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A carved amber bottle from Joey's collection?

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Author Topic: A carved amber bottle from Joey's collection?  (Read 198 times)
Steven
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« on: August 06, 2015, 03:28:30 pm »

I am sharing a wonderful carved bottle from Joey's collection .Smiley

And also would like to hear wonderful background story of this super bottle.

Dear Joey, Please let me know if you don't like it to be shared on the public Forum.

Best!

Steven


* 2015-06-30 16.37.40.jpg (175.9 KB, 800x1443 - viewed 45 times.)

* 2015-06-30 16.37.51.jpg (145.19 KB, 800x1337 - viewed 26 times.)

* 2015-06-30 16.38.12.jpg (131.49 KB, 800x503 - viewed 20 times.)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 04:59:48 pm by Steven » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 10:29:01 pm »

Dear Steven,

     That's all right, though I'd not like my IPSBs shared in the public area, since there are unscrupulous people reproducing them, or even trying to sell bottles they don't own, using pilfered photos.

     I bought this carved Baltic Amber snuff bottle from Laurance Souksi from Paris, at the Brussels Asian Art Expo in June, 2006. I'd gone to visit Clare, Michael and little Axel Chu, who were also exhibiting.

     First I bought the plain Teadust Brown Lacquer flask snuff bottle with the coral stopper, ca.1750-1830, because she was being hassled by a snobbish ignorant French couple to whom she'd offered the bottle. She wanted 800 Euros for the Lacquer from them, at the time US$1,040. I reckoned it was worth US$800-1,200, so it was a fair price and I said so. She actually gave it to me for just under US$800 (US$780) so I rounded it up to the 800. I happily autographed her copy of my 1987 Israel Museum exhibition catalogue, which she was using to illustrate some of her bottles at her booth, and later sent her a few copies as a gift, "to give out to good clients".

     And I invited her and her partner to join Clare, Michael, Axel, Gayle Gray and Pierre Laverlochere and two others as my guests for dinner. We were going to a very fine small Bistro near the Belgian Consistoire (offices of Belgium's Jewish community) which was hard to book; but the chef/owner is a Belgian Jew, the cousin of a friend from Israel, so I had no problem getting a table, and special service...  Wink Roll Eyes I'd called on arrival to give regards, and was asked if I wanted a table. I said I'd "call back with numbers (of diners)". I asked my friends if they wanted to go out with me to a friend's cousin's Bistro.

    I got a snide comment from one person, that he would if it were Bistro 'X', obviously not expecting it to be that Bistro. Imagine his surprise when it WAS the one he wanted to try! And imagine Clare's and Laurence's happiness when I apologised to him profusely, but said that I'd not meant to include him in the group! He'd been consistently rude to me and insulting in a veiled sort of way; turned out he'd been worse to Laurance, Clare and Michael. I was not going to suffer him as a guest, and they were all thrilled they didn't have to suffer him as a dinner partner. I think they appreciated that MORE than the delicious free meal!

    The guy was racist  (against Michael as a Chinese and me as a Jew), and misogynistic (he obviously had a problem with the two women dealers, and once at an ICSBS convention, with Marsha Vargas Handley. All are consummate professionals, so it could only be misogyny). And the fact he was German, did not endear him to me, either. I am very happy to socialise with nice people, and that includes Germans. Indeed, I have a German couple coming to stay on Monday for a few days - the man who taught me Japanese Chado (tea ceremony) last week, with his charming wife.

    After I bought the Lacquer flask, I saw this carved Baltic Amber flask, also ca.1750-1830, extremely well-carved with a pair of stag and doe under a tree on one face, a bird on a branch of flowering Prunus on the other face, and ornate Taotie with elongated rings on the sides. Above the raised, indented footrim is carved a continuous Greek Key design surmounted by a border of upward pointing stylized  ruyi heads. The matching stylized ruyi head border, pointing downward, is carved surrounding the base of the neck, while a ring of pendant leaves is carved around the top of the neck. Jadeite stopper with black vinyl collar. It does have a pinhead sized chip to the footrim (noticeable when you enlarge the photo), on the side with the longtailed crested bird (Asian Paradise Flycatcher?).  I paid her asking price of US$2,350.

    Since 1992 I've not collected anything other than IPSBs, B&Ws, and Nephrite Jades, but it called to me. I love the soft, tactile feel of amber, and missed the 5 of mine Clare had sold, albeit for ridiculously high prices.  Roll Eyes    So I bought myself this little gem.
    I have bought 3 bottles outside of my 3 chosen categories since 1992 - the 'gold-splashed bronze' imitation in 1999 at the London Convention, and the two bottles described in this post, in 2006. Interestingly, the two lacquer purchases came about because I was trying to 'rescue a damsel in distress'.  Wink Roll Eyes Grin

Best,
Joey
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 08:58:33 pm by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 12:18:47 am »

Beautifully carved bottle, and wonderful amber color !

Thank you for sharing it Steven, and thank you Joey for the story..
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 12:29:46 am »

Dear Joey,

Another story that made this bottle all that special.
USD$2,350 is on the low side especially when J&J sale was at it's prime in 2006.
This carved Baltic Amber would have commanded at least USD$5k or more.
Glad the bottle called out to you. Grin

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 04:52:59 am »

Dear Joey and Steven,

Wonderful bottle, and a great story, as usual.
But I'm a little confused by the 'spearheads'. Are they not stylized ruyi?

