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Engraved Peking Glass Bottle - From Stanford University Museum Collection

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Author Topic: Engraved Peking Glass Bottle - From Stanford University Museum Collection  (Read 386 times)
Pat - 查尚杰
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« on: March 25, 2016, 12:24:22 am »

Hi all

Just acquired a new bottle.  Inputs and translation greatly appreciated.  Would love to find out who donated it in 1974 but can not find out any more info.

7.2 cm high


* engraved.jpg (43.21 KB, 597x800 - viewed 23 times.)

* engraved2.jpg (35.25 KB, 600x700 - viewed 21 times.)

* engraved3.jpg (53.77 KB, 501x800 - viewed 13 times.)

* engraved4.jpg (43.19 KB, 800x553 - viewed 10 times.)

* engraved5.jpg (36.46 KB, 800x590 - viewed 16 times.)

* engraved6.jpg (38.21 KB, 646x600 - viewed 14 times.)

* engraved7.jpg (37.83 KB, 800x599 - viewed 10 times.)

* engraved8.jpg (22.38 KB, 603x600 - viewed 7 times.)
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George
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 12:52:00 am »

Yes, I looked that one over pretty good Pat.. My two cents is that the bottle is in fact old.. Maybe even 18th, but the etching sure looks like done with modern, fast, electric powered rotary tool.

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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 01:06:46 am »

I actually don't think so George.  This was donated in 1974.  There were no small tools available to do that prior... in my view... but of course I can be wrong.  If you look at the detail, I think it was hand done. 



* close up 2.jpg (160.39 KB, 1002x1600 - viewed 11 times.)

* close up.jpg (177.72 KB, 1599x1484 - viewed 12 times.)
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 01:29:05 am »

Could easily have been done with a dremel tool.. Tools like these have been around much earlier.   I hope am wrong Pat.. Hopefully someone else can confirm, but looks like classic tooling marks left from such a tool..
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 01:44:55 am »

Tell ya what... Any chance you can focus in on about 4 or 6 characters at once, and bring to an image size equal to those in your previous post ?  Or what ever best you can do ..
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 01:52:05 am »

George

It is always possible I guess but this bottle was in Stanford collection until 3 months ago. Don't have it in hand so I can not get better pics for now ...
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 02:21:54 am »

I really hope am wrong Pat.. Truly..

Couple things that stand out for me ... The heavy chipping along the edge of brush strokes..

Also see areas where it appears the etcher, due to what ever combination calls for it, to actually skip across the glass.  From moving the tool to fast while in forward motion across surface.
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 02:32:24 am »

Trying to find where online I saw reference to the chipping like that.. But not finding it , and not finding it in a book..

So take my observations with a grain of salt until if and when I can find something to compare for us..

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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 02:42:01 am »

Maybe we should start by deciphering the engraving and seal . At least some initial clues to go on. It would also be great if we could find out if the bottle was engraved already when in Stanford collection. There were NO dremel tools in 1974.
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 02:47:55 am »

Maybe we should start by deciphering the engraving and seal . At least some initial clues to go on. It would also be great if we could find out if the bottle was engraved already when in Stanford collection. There were NO dremel tools in 1974.

Sounds good.. Lets see if someone can help with the seal.. 

Gosh, am I that old !!  I thought those had been around forever ... Lol !
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 03:05:22 am »

Haha. I think you answered your own question.  But at least I remember there weren't any around then .. Lol ..
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2016, 03:07:20 am »

It would also be great if we could find out if the bottle was engraved already when in Stanford collection.

This bottle came from the same seller the jet was from.  From what I could see everything the seller is offering came from the same Skinner sale. Except apparently this one. I can't find it from within that auction..  

Maybe ask the seller..  I have been talking with her a bit since the jet bottle.  Very nice, and I bet if she can help, she will..
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 03:12:08 am »

Thanks George
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2016, 03:41:45 am »

Further info ... The bottle came from the Russell J. Miedel collection

http://prabook.org/web/person-view.html?profileId=88630

By the way the 1974 does not relate to when the gift was made .. It is just a catalog number.

The bottle belonged to a 136 bottle collection donated between 1954 and 1959 to the University. Here is a 1960 news article advertising the showing to the public of the collection:

http://stanforddailyarchive.com/cgi-bin/stanford?a=d&d=stanford19600128-01.1.4&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-------
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2016, 12:09:49 pm »

Guys,
   
    Here is the little article:

"The Stanford Daily, Volume 136, Issue 67, 28 January 1960

Museum to Show New Acquisitions
An unusual jade incense burner, given by Millard C. White of Oakland, and a valuable collection of 136 Chinese snuff bottles, given by Mr. and Mrs. Russell J. Miedel of San Mateo, will be shown at the Stanford Museum through Sunday as part of "Major Accessions, 1954-,'59." The incenser dates from the late 18th century, and the snuff bottles, which are created from a variety of semi precious stones and glass, are of the 17th through 19th centuries. The Museum is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is 25 cents."

    I have a friend, Mel Bacharach, who is both a snuff bottle collector and an alumnus of Stanford. I also have a cousin from Israel, presently finishing up his PHD at Stanford. I have copied down the number (1974.242.277), and will ask them if one or the other can get us the info.

