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Fake Photo Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles

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Author Topic: Fake Photo Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles  (Read 15191 times)
George
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« on: January 23, 2011, 06:59:21 am »

I can't help but notice what appear to be images placed within inside painted bottles that look like they were done by using a camera.

I do not know the name of the process. Maybe someone will chime in and post more info.

When I look at an image like these below, the painting in the background is painted, but the image of the woman appears to be a photograph. It does not  look painted.

I notice the bottom of the bottle is darkened out. I think that is because the curve at the base of the bottle would otherwise distort the photograph if it were in view there. So it is basicly blotched out.

Comments greatly appreciated !

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 01:51:37 pm »

In another thread Peter posted one of three bottles that appear to fall within this photo enhanced category of bottles.

I wanted to bring the discussion into this thread so that we can continue to build on the discussion here..

At the bottom of this post is a pic of Peters bottle.

For the sake of keeping as much of the discussion as possible within this thread. I am quoting Peters last post here as well..

Quote from Peter as follows..


"Hi George

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm         

You  may indeed be  correct  about the  girl  bottle  !     

I never  looked closely at it  before,  but I just   had a   very careful look   with a  high power    15  x   magnifying  glass .

From  the  inside  it seems to have  been painted  because you can see  the    reverse  painting  layers .  But there is something "wrong"   with the front side. The   fine  detail on the   embroidery   seems   fuzzy / out of   focus  under the  magnifying  glass.   If  it was  painted  it  should  break down   under  magnification  into  individual  brush   strokes,  not a    fuzzy  image .   And the   girl's skin   has a  sort of   "cracked" appearence, like  very  fine  lines radiating from  points ,  which  would   also   suggest they  are not caused  by brush strokes .

Also, the   base  area  is  darkened  out  just as in the    pic  you   show under the Photoenhanced  image  thread . I never attached   any importance to the   dark base  before  until  I  read  your   earlier  thread

And, the  background  leaves  are   certainly  painted  in an  entirely different   and much simpler style  from the   girl , as if they  were   added afterwards  by  another  artist.

Mmmmmmmm   very interesting   !    Seems  I have been  taken  for  a  ride  on that  one.  Even stranger because  it came   from the  reputable bottle  shop  in SH  I use.

 Tomorrow  I will    take  better  pics  of the   front and  back  of the  bottle and  post them  with a copy of this  message  under  your Photo enhanced  image  thread  .

I have a  very good  quality (and  100%  genuine)  "  Chinese girl"   bottle  which  I bought  from  Bill   to the  same level of  superficial  detail  so I  will take some  hi  -res  pics  of that  as well  for comparison and post them as well .

Maybe  we  can   get to the  bottom  of this  together. "


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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 04:29:04 pm »

There is definitely photography somehow involved in this bottle. Maybe one of the two  of you can get to a location where this is done and capture some video.... I am most curious as to how this is technically achieved.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 07:34:09 pm »

Hi Bill

I'm going to  send   pics  of  my  photo-enhanced  girl  bottle  to  Jill  to  ask if she can  help  us  . If   Jill does not  know, I will send the  bottle to  LXS  so get  his  advice.  Based on where I bought  it from,  I think it   originated  in Hengshui somewhere

Cheers  Peter
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 08:49:14 pm »

It seems I completelely missed this thread before.  I have a couple of 'tuition' bottles in this area as well, which I long suspected could not be so good quality in painting.  Cant wait to hear/see the detail process on these.  An intriguing process if through photography but amazing result. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 09:32:08 pm »

Folks, the more I think about this, the more this throws oil into the fire... IF this is possible and achievable with todays technology, then certainly we have to consider and evaluate other things about modern IPBs.  There are many modern bottles I have seen that have blacked out bottoms.  So, if this is possible with faces/portraits then certainly it can be done with birds, landscapes etc...