Tom
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 07:47:33 am »

Dear Tom,
 
    At 4:00am, when I've been up 19 hours, they are 'spearheads'! After 7 hrs. of good sleep, yes, they are ruyi heads.   Wink Grin
Thanks, I'll correct it.  Roll Eyes

Dear YT,

    That's funny!
    From 1992 till 2006 when I bought this Amber bottle, I'd not looked at anything but my chosen types: Underglazed B & Ws; IPSBs both antique and modern; and Nephrite Jades. First of all, at an auction with possibly 30 to 40 or more just of those three categories, I had enough on my plate to view the ones I wanted to bid on. I assumed the bottle was worth US$2,500-3,000, so I figured it was a little cheaper, but I did not know at the time that it was 'less than half its money', as the great David Dickenson in the UK would say.

    Although, I would expect a bottle with J & J provenance to go for much more than a similar bottle with the BS statement, "It's from an old [un-named] French collection"! Though it may well be. There was a mad attraction to all things Chinese and Japanese in 19th and 20th C. Europe, and especially France and the UK.  But 'J & J' is a provenance one can take to the bank!

    That's the 'problem' with not collecting outside my 3 chosen categories for the last 23 years; I am probably not aware of the prices things are fetching. And from the experience of collecting 45 1/2 years (in another week), I remember when CAD$95 got you a superbly carved  Baltic Amber  or 'Angelskin Pink' Coral snuff bottle. My, how times have changed!  Wink

Please reread my description in a few minutes after I've changed the 'arrowheads' to 'stylized ruyi heads' and 'Amber' to 'Baltic Amber'.

    Oh, and I received 10 boxes X 10 spaces for snuffbottles each (ie., they can hold 100 bottles in total) , from Jill, 3 weeks ago. I'd ordered the type which have foam padding flush to the sides of the compartments, rather than those with cotton batting under the lining. Big mistake. the bottles move around in the compartments, stoppers come out, and spoons could get broken. Or a stopper in a harder material could knock a bottle and cause damage. Jill has had made and sent to me little filler 'pillows', 90 in black like the interior, and 30 in white, filled with cotton batting, to make the bottles not shift in their individual compartments. And I only realised the problem on Tuesday, and by Friday, the fillers have already been sent via EMS. I'm hoping to have them in less than a week.

    The reason the interior is black, is to set off the mainly white nephrite jades; the reason I ordered 30 white 'fillers', in addition to the black 'fillers',  is because I have at least 10 bottles in black jade, spinach green jade, or dark skin jade, and the white will set them off better.  Anyone buying boxes to hold their bottles [and I personally recommend it because it is the traditional Scholarly Chinese (Literati) way to keep snuff bottles, and also more secure, and one has to make the effort to take the bottles out and view them, and is rewarded for his effort thereby (very Confucian!)], is strongly recommended to buy the type with the cotton batting already inside, where the bottle 'nestle' inside the cloth covering the batting; unless you might also want to use these boxes for larger objects, and in that case order the same type as I did, but with the additional 'fillers' as well, to make them safer for bottles and other small objects.

Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey

Dear Joey and Steven,

Wonderful bottle, and a great story, as usual.
But I'm a little confused by the 'spearheads'. Are they not stylized ruyi?

Tom
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 08:31:01 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 08:33:56 pm »

    After I bought the Lacquer flask, I saw this carved Baltic Amber flask, also ca.1750-1830, extremely well-carved with two deer under a tree on one face, a bird on a flowering branch on the other face, and ornate Taotie with elongated rings on the sides. Above the raised, indented footrim is carved a continuous Greek Key design surmounted by a border of upward pointing stylized  ruyi heads. The matching stylized ruyi head border, pointing downward, is carved surrounding the base of the neck, while a ring of pendant leaves is carved around the top of the neck. Jadeite stopper with black vinyl collar. It does have a pinhead sized chip to the footrim, on the side with the longtailed bird (a pheasant?).  I paid her asking price of US$2,350.

Dear Joey,

It does look like an Asian Paradise Flycatcher(longtailed bird with a crown on it's head) on a prunus tree. On the reverse side is a pair of Doe and Deer.

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 08:54:00 pm »

Dear YT,

    I've never heard of a Asian Paradise Flycatcher before, but it does have a 'crown' on its head, so I will add that to the description. And the 'flowering Prunus.
Thank you.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey



    After I bought the Lacquer flask, I saw this carved Baltic Amber flask, also ca.1750-1830, extremely well-carved with two deer under a tree on one face, a bird on a flowering branch on the other face, and ornate Taotie with elongated rings on the sides. Above the raised, indented footrim is carved a continuous Greek Key design surmounted by a border of upward pointing stylized  ruyi heads. The matching stylized ruyi head border, pointing downward, is carved surrounding the base of the neck, while a ring of pendant leaves is carved around the top of the neck. Jadeite stopper with black vinyl collar. It does have a pinhead sized chip to the footrim, on the side with the longtailed bird (a pheasant?).  I paid her asking price of US$2,350.

Dear Joey,

It does look like an Asian Paradise Flycatcher(longtailed bird with a crown on it's head) on a prunus tree. On the reverse side is a pair of Doe and Deer.

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 02:24:34 am »

Dear Joey,

You are welcome. I always like Birds of Paradise so was looking for an Asian breed that is found in China.

The J&J provenance is really something.
http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-very-rare-carved-amber-snuff-4258030-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=4258030&sid=b88bff2b-d0d2-4acf-b4c3-b44865a5d790

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 03:45:25 am »

Dear YT,

    You are right as to valuation! I did not remember that the bottle had achieved over US$30K! But it is so much finer a bottle, and a Bob Stevens AND J & J provenance is very impressive indeed. Though this bottle was not loaned by Bob to the HK Museum of Art show during the 1978 ICSBS convention, nor exhibited at his Mikimoto show at the same time in the Ginza in Tokyo (I was at both.).

    Best,
 Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 05:56:17 am »

Dear Joey,
what a superb bottle. I particularly like this color and texture of amber.
Dear YT, I am impressed by the price reached by that bottle. But it is the same old story, great part must be due to the provenance.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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