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Mongolian Glass Bottle With Metal Filigree Overlay

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Author Topic: Mongolian Glass Bottle With Metal Filigree Overlay  (Read 189 times)
RW
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« on: March 18, 2016, 06:49:03 pm »

Hi Everyone,

  A Mongolian snuff bottle with copper or bronze floral filigree overlay, decorated with turquoise glass cabochons. The hinged clip in the back forms a dual purpose of being both the spoon, with curved edges at the bowl end to hold snuff, while it could also be hung over the edge of the collar down the front of a garment so as to wear it as a piece of jewelry. The filigree work was made with lead rather than solder at the joints.
The open work in the top would allow one to shake some snuff from the bottle and onto the spoon.

Condition: Filigree- spots of tarnish, no breaks. A chip exists to the lip of the bottle underneath the lid which might suggest that the bottle had some other use before the overlay was added since the spoon was designed to lay underneath the top to catch the snuff rather than make contact with the glass.

Bottle length (including lid):  2 1/2"; 6.4 cm

Mouth: 4.75 mm

Thank you for looking. Your comments would be greatly appreciated

Kind regards

Kevin



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« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 05:02:27 am by Kevin » Report Spam   Logged

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YT
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 08:25:56 pm »

Dear Kevin,

Please repost your photos with instructions from here http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,2908.msg39186.html#msg39186

I could not open your files but yours look like a Mongolian bottle.
Ladies bottle are not like that.

Cheers,
YT
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George
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 08:53:07 pm »

Hi there Kevin...

Not a ladies snuff bottle, but rather a perfume bottle  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 03:27:48 am »

 Dear YT,
   
 Many thanks for your post.
 I changed the thread to read a Mongolian glass bottle, and no longer stating it as a lady's bottle, although I thought it as such with the flowery plum blossom detail. Also, I very much regret that there is a problem with the photos, and will have to look over the instructions to make any corrections on that

 I went back in and following the link with your suggestion and used the pixlr program to resize everything to 800 pixels- much appreciated, thank you  I hope the photos are now ok for everyone to see
Best,

Kevin


Hello George,
 Thank you for looking and your post. I changed the description to give a little more detail about the spoon which has a bowl with curved edges to hold snuff from the bottle . Someone might try to use such a bottle to hold perfume, however, the spoon would not have been needed. And, most metal perfume type bottles would be hung from a garment with a pin, rather than the spoon type backing shown here.

Best
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 05:29:11 am by Kevin » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 04:11:32 am »

Dear Kevin,

     Because of what looks like open cut-work in the hinged stopper, I wonder if your piece, which looks late 19th C. In period, is not a type of vinaigrette, a small bottle or box designed for someone to smell something astringent ( or sweet-smelling, but astringent was more useful for removing bad smells from the olfactory senses than a sweet smell, which could combine with the bad smell to produce a sweet but cloying smell; hence the name vinaigrette).
     
      I assume that a cork or stopper of some sort originally stoppered the  bottle, or the vinegar, smelling salts, perfume or snuff  would have spilled out. I listed snuff last, because  it seems to me a later conversion to tempt Westerners, who wanted 'something different' ; Chinese, at least the Literati, tended to prefer variations on a theme.

      Of course, being 'Mongolian' in style, it could have been made for a Mongol or a Manchu, or a Tibetan, and then all bets are off, re.stylistic considerations. Except for those Manchus who were part of the Court (Imperial Family, Manchu entourage), most Manchus would have been far from Literati ideals. They were 'rough, tough' Barbarians and proud of it.

    An interesting piece.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 07:18:51 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2016, 05:27:40 am »

Joey,
 Shalom

 Many thanks for looking at this piece, and I am glad that you find it to be an interesting one. I appreciate your insight
 There is a novelty to the design, I think we agree, and quite possibly an intended dual purpose in the design features, although I think w/the narrow mouth, same diameter as that of many period snuff bottles, and with the shallow spoon feature, rather than a dauber for softer application to the skin with liquids as opposed to a sharp spoon, this may have been best suited to hold a powdery material, and more so  than the course salts if ever these were taken directly into the nasal passages, not just the pungent aroma alone
 I had not seen anything like this one before and that caught my attention on 1st sight along w/the attractive appearance
Best,

Kevin
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 01:21:06 pm by Kevin » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 04:54:25 pm »

Dear Kevin,

      Were 'smelling salts' ever taken into the nose?
I thought that they were literally just for 'smelling'.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 09:55:56 am »


 Dear Joey,

 Many thanks for your question. In knowing better the purpose in design to this bottle with a sharp edged spoon, and narrow mouth, we can also look at what it's not:

Smelling salts is an ammonia based compound. The gas is highly caustic to the linings of the nose and lungs, and rather than snuffing back the salts directly into the nose with a spoon, in the 19th C they were commonly dissolved with perfume in vinegar or alcohol. A sponge then would have been soaked in the mixture and placed in a small decorative container, which we know as a vinaigrette. This type of container would have had a wider mouth than the one I show to fit the sponge, and a spoon wouldn't have been necessary. Much the same as with a perfume bottle, there would be no practicality to a sharp pointed spoon, for "slapping"  the skin w/the mix, rather a snuff powder would have easily been poured onto the spoon for use.