Now, THAT is a really scary thought... 
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 09:44:03 pm »

Hi George

This  morning  I  took a bunch of  pics  of the  Chinese  girl   Photo-Enhanced  ( " P-E")   image  bottle , and also a  comparable   real  inside  painted  bottle .   It's   now  absolutely clear that the  Chinese girl  bottle  is   a P-E  bottle
After  editing down the pics  I have  about   20 really  good  pics  to  show  to contrast   between the  real thing IPB and the  P-E  type. They  are  between   500 kB  -  1  MB . OK if I  mount them  all ?

Cheers  Peter

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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 10:13:58 pm »

Yes, sure thing... Post away..

They should all fit easily within a single posting..


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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 12:52:45 am »

Hi Folks

This  morning  I  took   my  Photo- Enhanced  (  P-E) bottle  and  another   similar bottle  painted  by a  Hengshui   artist    Wang  Sijia  whom  Bill and  I know  personally :  a  senior  student of   Li Shouxun.  Check  out  Bill's website   www.snuffbottlecollector.com   for  numerous  examples  of  WSJ's   works, and the  bottle  I own  I  bought  from  Bill  (beautiful !) 

Superficially, both bottles  look    similar in quality   side by side.   The  WSJ bottle  is a copy  of a   Chinese oil painting,  while the  P-E bottle  is  obviously   also  a  copy  of  some    Chinese  painting . 

I  photographed  both bottles  in detail    at max  res / fine  quality    with my Nikon P1000 , thus  producing  3 -4  MB  pics. Then I  cropped   down and  if the    final  pic  was >  1.5M ( max  for   postings )   I compressed  . So  all pics  were  taken  under  the  same conditions. 

It's obvious  that  the   WSJ  pics   break down  under  hi- res to  individual  brush  strokes  .  Whereas the   P-E pics    become  more and more   fuzzy the   greater the   resolution , which  would    absolutely  indicate  that a  photo  had been  somehow pasted  inside the  bottle ( I   really  don't    know  how ! ) . It's   surely  impossible to create   that  fuzzy  out-of  focus  effect  by  inside  painting .

The  P-E  "artist"  has  touched  up the  girl's  hair a little  in balck , but  very   crudely.  Also the  base  of the  bottle  has been   manually darkened.  Finally, someone  has   added the  leaves,   and   bamboo  sprouts  +  signature  by hand   on the  back side .

I'm now  going  to post  the  two bottles  side by side  and close  up  this  posting  to make  sure  it  works  OK

Then  I  will post all the  WSJ  pics, and,   finally ,   all the  P-E  pics.

You can  judge for  yourself  and  draw  your own conclusions.

But  for me  it's  quite   clear that  George  was  100%  correct  to immediately   spot a  P-E  bottle  when  he  saw  it  and  mea  culpa   (  caveat  emptor !)  for having been   fooled  all this  time   

Thanks  George !    Cheesy

Cheers  Peter





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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 01:00:33 am »

Hi again  Folks

Here  are the   Wang Sijia  pics 

(Great   artwork and  thanks to  Bill for  selling  me  this  bottle  from  the  " Collector  Bottles  for Sale"    section  of his   site) 

Cheers  Peter


















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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 01:15:11 am »

Hi yet  again Folks

Here  are  the  P-E  bottle  pics, taken under  identical  conditions as  the   WSJ  bottle

Note the     big  difference  in  clarity   at  equal   hi-resolution   between  : on the  one hand  the  P-E  image of the   girl ;   and on the  other   hand  the  leaves/ bamboos/  signature 

Cheers  Peter























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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 01:34:01 am »

Dont know about the rest of you, but:

1) this is shocking because it means this can be done with ANY picture to make ANY bottle, it just makes me realize
2) makes me want to take the highest possible magnifying device along to closely examine ANY new painted bottle
3) reinforces the thread long gone somewhere here where we talked about provenance/authentication/certificate
4) highlights the need to
           a) expose the people selling this type of bottle and force them to tell the truth to prospective buyers
           b) avoid ANY resource, from wherever, internet, or in my case and Peter's, dealers(Huh) who refuse to come clean about these types of bottles.

