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Yangzhou School Bottle- Your Thoughts Please!

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Author Topic: Yangzhou School Bottle- Your Thoughts Please!  (Read 1651 times)
Joey
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 02:33:47 pm »

Steven,
     You are correct, the carving was very good, and if it had been in a shade which was genuine, like ruby red or mustard brown etc., i would have had a bigger problem saying it was wrong.
      But when trying to decide if a specific object is genuine, it only needs ONE detail being wrong to guarantee you shouldn't buy it. One doesn't ignore anything which can take it out of the running for purchase. Even if almost everything is 'right ', it might not be.
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2014, 06:06:09 am »

Forgive my intruding. After going through the entire thread I saw some uncertainties in some postings about the making of different overlay bottles. I attach a page from my new book on snuffles that will show different rawlings in different stages of making a bottle. I hope you can read the text since I had to reformate it several times.

Secondly I like to refer on several editions of the ICSBS journal where Vanessa Holden has nicely published how to recognize a modern (or falsely declared antique) bottle. Also, there you might find a contribution on Yangzhou bottles (new ones versus fakes). Perhaps you can find it on snuffbottle.org also.

A fine ne day to all of you
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2014, 06:12:25 am »

Sorry, forgot the attachement to my posting

owly


* glass bottle rawlings.jpg (92.39 KB, 605x817 - viewed 64 times.)
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2014, 08:56:19 am »

Thanks so much!  I look forward to studying this information later today.  Jo
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2014, 09:14:18 am »

Dear Ulrich,
      You are not intruding. The whole reason for the Forum is that we share knowledge with each other.

      But, you use terms that confuse me. What are 'rawlings'? And I have never heard of 'snowstorm' glass; 'snow flake', yes.
      And no offense, but 'snuffies' can be a tad cloying.
      Also, you don't mention that a certain percentage of glass bottles were blown. Not ALL were carved and hollowed out.
      Although, when blown bottles are enameled or overlaid, they can collapse when being further worked (I don't know if you remember the famous 'enameled milk glass snuff bottle of collapsed form' Robert Hall illustrated on his full page ad at the front of the Journal  of the ICSBS one time.
      Most of us got a really good laugh out of it. I think it was in one of the spring issues, about 10 or 15 years ago...
      We are agreed that Vanessa, who is very sweet, and whose parents I met in Hong Kong in Oct.1978 at my first ICSBS convention, wrote very well.
      But she didn't, to the best of my recollection, add what I call 'the Natie Katz rule of thumb', which I wrote in the post before your first posting on this thread: "If there is ONE detail that is 'off' (not right), you should NOT buy the bottle in question.
      I here add the adjunct: Unless you are so knowledgeable that you are sure it is all right, the off detail notwithstanding.  HOWEVER, one's knowledge can jump up and bite one on the posterior, on occasion!

     In late Jan.1988, I was privileged to meet Belle Schoen, the daughter of one of the truly great Western collectors of Chinese snuff bottles in the 1920s to 1960s, Martin Schoen. He is referenced in the great Lilla Perry's book on snuff bottle collecting from 1960.
     I bought 4 bottles from her at the time, one of which was a multiple colour single overlay on milk glass, in the shape of a flattened aubergine (that is an eggplant to North Americans  Cheesy), covered with assorted flowers, and with a Qianlong Yuzhi (Qianlong by imperial Command Made) mark incised on the curved part of the bottle where one would expect to find the base (There is no base, and the bottle either lies on its side, or is stood up in a wooden base).
    It was superlative because of a number of reasons: 1.the carving was superb - there were at least 9 flowers, and each was identifiable as to its type, complete with foliage; 2.all the colours were the correct shades for the period - and the correct colour for each flower and shade of green for each type of foliage; the provenance - Martin Schoen, who purchased bottles between 1921 and his untimely death in 1963, and illustrated in a catalogue for an exhibition in NYC in 1950-1952, so it had to have been made prior to 1949 when the catalogue was produced. In point of fact, it was purchased by Mr. Schoen in 1937 from Yamanaka & Co., a big Japanese dealer of East Asian antiques in NYC between 1920 and 1942 (when they were forced to close by the US government).
    The problem was that the mark was 'wonky', to use the term beloved of English collectors and dealers of my acquaintance. It was beautifully incised on the 'foot', but the 'Qian' of Qianlong was in kaishu (standard Chinese script), while the '-long Yuzhi' part was in zhuanshu (archaic script).
    I probably should have left it, but it was SO GOOD, and the provenance so good, and it was illustrated in a catalogue of Martin Schoen's bottle exhibited in NYC in 1950 or 1951, that I bought it. And at US$1,200, it seemed worth the risk.
    The more I held it, the better I felt about it, the mark notwithstanding. The late Robert Kleiner, when I showed it to him at Sotheby's London, where he was still working at the time,  commented on the mark, but then said, "bottles like this, the longer you hold them, either get much better very quickly, or much worse very quickly. This is getting much better indeed!"

