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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
June 28, 2017, 04:05:58 pm
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Crystal Clear

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Author Topic: Crystal Clear  (Read 3270 times)
Wattana
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« on: December 04, 2013, 05:52:40 am »

Hi All,

I thought I'd start a new thread for bottles made of natural clear crystal. This is a type which is overlooked by many 'serious' collectors, but one to which I am particularly attracted. This group of bottles includes all transparent crystalline minerals, mainly belonging to the quartz silica family, but could cover other more rare clear minerals, such as tourmaline and aquamarine.

The ones which collectors are most familiar with are from the quartz silica group. These include rock crystal (the colourless variety), smoky quartz (ranging from pale 'tea crystal' to almost black crystal), amethyst (the purple variety), and citrine (the yellow variety). This group could also include hair crystal (rock crystal with inclusions of black tourmaline 'needles'), rutilated crystal (like hair crystal, except the inclusion is reddish needles of rutile), and a rarer kind with inclusions of green actinole needles (actinolated crystal?).

Here is the first one...I'm sorry the photos don't do it justice, but that is the best I can get from my little camera.

Description: Flawless rock crystal snuff bottle of flattened elongated pear shape with tapering neck and flat lip, the raised oval footrim with a recessed flat based. Green glass stopper simulating jadeite, set in a silver collar. Bone spoon in the form of a hand grasping an acanthus leaf, with two loose rings on the shaft.
Height w/o stopper:  7.1cm
 
Commentary: Judging by the number of high quality examples that exist in the palace museum and private collections, it must have been a popular material in Qing court circles. To the Chinese the clarity and brilliance of colourless clear quartz has always represented absolute purity, and was also believed to have healing powers thereby embodying protection against illness. To this day one can see shops in China selling clear quartz in both natural crystal form and shaped into pyramids for assurance to the owner of physical and metaphysical health.

For a double bottle of very similar shape and material see Bob Stevens' "Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles", no. 469. Compare also a somewhat similar example in smoky crystal, see "The Alexander Brody Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles", no. 42.


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« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 11:20:32 pm by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 07:20:33 am »

Nice topic Tom, and a beautiful example to start it off with..

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Joey
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 01:20:02 pm »

Tom,
  This is a stunning bottle. Very 'Shibui', if I'm using the phrase correctly.
Thank you for posting it.
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 01:27:35 pm »

I agree with Joey that is really a beauty.Smiley

But I don't quite get the Joey's comment" shibui" means. Huh Cheesy
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joearp
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 01:46:10 pm »

I love this bottle, which is simply elegant. The spoon is a treat, I have not seen this design before.
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 01:53:19 pm »

Steven,
  Tom L. and I  (and possibly Tom B., as well), discussed the Japanese cultural concept of 'shibui' a year or two ago.
   It is a Japanese concept of simple perfection. Nothing superfluous, nothing missing.
I hope that helps.
Joey


I agree with Joey that is really a beauty.Smiley

But I don't quite get the Joey's comment" shibui" means. Huh Cheesy
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 02:03:39 pm »

Steven,
  Tom L. and I  (and possibly Tom B., as well), discussed the Japanese cultural concept of 'shibui' a year or two ago.
   It is a Japanese concept of simple perfection. Nothing superfluous, nothing missing.
I hope that helps.
Joey


I agree with Joey that is really a beauty.Smiley

But I don't quite get the Joey's comment" shibui" means. Huh Cheesy

Thanks Joey !!
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 07:26:54 pm »

My pleasure, Steven.
  Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 07:30:57 pm »

Wow Tom. Gorgeous!!
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Pat
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 07:40:11 pm »

Dear Pat,
  We are agreed. It really is gorgeous! It is at times like this, that I regret specialising in a few types.
But it passes.
Joey
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 11:15:43 pm »


Sounds like it is unanimous that this is a great bottle!  I too do like elegant simplicity.  Charll 

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

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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 01:57:57 am »

Dear Tom,
it is an incredible bottle: I agree, "shibui".
How do you know that it is crystal? Only because of the absence of bubbles or are there some imperfections that we do not see in the pictures?
I wonder how they can perfectly smooth inside a so hard material until achieving the complete transparency, especially in the upper part of the inside, just on the shoulders. It is really incredible.
Giovanni
 
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 02:56:26 am »

Dear Giovanni,
    A lot of 'elbow grease'!   Grin
    I saw a collection of Imperial Quartz wares from the collection of the Qianlong Emperor, and they were also superbly polished. And there are equally superbly finished vessels in Quartz in the collection of the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul.
    I'm going to go out on a limb (like George, a short while ago!), and say I think that this bottle could be  Imperial Palace Workshops, and ca. 1660-1820. The shape could be Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, or possibly, even as late as Jiaqing (but I think not).  I think, based on the shape, that the bottle is probably ca.1680-1799 (Qianlong abdicated in 1795, but lived till 1799).
     I think it is that good.
  Joey
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 03:03:03 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 03:59:49 am »

Dear Tom,

Congratulations for having such a beauty, so clear and perfect.

Inn Bok
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 04:48:01 am »

Hi Tom

Nice clear bottle!

Regards.


Richard
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 05:30:09 am »

Dear Joey,
if you are right about the dating, Tom has a treasure in hands!
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2013, 06:14:07 am »

Hi All

A clear dark smoky quartz bottle of rectangular form with rounded shoulders. Height: 60 mm.

Enjoy!


Richard


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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2013, 07:09:28 am »

Richard,
   That is a beauty as well. The level of bottles posted on this thread is very high so far.
I would date your bottle to 1780-1840, and a very fine example, too. Possibly a bit earlier, but probably as I dated.
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2013, 08:21:47 am »

Hi Joey

Thanks.

Yes, I was told that it is 19th century.

Still trying to find a better spoon for it though.

Regards.


Richard
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2013, 01:21:32 pm »

Dear Giovanni,
    You are correct. It can go with Tom's superb Jet bottle.
Joey


Dear Joey,
if you are right about the dating, Tom has a treasure in hands!
Kind regards
Giovanni

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