5) We need to identify how and where these bottles are made. 

Just as I was being converted into modern IPSBs, this happens.  To be honest, I prefer real painted copies/fakes/replicas of older bottles than this ..

It is shocking to me that dealers that I trusted have conned me into buying several examples of these without ever disclosing the truth to me.  Makes me lose faith in those people completely.  It seems Peter was conned once, but I was conned multiple times by different folks.

Mark it as part of the learning curve, but it really is dissappointing nevertheless. 



 
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 01:48:47 am »

Hi   ( for the last time  today)

Finally  .... here's  two very   close  up sections of  the    girl's  faces  from each bottle  : same   photo conditions and  same   cropping size, so  apples - with- apples

Again , the   difference  is  obvious  at  hi- res.  

PAT  : I just  saw  your  posting  of a few minutes  ago . Once  you  know  what you  are looking for ( which  I think I now  do know...) , it's  easy to  spot the  difference  with just a  normal pocket  magnifying glass.  I always   carry an  8 x and and  30 x  with me  when on my travels .

BUT...

a)  I was   completely   fooled  by the    P-E  girl  bottle  because I did not know what to look for   ( now  I  do, thanks to  George !)    - maybe  it was the  girl's  seductive  smile   ?     Wink


b)  On a website  you   could never  tell the   difference (unless  you were  very  astute) , which is  why I started  off  with   a pic  of both  bottles  side-by-side

Man.........  I am  learning a   lot from this  Forum !   Thanks again   George !

Cheers  Peter



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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 05:05:42 am »

Hi  (  yet  again  / hope  I am not  boring   you  all)

Here's  a  correspondence  with  Jill  ( Guo Jie)

P to  J :
 
I  recently  noticed that a bottle  I bought  2 years   ago from a   Bottle  shop  in Shanghai    seems  not  to  be a  real   inside  painting. It seems  to be   kind of   photograph  image .   But    someone  has painted  over  ( the girl's black  hair)  and  also the  leaves and    characters on  the back of the bottle. The bottle was  not  expensive  (  RMB300)  I  only bought  it because I liked the  girl's  smile.
 
Other collector  friends  have also  told  me  that  they  have seen this  kind of bottle. you   ever  seen this  kind of bottle?

J  to  P :
 
The bottle was printed first,then giving it color,because the portrait is difficult  painting for a lot of artists,so they use a special way like we print photo to make a profile,then making the color on it,Heng Shui's people use this way a long time ago.

P  to  J :

 
Thanks  Jill .But  I still have several  questions :
 
1.  How  does the  artist print the  photo  profile into the    inside of the bottle?   
2. The  pictures  I sent  you  show that  in  fact   the  complete  colored   photo  picture  was  printed  inside  the  bottle .
 
The  whole  picture of the  girl  is not  painted It  is a photographic  print.  The  only thing  the  artist  actually painted  was to   add some extra  black to the  hair and   color the   base    dark   color  ( also  paint the  bamboo  leaves  on the  back )
 
 So how is  it possible to  print a  complete  colored   photo inside a bottle ?

J to P :

They are not just print black color into it,they first print the photo profile into the bottle,the profile only black color,then they add different colors what they want into the profile,so the bottle looks like they paint. Only portrait bottle they use this way,because most  artists cannot  paint portrait  bottles  anymore.  If you want Hu Xiaoran,Suo Jing and the other artists who  paint landscapes to paint portrait bottles,they Can Not do it.

________________________

Not  sure  how much  further  this  gets  us.   I  still  don't know  how the  printing  is done, and  I   suspect Jill  still  did not get my point that the whole   color  picture  is   printed, not just the black an white  outline.