    I had brought my 6 new treasures (the overlay; another glass overlay a Yangzhou seal school example; a Ma Shaoxuan in quartz with the Bai Sui Tu subject on one side, and the two sisters reading on the reverse; a superb 18th C. Black nephrite jade with the white skin on one side carved as a monkey on a horse's back, reaching for scrolls of wisdom in a pine tree's branches, the reverse with a superbly incised inscription in the black stone; and two of the three Schoen enameled bottles on the page in Mrs. Perry's book, the superb Qianlong mark and period Imperial black enamel with the peonies and the enameled Republic-period porcelain of the little girl with her dog and her flower basket; the latter two she had graciously agreed to sell me a month later, while I was still in North America.) to show my friend of 10 years.
    Robert's late father, Bob, asked to see the bottles, and got Belle's contact info out of me. He went directly over to NYC by Concorde, bought the bottle he most desired, a millefiore enameled copper bottle, also illustrated in Mrs. Perry's book, and returned by Concorde the same day!
    I went back in June, and bought another 46 bottles, and the late Hilde Schoenfeld bought about 30( I had offered my best friends in NYC the chance to go with me to Belle's, so she could sell as much as possible, which was her wish. Bernie Wald was hesitant, and didn't show up. Hilde was anything but...).
  
   To return to the bottle with the wonky mark, when I was selling most of my collection to help fund the restoration of my late Georgian country house and estate in Ireland, and in order to concentrate on my three favourite types, white nephrite jade, inside painted, and  underglazed porcelains (mainly blue & white),  I got rid of most bottles through Clare Chu (who was then Clare Lawrence), but I traded that bottle to Robert Hall for two Ding Erzhongs in glass; a Zhou Leyuan in quartz, and a superb Daoguang Imperial mark and period underglazed blue & white porcelain landscape subject bottle, and the bottle made its way to George Bloch's collection. In fact, it was on the cover of his glass volume.
   After 18 years collecting (in 1988), I made an educated guess. And trusted my instincts. I DON'T recommend it to relatively new collectors like Jo or Steven (though Steven has a MUCH better eye than me over the internet), because a fluke like mine with that overlay is a one in a million shot.
   Hope this will clarify things (though it might not..  Wink  Cheesy ).
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2014, 02:35:49 am »

Richard,

In one of my meetings with Dennis Crow who passed by Singapore in 1994 - 95 ( I think ), he showed me one cylindrical overlay bottle.
It appeared to be purple on milk bottle, with carving of continuous mountain scenery around the circumferecnc of the body.

Inn Bok
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2014, 03:03:11 am »

Joey,

Thanks for another great anecdote....!

Tom
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2014, 05:13:56 pm »

My pleasure, Tom.
Joey
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2014, 11:14:21 pm »


      And no offense, but 'snuffies' can be a tad cloying.
 

Joey, I believe the spelling was SNUFFLES, not SNUFFIES.   
Personally, I have no problem with either.    Wink

Tom
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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2014, 09:50:25 am »

Tom,
   Surely it CAN'T be 'snuffles'; that is a euphemism for a cold.  Wink  Huh
Whatever,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2014, 09:53:00 am »

I thought that was 'sniffles' not 'snuffles'
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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2014, 09:55:57 am »

Pat,
  You are right! Sorry. But I still don't like 'snuffles'... just me, I guess.  Grin
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2014, 09:58:35 am »

I can't agree more .. haha.. snuffies is better...

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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2015, 04:17:27 pm »

Dear Joey,

Just reading this interesting thread and noticed that Ulrich never got around to clarifying his post.  You asked him, "But, you use terms that confuse me. What are 'rawlings'? And I have never heard of 'snowstorm' glass; 'snow flake', yes." 

