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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
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Modern glass overlay bottles

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Author Topic: Modern glass overlay bottles  (Read 1831 times)
Wattana
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« on: January 20, 2014, 03:41:06 am »

     This is a new thread for showcasing modern glass overlay bottles. It is mostly aimed at the novice collectors on this forum, so as to set a benchmark for recognizing modern production, and to better distinguish them from genuine old overlay bottles seen in books and auction catalogues.
     By 'modern' I mean any bottle that has been made from the 1950s onwards. Post WWII China was keen to nurture the arts and crafts, and this included, to a modest degree, the making of glass overlay objects, including snuff bottles. During the turbulent years of the 1960s such production in Mainland China all but ceased, but this was the time when books in English about snuff bottles began appearing, increasing awareness, interest and demand in the West. Consequently, workshops in Hong Kong sprang up to meet the demand.
     Many of these early modern bottles were relatively unsophisticated. Since at that point in time there was little attempt to create copies of older bottles with the intention to deceive, their designs were often quite fluid, and had a certain rustic charm, which made up for the lack of high quality.
     Later, especially from the 1980s and onwards, when prices of old bottles began to rise significantly, much more sophisticated copies started to fill the market. While these were often very well made, they were intended to fool the unwary buyer. These later bottles are technically very fine, but in my opinion they usually lack that basic 'charm' seen on ones made a couple of decades earlier.
     Almost none of the bottles I will be posting cost more than $20 to $30. They were bought for there simple appeal, and also served to help me better understand some of the themes from Chinese symbolism and mythology that they represent. They were inexpensive enough to leave on display at home without fear of damage or breakage, and gave me pleasure before experience made me more selective.   

     I will start the thread by posting a bottle with red overlay on camphor glass. The design shows a fish enclosed in a circlular frame jumping above waves. Chinese legend has it that when carp swimming upstream manage to leap past the 'Dragon Gate' falls they turn into a dragon. It is a popular decorative theme, as the fish symbolically represented the aspiring young scholar passing the Imperial Examinations to enter a sought-after career as an official in the Imperial Court. Hence a bottle carrying this message made it a traditionally suitable gift for a prospective candid. Nowadays the message could be applied to any student about to sit their final examinations at school or college.
     Height without stopper: 4.7 cm
     Probable date: 1970s

     It will be noticed that this bottle has unfortunately developed some stress cracks around the neck. This seems to be a problem sometimes found with camphor glass. One explanation given elsewhere on this forum is that the silica mix was incorrect, causing a weakness in the glass when it was produced. See the following link for further discussion:

http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1007.0/msg,15114.html


* SB-046-A.jpg (132.87 KB, 500x680 - viewed 81 times.)

* SB-046-B.jpg (102.11 KB, 400x680 - viewed 38 times.)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 11:08:12 pm by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 04:03:01 am »

Great idea and topic !
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George
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 10:55:10 pm »

Here is a very simple overlay on clear glass which has been etched to give the appearance of camphor glass..

1960's bottle...

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Wattana
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 11:07:04 pm »

Nice example George. Green is one of the less common colors seen.

I like the design. It reminds me of traditional Chinese and Japanese paper cutting.
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Wattana
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 04:50:00 am »

Camphor glass is often described as 'snowflake' glass, and also sometimes as 'tapioca' glass. This last description seems to well fit the below bottle.

Overlay glass snuff bottle of flattened bladder shape with a flared neck, the red overlay on a 'tapioca' ground, carved with a magpie and plum blossom one side, melons and a butterfly on the reverse. Green jade stopper with a black collar.

Height without stopper:  4.7 cm.
Probably 1970s or 80s

The image of a magpie with plum blossoms is a popular Chinese rebus symbolizing happiness in all weathers, and can also represent concord and harmony, making it a suitable theme for a married couple, although that is more usually depicted as two birds. The melon with its many tendrils conveys the wish for 'fertility and continuing prosperity', while the butterfly is homophonic with the Chinese word for 'living to a great age'.
All in all, a lot of wishes crammed onto one small bottle!


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* SB-064-B.jpg (131.46 KB, 500x700 - viewed 31 times.)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 07:52:53 pm by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 09:41:21 am »

Dear George,
   I'd date that mid 1950s to early 1970s. I believe they started do that type of design during the "Thousand Flowers" period in the 1950s, and continued till the early 1970s.
Best,
 Joey




Here is a very simple overlay on clear glass which has been etched to give the appearance of camphor glass..

1960's bottle...


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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 04:10:12 pm »

Dear Tom,
I will follow this topic with great interest. Thank you for starting it.
Giovanni
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Wattana
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 07:53:58 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

You are most welcome!

Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 11:04:35 am »

Excellent idea to start this thread. My I contribute one example. Both sides are quite similar, but with slight differences. I was told it dated of about 1970. What do you guys think?
Georges


* SB No 185 red.jpg (297.59 KB, 2008x2771 - viewed 49 times.)

* SB 185a red.jpg (74.94 KB, 489x682 - viewed 17 times.)
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 09:27:15 pm »

Thanks for sharing Georges.

That is an unusual bottle, nice motif, I agree with the dating.

Steven
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 01:10:27 am »

I collected a few.
This one is purchased directly from Zhang Zeng Lou ( 张增楼 ) when he came visiting me in my hotel in 1991.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 01:24:47 am »

Sorry again. i posted the wrong file ( original size ).
This reduced file should be the right one.


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Wattana
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 01:57:07 am »

Hello Georges,
    Thank you for sharing your bottle. An unusual and interesting motif. I also think it is from the 1970s.

Inn Bok,
    I think you may have shown me this bottle in Singapore. I am attracted to camphor glass overlays, and have purchased several, but almost all of them have developed cracks within a few years. As we have discussed elsewhere on the forum, this is most likely due to poor mix of raw ingredients when making the glass.
    By the way, you are able to edit your own posts, so you can remove the large photo file in Reply #11 above. This will help free up space on the forum's server.

Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 01:59:59 am »


    By the way, you are able to edit your own posts, so you can remove the large photo file. This will help free up space on the forum's server.



More important even than that, is the ease for viewing the smaller images...

Thank you for re-sizing them Georges..  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 02:49:29 am »

These 1990's pieces showed stress cracking 3 - 4 years after I purchased them from a Singapore dealer.


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* IMG_4975.JPG (100.39 KB, 474x800 - viewed 33 times.)

* IMG_4973.JPG (96.75 KB, 687x600 - viewed 22 times.)
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2016, 07:38:41 pm »

Forgot this, "Old and New Glass Snuff Bottle" by S L Tan is in the October 2002 Arts of Asia magazine.

So will add a little to this topic from the article from time to time..

This references the contour of the base continuing into the foot rim on old bottle.


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Wattana
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2016, 09:09:45 pm »

George,
Thanks for reminding me of that article.
Interesting what he has to say about the foot detail on old vs. new glass bottles. While this may hold true for glass bottles (I don't have much experience of glass), it is not true when it comes to dating stone bottles. I have handled many genuine old agates and jades over the past 30+ years, and only a small proportion have a recessed convex base.

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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2016, 10:16:39 pm »

While this may hold true for glass bottles (I don't have much experience of glass), it is not true when it comes to dating stone bottles. I have handled many genuine old agates and jades over the past 30+ years, and only a small proportion have a recessed convex base.



Thank you, that is good to know...
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2016, 10:44:59 pm »

Indeed... I never knew this for glass or hard stone.  Thank you George and Tom!
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2016, 11:05:53 pm »

Needless to say, as with all "rules", there are exceptions. Which is why it's important to examine a complete range of features, not hang your hopes on just one!  Wink

Tom
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