Re  Pat's point  that  I was  conned  by   Ms Wang  in SH :  I   don't  think even she  realised  it was a print ! She  would not  knowingly have conned  me , and  certainly  I  didn't notice the subtle differences  until  yesterday , and the  bottle has been on my shelf  for  2  years.  ( Mind  you, being  only a  "gift"  quality  bottle I never bothered to   examine it  under the  magnifying  glass  before )

This   week I'm going to SH  so I will take the bottle and  show her  it's a print. Then  see what shes  says.  My guess is  that she will be  as  suprised as I was. 

But  maybe  she  also  can help me  find   out  who  " painted "  ( printed it )  ..........!

The  plot thickens !

Cheers  Peter  @ GZ



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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 05:22:09 am »

Wow.. any idea how this can be done AND cost-effective? 

Peter, by the way, it is STILL hard to tell with magnification and without the benefit of looking at the pixel construction once magnified on the pc.  But I guess the dark bottom is a giveaway.  Still have not figure out exactly why they need to do that.  Is the bottom (glass) of your lady bottle darkened out?
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 07:24:46 am »

Hi  Pat,

The  pixel   construction   tells  all.  Look at the  last   2  pics  I posted  of  the   2  girls' faces   at     roughly  equal  resolution /  cropping

The  P-E   face  is  220  kB    and the  real  painting  is 426 kB.  OK...    2 x the  pixels  for the  real  one, but  that's  enough to  show that the    P-E   does  not  resolve  down to    brush strokes  ( I  will  try and  post  again, this  time   with  P-E  2 x pixels  compared to the   real  one)

The   bottom of the  bottle   is   manually  painted  out  black  : you  can see the  brush  strokes,   same  as  you can see the  rather   crude  black manual   brush  strokes  on the   girl's  hair  as touch-up.

Actually, I must   admit  I  always  felt  there  was something  "odd" about this bottle.  But  I could never  put  my finger  on what  it  was  that  was "odd" , and being  just a   gift  quality  bottle  I     stuck it  on the  back shelf  out of  sight. I  did  notice that  her hair  seemed  to  have  been   painted   extra  black  at the  top   rather   crudely , which seemed  out  of   character    with the  rest of the   picture of the  girl  which seemed much higher   quality.  But  now  I  understand  the  reason  why this  bottle seemed  "odd". 

Now  that  I  know  what to look for  I could  easily  spot such a  bottle   again.  But  without  George's  intervention  I  might   easily  have  been   duped  again  at   gift  quality level.  For   premium  bottles (  USD 200 + ) I always  use a  magnifying  glass  before  I buy , if only to  asses the   painter's  skill.

As  to   whether  this  is  cost -effective,  I guess the  answer  is that  it  must be so !  Bear  in mind that this  bottle was     in the  higher price section  of  Ms  Wang's  shop  and - to the   casual    tourist  buyer  -   significantly  more  beautiful and   DETAILED   than  other  lower priced  bottles .

Methinks  I will   ask  for  my money  back  when I go to see her  this  thursday .  I  will be able to  tell at once  from her  face  if   she  was  equally  duped   !

And  as  for  fakes  .... well you  know China  as  well as  I do. If it  can be  faked  it will be  faked !  I have even heard  of  fake   chicken eggs  !

Cheers  Peter  @  Guangzhou

 

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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 07:36:00 am »

Hi  again

OK, here's  REAL  apple-to-apple

I  took  my  original   3.5 MB  pics  of  each bottle and   just   cropped   directly  down to the  faces .

The   real  painted    came out  at  53 kB and  the  P-E face  came  out  at  82kB . The  slight  difference  is attributable to  the  slighly   different   sizes  of the   cropped   oblong





QED  !

Cheers  Peter

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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2011, 09:24:57 am »

  But I guess the dark bottom is a giveaway.  Still have not figure out exactly why they need to do that. 