Well since Ulrich is apparently a German name I guess that he may have done a partial translation of "rohlings" - a German term for "blanks" as in blank objects that are unfinished or undecorated. The German word "roh" translates to "raw" in English. 

I have a few snowflake SB's that I have been researching and came across a few auction results using the term "snowstorm" instead of "snow flake". The following is a link to the list of "liveauctioneers" sellers who use the term including "Qinn's" who are dealer members of the ICSBS.

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/search?q=snowstorm+glass+snuff&by_date=2015-06-29T14:14:47.964Z&sort=relevance&dtype=gallery&hasimage=true&type=complete&rows=40

And even Christies has started to use the term:

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-three-color-overlay-glass-sn-1750-1850-5880133-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5880133&sid=092e7827-f758-449d-a1a3-6cc5e94ca830

And finally a little update on your Qianlong YuZhi six color overlay glass SB from the Martin Shoen collection.  It was sold in sale # 9 of the Bloch Collection in November 2014 by Sotheby's Hong Kong:

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/snuff-bottles-from-mary-george-bloch-collection-part-iv-hk0524/lot.97.html


With regards to your trade, "I traded that bottle to Robert Hall for two Ding Erzhongs in glass; a Zhou Leyuan in quartz, and a superb Daoguang Imperial mark and period underglazed blue & white porcelain landscape subject bottle, and the bottle made its way to George Bloch's collection. In fact, it was on the cover of his glass volume."  Judging by the fabulous increase in the prices of great middle school IPSB's especially Ding Erzhong's, I would say you made a very good trade then and even more so now. Smiley

Best regards,

Tom B.

 

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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2015, 04:54:00 pm »

Dear Jo,

Sorry for this late reply. Not that I disagree that it is probably better to be safe than sorry, but I don't find the color of the SB you originally posted to be out of the realm of possibilities for 19th Century Yangzhou production.  The following is a group of four snuff bottles sold for circa $4,714 in May 2010 by Bonham's London.  It included a 6.3 cm High example with a color very close to the one you posted.

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17817/lot/44/

 I found a few others that were either slightly more blue or slightly more lavender.  The colors bounce all over the place. Another example, I have been researching a wonderful 19th C double overlay Yangzhou SB with the outermost layer in cinnabar red and other than the fact that they are all opaque the reds go from light fire-engine to almost dark brown.  These artisans were not trained chemists so the proportions were usually made "over the thumb", the way our grandmothers used to make those delicious meals and desserts.   

Best regards,

Tom B.

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Tom B.

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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2015, 10:55:55 pm »

Thanks Tom for your comparison of the two bottles!!

I really thought the bottle Jo posted at first place was an old bottle, but after seeing the comparison, I start to agree with Joey that bottle could be modern. Not speaking of the color, the carving style is off to me. Hard to explain, but the real Yongzhou bottle really give a 3 dimensional  look by playing with the thickness of the overlay layer of the  glass( like the the first example Tom shared.

I am watching another possible contemporary bottle with very similar carving style with the one Jo shared.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/antique-Chinese-carved-peking-glass-snuff-bottle-2-25-Qing-squirrel-grapes-/231594600811?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35ec1d296b.

I believe those two bottles can be from the same studio,very similar style, detailed carving. but missing something when you look closer, I guess its the 3 dimensional feel of the overlay layer.

Steven
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« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2015, 02:29:49 am »

Dear Tom B.,

    Wow! What a lot of info in one post! This was wonderful to read. Thank you.

    This explains 'rawlings' (which you are correct - he never explained). I had never heard of 'snowstorm' glass; but it seems to be a relatively recent term, or possibly was originally also a term in German, which got translated into 'auctionese' English recently.
I'm impressed with the amount of research you've done on this subject.

    Re.my trade with Robert Hall (and thank you for posting my ex.Martin Schoen/ex.JB Silver overlay), it was a great bottle and was purchased by a new great collection in the making, and is back in East Asia.

Best,
Joey



Dear Joey,

Just reading this interesting thread and noticed that Ulrich never got around to clarifying his post.  You asked him, "But, you use terms that confuse me. What are 'rawlings'? And I have never heard of 'snowstorm' glass; 'snow flake', yes." 

Well since Ulrich is apparently a German name I guess that he may have done a partial translation of "rohlings" - a German term for "blanks" as in blank objects that are unfinished or undecorated. The German word "roh" translates to "raw" in English. 