Best,

Kevin

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 03:14:44 pm »

Dear Kevin,

      Thank you for that information. I have a few vinaigrettes, and you are right - there is a much larger opening to put the sponge in, and then the fretwork cover over that, and a solid cover over the fretwork cover.
      But this still does not work for me as a snuff bottle. I am getting closer to what I understood as George's suggestion - that it was made as a lady's perfume bottle. And then 'tarted up' to become a snuff bottle if that would sell better.
      But I must admit, it's value on the Forum has been to force us to think!  Grin And that is a good thing.
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 04:05:44 pm »



Dear Joey,

 I very much appreciate your post, many thanks to you for that. A converted perfume bottle works, and will leave it as such. I have to admit the metal work and cabochons appear to to be very similar between what would have been the perfume bottle base with hinged lid, and the top floral decoration held above that by the spoon or "flower stem" in this case, suggesting that the 2 sections were done at the same time which makes that even more interesting to me. I also like your earlier suggestion that due to the not seen before theme that this may have been intended for export

Best,

Kevin

 
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2016, 07:08:01 pm »

Dear Kevin,

      Think about China in the period after the Opium wars and the development of steamship traffic from Europe to the Far East. All of a sudden, there were a lot of wealthy Westerners, buying souvenirs, the more Exotic and 'Oriental' the better.
I am not necessarily saying this object was for export per se. I do think that it's intended buyer was either a well-heeled visitor from
the West, or one of the minority peoples, such as a Tibetan, a Mongol, or a Manchu not connected to the Court (Those connected to the Court were very Sinicised and slavishly followed Han Literati dictates).

     I have looked again at the piece, and you may well be correct that the spoon part was made at the same time as the bottle. And it reminded me of something: I saw a superb collection of Thai snuff bottles in Bangkok in 1999, the collection of the late John Ault. He'd received most of them from his wife's family, who are members of the extended Thai Royal Family. I remember seeing snuff bottles with similar exterior connected spoons among John's collection.

     The decorative style is obviously of the type that we characterize as 'Mongolian'. That does not mean it can't have been made for the Thai market, although the logical inference is that it was made for the Mongol, Manchurian or Tibetan markets, or to sell to a rich Western collector, either in or outside, of China.

      I must say that while it is not my personal taste, I can easily see why it intrigued you enough to buy it.
Best wishes,
Joey
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 04:48:43 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 07:20:39 pm »


Joey,
  I am grateful to you as always for sharing your expertise w/me,  and to many other astute collectors as well on this site for what it has given me in the opportunity to ask and learn about this great hobby

All the best,

Kevin
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 04:55:28 am »

Dear Kevin,

      In Judaism, we say that those before us were giants, and each succeeding generation is less and less so. But why do we see farther than they did? Because we are standing on the shoulders of those who went before us!

      I stood on some very broad shoulders, those of collectors who came before me and very generously shared their knowledge with me; I want to honor my 'teachers' by helping those who are coming after me. And thanks to George, who founded The Forum, and keeps it on an even keel, we are all able to learn from one another.

Best,
Joey
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 05:54:26 am »


 So well said, thank you for sharing!
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 05:53:45 am »

 On further research,  I have chosen to add a photo of a Chinese inspired mid century glass perfume bottle example, Bohemian in origin, with similar but not the same design detail to the earlier one that I show.  From the photo, the overall design character of the Bohemian bottles show less specific or finer details in the metalwork and turquoise arrangement than the earlier Chinese counterparts
 Czech glass producers, marketed an array of these inspired bottles with different arrangements in filigree overlay and turquoise decorations, sometimes substituting coral for turquoise, but none had a spoon "stem".
 Much as the flacon design for the perfume "Opium" by YSL was inspired by the 17th jade snuff bottles, the metal filigree work in Victorian China inspired these Bohemian makers. 


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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2016, 05:57:38 am »

Dear Kevin,

       That is really interesting! And that looks to my eye more like a snuff bottle, except for the glass scent application stick of course!
Just goes to show...
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2016, 05:52:13 pm »


  Dear Joey,
      Thank you, glad you like it! Grin
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