I think it is safe to say that is the tell tail sign.. My guess is that the more extreme curved shape of the bottle at that lower area distorts the photo enhancing process so badly that it has to be masked/darkened.

Concerning to me is that if it is just that particular area of this particular body style that distorts the photo enhancement, perhaps other body shapes do not distort at this area. Thus no need for the darkening/masking. Perhaps a thin, taller and more wide/flat front and reverse body style ( example below image ) would easily accommodate an entire image with no worries to distortion resulting from the process.

I do think it is safe to say as well, that a bottle with painting that is wraped around and onto the sides of an inside painted bottles body, is in fact painted and not photo enhanced.

Great images Peter !

I am on the fence in regards to posting/exposing actual sellers who mix these photo enhanced bottles in with the actual painted bottle. I understand that business is business, and we are a free enterprise Country, but do feel strongly that the seller be forced to describe these bottles for what they are. Or are not !

In corresponding with one particular seller, hard to tell, but it seemed she was a bit surprised at the possibility that her bottles were photo enhanced. Asked if I ever found out how it was done to let her know. It seems obvious that this particular seller is purchasing these in quantity from the wholesaler for the purpose of resale. I would think she could have tracked down some information from her supplier if she was truly interested. Especially since she is in China..

I am going to find and join up to a popular photography forum and see if someone can help us out... ! 




http://
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2011, 07:35:29 pm »

http://Hi  George, All

Just  had  an  idea , again based  on  your postings.......

Obviously the  image ( in my case the  girl)    has been   stuck to the inside of the  bottle .  It  must  surely  be  some  kind of thin, flexible, semi- transparent  plastic  film  which  has  been  rolled  up, inserted  through the  neck of the bottle,  and then somehow  unrolled and  adhered to the   bottle  inside  face.

Maybe the   film is  slightly  wet or  has  some  solvent  on it, so that  it sticks  to the  glass as the  water/ solvent  dries  out. Or  maybe  it's  like  those   transparent    square  sheets  of  plastic that  magically  stick to the inside  of  your  car  windscreen in the  top     corner  to   display  your annual  road licence  disc  (those  films  stick  pretty  tight  all year and  sometimes  even need a    sharp  blade to  prize  up a  corner  so they can be  carefully peeled  off  and used  again.)

But  in either  case, the  bottom   (  also the  top ? ! ) of the   film  are the   weak points  where   the  film  needs something additional to stick  it  down  firmly:  maybe a  tiny   drop  of   super-glue . Or  else  the bottom ( and  also the  top? !)  are  where  it's particuarly   obvious that the  picture  is  in fact a  plastic  film.  Therefore,    the  bottom of the  bottle must  either  be   darkened  out  ( as  in   George's  example  pic  - looks  like  there's   kind  of   smoky  spray  been  applied   to the base of his  example  at the  start  of this   thread)  or  painted black , as in my   bottle  example.  Maybe  in my bottle  the  paint  also  acts  as  an adhesive  . 

And  in my  bottle example.  note that there's also  manual  black painting  of the   the   girl's  hair , which  in fact  is  done   very   crudely,  and therefore  I guess  must have been  done   with   some   specific  purpose, probably to   help  stick the  top of the  film  to the  bottle  ( =  potential  peel-off point)  or to  cover  up  a  blob  of   super-glue  . Or,   maybe,   to  disguise  any   small  nicks  in the   top  of   film  caused by the  tiny  tweezers  used to  postition the  film.