I have a few snowflake SB's that I have been researching and came across a few auction results using the term "snowstorm" instead of "snow flake". The following is a link to the list of "liveauctioneers" sellers who use the term including "Qinn's" who are dealer members of the ICSBS.

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/search?q=snowstorm+glass+snuff&by_date=2015-06-29T14:14:47.964Z&sort=relevance&dtype=gallery&hasimage=true&type=complete&rows=40

And even Christies has started to use the term:

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-three-color-overlay-glass-sn-1750-1850-5880133-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5880133&sid=092e7827-f758-449d-a1a3-6cc5e94ca830

And finally a little update on your Qianlong YuZhi six color overlay glass SB from the Martin Shoen collection.  It was sold in sale # 9 of the Bloch Collection in November 2014 by Sotheby's Hong Kong:

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/snuff-bottles-from-mary-george-bloch-collection-part-iv-hk0524/lot.97.html


With regards to your trade, "I traded that bottle to Robert Hall for two Ding Erzhongs in glass; a Zhou Leyuan in quartz, and a superb Daoguang Imperial mark and period underglazed blue & white porcelain landscape subject bottle, and the bottle made its way to George Bloch's collection. In fact, it was on the cover of his glass volume."  Judging by the fabulous increase in the prices of great middle school IPSB's especially Ding Erzhong's, I would say you made a very good trade then and even more so now. Smiley

Best regards,

Tom B.

 
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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2015, 02:38:06 am »

Dear Jo,
   
    After re-reading this post, I could not for the life of me, remember how I dated that bottle when I held it in my hand in late May. How did I date it then, antique or modern?

    I want to thank you and David again for the wonderful time I had in NC. The steak was especially memorable - I love good steak, well done.  Grin    And I enjoyed looking through the catalogue you gave me. Oddly, they did not have that impressive one in the ROM in Toronto when the same exhibition was on display - only a much edited version.

   Best,
Joey

Dear Jo,

Sorry for this late reply. Not that I disagree that it is probably better to be safe than sorry, but I don't find the color of the SB you originally posted to be out of the realm of possibilities for 19th Century Yangzhou production.  The following is a group of four snuff bottles sold for circa $4,714 in May 2010 by Bonham's London.  It included a 6.3 cm High example with a color very close to the one you posted.

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/17817/lot/44/

 I found a few others that were either slightly more blue or slightly more lavender.  The colors bounce all over the place. Another example, I have been researching a wonderful 19th C double overlay Yangzhou SB with the outermost layer in cinnabar red and other than the fact that they are all opaque the reds go from light fire-engine to almost dark brown.  These artisans were not trained chemists so the proportions were usually made "over the thumb", the way our grandmothers used to make those delicious meals and desserts.   

Best regards,

Tom B.
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« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2015, 02:58:53 am »

    Re.my trade with Robert Hall (and thank you for posting my ex.Martin Schoen/ex.JB Silver overlay), it was a great bottle and was purchased by a new great collection in the making, and is back in East Asia.

Dear Joey,

If you still have the four bottles, would you have still want to exchange for this YuZhi bottle back?

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2015, 03:11:08 am »

Dear YT,

     A very interesting question!

    I love that bottle, and it is arguably one of the best overlay glass bottles in the world, if not THE best; but I stopped collecting overlay glass 24 years ago.
   Today, I love my 2 Ding Erzhongs (my first!), my Zhou Leyuan, and my Daoguang Imperial B & W landscape so much, that I think, yes, I would still do the trade.

   But I do miss that bottle, and the thrill of owning a bottle personally approved and handled by the Qianlong Emperor was really a special feeling. Of course, since I had also owned the black enamel with the peonies and the Imperial marked muttonfat jade, and at least 20 other 'Imperial use' bottles in assorted materials, as well as over 150 'Imperial Workshops' and 'Imperial Porcelain Works' examples, I got that frisson of connection from other snuff bottles, but it is a special bottle.

Best,
Joey


    Re.my trade with Robert Hall (and thank you for posting my ex.Martin Schoen/ex.JB Silver overlay), it was a great bottle and was purchased by a new great collection in the making, and is back in East Asia.

Dear Joey,

If you still have the four bottles, would you have still want to exchange for this YuZhi bottle back?

Cheers,
YT
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