2007-In Search of a Dragon).  Fine double underglaze blue lines where the body of the bottle meets the neck and at the base of the painted scene just above the foot rim.

A well balanced six character Yongzheng (1723-1735) mark in underglaze blue on the base enclosed by an fine double blue ring that spans the inter rim of the raised foot.   Fine grained white paste clay body that is almost translucent when held to the light.  Raised unglazed foot rim.  Mammoth tusk ivory stopper and pointed ivory dauber as a spoon.   Only 6.0 cm or 2.35 inches in height. 

Period: believed to be ca.1821-late 1890’s   

Thanks for any help and comments, Charll


* B&WJW1a.jpg (141.94 KB, 522x800 - viewed 28 times.)

* B&WJW2a.jpg (140.69 KB, 522x800 - viewed 16 times.)

* B&WJW5a.jpg (138.76 KB, 522x800 - viewed 20 times.)

* B&WJW7a.jpg (139.91 KB, 522x800 - viewed 12 times.)

* JW10a.jpg (133.32 KB, 571x800 - viewed 16 times.)

* B&WJW11a.jpg (117.98 KB, 600x600 - viewed 18 times.)
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« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2014, 04:37:43 am »

Dear Charll,
    It looks like a very nice bottle. Congratulations.
Joey
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« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2014, 11:03:34 am »

Another beautiful bottle Charll !

Congratulations !
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Pat - 查尚杰
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« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2014, 08:02:00 pm »

Indeed... You guys (and especially Charll) have increased my interest in these bottles by multiples...

Nice acquisition Charll!
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Pat
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« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2014, 03:11:24 pm »

Very nice!!! Jo
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« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2014, 05:36:08 am »

Charll,

A very attractive bottle, as usual. You are far more knowledgable of porcelain dating than I, so always interesting to read your comments in that regard.

Tom

PS: Just for reference, here are two Yongzheng reign marks - one genuine, the other apocryphal.


* Yongzheng genuine.jpg (24.47 KB, 291x301 - viewed 10 times.)

* Yongzheng false.jpg (42.44 KB, 291x337 - viewed 8 times.)
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« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2014, 06:56:49 pm »

Dear Tom,
   A mark can be genuine in that it is from the same time as it says (for Yongzheng, 1723-1735), but not a genuine Imperial mark (A); or it can be both genuine to the period AND genuine to the Imperial Porcelain Works (B).
   I understood from the late Robert Kleiner that there were only 2 or 3 calligraphers inscribing genuine Imperial marks at the Works during the Yongzheng reign, while there would have been an awful lot of regular calligraphers working on non-Imperial wares during that reign.
  Is the mark shown as genuine, A or B?
Best,
 Joey
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