It's quite   clear  from my  bottle that  the   black  painting   at the   bottom  of the  film and  the  girl's  hair  has been  done  by a  worker  because the   work is  so  crude.  Then  someone else   with  some    rudimentary  skills  paints the  bamboo  leaves and  signs it on the  back ( note  : it's    also unusual  for  a  signature to  appear  on the  back side  of a  bottle , when the  back side  is essentially   blank )

As a   scientist  I cannot  think  of  any  possible   way that the   image  could have been  directly  photo-etched  into  the  inside   face  of the  bottle  . It  might  conceivable  be possible to  photo-etch  a  colored  image  onto  the  outside  of a bottle, but  that would  require  a  very complicated  process because   etching means    eating away the  surface  and then   depositing  something else that bonds   chemically  with the  glass  (  somewhat  like   the  way    silicon  chips  are  made ). There  are  chemical   ways to  do this,  but  it  would  require  a multi-stage  process  using    various  photomasks  for  each  color and   finally the   picture  could be  resolved   down  to pixels. Photo-printing  of an image  on the  outside  face  would   certainly  be possible  if the  face  is  reasonably  flat and   one  uses a modified  ink-jet printer.  But  none of these  processes   could  be  used  on the  inside of a bottle  

Therefore  the  only  possible  way is  a  thin  semi- transparent  film.  A  high   quality   color  photocopier   or ink-jet  printer  makes  the  image  on the  film ,  which  is  then  carfully  cut out , rolled up, inserted,  and  unrolled  inside the  bottle.  The    whole  process could  be  done  ina  few  minutes.

Maybe   the printed  side  of the  film  is  in fact  on   the  inside  face of the  film  i.e the  side   facing  into the  bottle interior, and the  other  side   facing  outside the bottle    which  sticks to the    inside   bottle  glass  surface  is  smooth and   sticky for  good  adhesion. It  should be   possible to  test  that  by   lightly   scratching the   film.  If the   image  is  on the  inside   face  of the   film   it can  be directly  scratched  from within the inside of  the  bottle. But if the image  is  on the   glass   side of the  film facing outside   it  cannot  be    disturbed  by light  scratching    the  film  from inside the  bottle.

I will  test  this   theory  on my  bottle after I have   taken  it  back to  Ms  Wang's  shop   in SH this   week  to   let her see  it  for what it   really  is  ( Last time  I was there   she   had several  other  Chinese  girl bottles  like mine  in a  kind of  series  : it  will  be very interesting to see if they  all have the   based and  hair manually painted)

I have  no further interest  in it  as  an IPB, so  it will   henceforth become an  object of   scientific  investigation      Angry   

Cheers  Peter @  Guangzhou

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Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2011, 09:09:30 pm »

Hi  George

Another  thought....  I think the  title  of this   thread  is  misleading .

 It  should  be:  "Photo-Printed  Images"  , or even  better:  "Faked  Photo-Printed Images"  because  the  images are   created  by  photo -printing  onto a  film   that is  then  stuck inside the bottle

( And therefore I was incorrect to  call  my   photo-printed  bottle  a  Photo-etch "P-E"  image  , because there's no  way the   picture  could  have  been  "etched" in the   true sense of the   word)

If you  agree,  can you  change the  title of this  thread  all the  way through?

( I am guessing  that  what   Jill  refers   to  in  my  correspondence  with her  copied  below  is   a completely  different  process, which  is   truly  "photo - enhanced"  -  or  maybe  more  accurately  -  "photo- assisted"  inside  painting  .  The   artist   creates a  thin  film  copy  of the    portrait, maybe  using  something as  simple as  tracing paper,   and sticks  it to  the   outside of the bottle   to use as  guide when  painting  inside. Afterward the    film is removed and  thrown  away . That's  why  Jill refers to  black and  white  outline   films to get the     overall  shape   correct, and  also to color  films   which  helps the  artist  even  more . Anyway,I will  discuss this   with Jill    when I next  see  her  in late  May)

But   whatever  we call   this kind of bottle,  I hope  there's  now enough information in this   thread  to teach  any  new  ( ( and  old !) collector how to    distinguish  between    a    faked  photo-printed  image  bottle    and  a  real  inside -painted bottle. Certainly  I   have learned a lot from this  thread !

Cheers  Peter
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 11:27:14 pm by Bottle Guy » Report Spam   Logged

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