    But Pat, I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong when you say the number 1974 is not the year it was accessioned to the museum. If you notice, the article mentions 1954-'59 for that group. There is no reason that someone could not have given this bottle in 1974. Even more, sadly, someone with access could have switched bottles any time between 1974 and the time the bottle was de-accessioned.

    For example, Roland Yazhari, an Iranian national, who claimed to Jews that he was Jewish; and to Christians and secular people, that he was Baha'i; and who may well have been either or a Shi'a or Sunni Moslem. 
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Portlander pleads guilty to stealing Chinese antiques

The FBI catches Roland Yazhari taking a prized snuff bottle from a museum

Thursday, November 16, 2000
By Mark Larabee of The Oregonian staff
Roland Yazhari pretended to be a scholar when he went to the Princeton University Art Museum on June 26, 1998, to view a large and historically important collection of antique Chinese snuff bottles. But the curators at Princeton were suspicious. And rightly so. Yazhari, a Portland resident, recently pleaded guilty to theft, ending an FBI investigation begun after museum curators discovered in 1997 that two of the university's valuable bottles had been stolen. Three years earlier -- in March and September of 1994 -- Yazhari sought access to the museum's collection of 570 snuff bottles, and was the last person to view the bottles before the theft was discovered. The missing bottles were from the Ch'ien Lung period, which went from 1736 to 1795. They were valued at $142,500.
Agents eventually discovered that the bottles had been sold at auctions in Hong Kong, one at Christie's in April 1996 and the other at Sotheby's a month later, and that Yazhari consigned both bottles to the auction houses. He was arrested in Portland in December 1998. An Iranian immigrant who came to the United States with his parents, Yazhari is a graduate of Beaverton High School and holds a master's degree in education from Harvard University, according to the FBI.
The snuff bottles are popular in international art circles and the major auction houses have specialty shows dedicated solely to them. The Chinese began making the tiny, painstakingly crafted bottles in the mid-17th century to hold snuff, a combination of spices and powdered tobacco, which they inhaled through the nose for medicinal purposes. They were fashioned from jade, ivory, glass and porcelain and carved in relief, set with gems or hand painted on the inside. "They became a very popular collectors item," said Cary Liu, associate curator of Asian art at Princeton. "It's a fascinating cultural phenomenon, the spread of these things."
The rich and the royal of China built up vast collections of bottles as snuff's popularity rose. Bottles once owned by emperors -- marked with a seal from the imperial court -- are the most valued today. Most prized bottles
The two Princeton bottles -- painted enamels on metal -- were made by imperial craftsmen, said Robert Chasin of Los Angeles, second vice president of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, a group of about 500 collectors and dealers. A similar bottle sold for more than $200,000 in a Hong Kong auction Nov. 1, he said. "If those bottles came up for auction today, they would be getting the same money for them," he said. "Those types of bottles are probably the most prized." Yazhari aspired to become a part of the collectors' circle, though it's unclear whether he formally joined the international society. In 1995, he was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency in a story on China's art auctions as someone who runs an art gallery in New York. He was the only Westerner who placed a bid that day in Beijing, according to the story. Chasin said he remembers meeting Yazhari in the early 1990s at one of his group's annual conventions. Soon after the meeting, he said Yazhari tried to sell him the Princeton snuff bottles. "I and other people in the society received a letter and two photographs from this guy," Chasin said. "Quite frankly, I had no idea they were missing from Princeton." When the thefts came to light years later, Chasin said the news made quite a stir in the small group of serious collectors and dealers. But he thought the case had slipped away. In reality, the FBI was waiting for Yazhari to make his next move.
Video cameras ready

When Yazhari made the June 1998 appointment to see Princeton's bottle collection for a third time, the curators in New Jersey were ready. They called the FBI, which set up video cameras. The sting caught Yazhari stashing a $75,000 snuff bottle into his pants pocket, and he was arrested as he left the building, according to court records. A federal grand jury in New Jersey indicted him for the thefts the following December, charging interstate transport of stolen property and theft of major artwork. That same month in Portland, the FBI arrested Yazhari on the New Jersey warrant. Nearly two years after the arrest, Yazhari, 35, has pleaded guilty to the thefts and has agreed to pay restitution. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each of three theft counts, said Barry Sheldahl, an assistant U.S. attorney in Portland. Sentencing is set for Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court. Yazhari's attorney, Ruben Iniguez, said he will seek probation given that Yazhari served two months in jail after his initial arrest. "This gentleman has no prior record," he said. "This is out of character for him. There are some issues of diminished capacity." The stolen snuff bottles have been recovered -- coincidentally the same person bought both -- and returned to Princeton. They will be among about 400 featured next year in a book on the Princeton collection by the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, Chasin said. "The Princeton collection is one of the finest collections held by a university or museum in the world," Chasin said. "They are very important bottles in a very important collection." The book will not mention the thefts, he said.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    In 1995, I was asked by Steven Little (at the time, Pritzker Curator of Asian Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago) to go over their snuff bottle collection, and advise them what was superb, what was great, what was mediocre, and what should be used for target practice (I'm joking, almost). 

    The collection was given primarily by Kate Sturges Buckingham between 1889 and 1938 (and by her estate - she died in 1937, but had left bequests in her will),  the majority of the bottles given in memory of her late sister, Lucy Maud Buckingham who'd died in 1925. This is the accession # of a 'ballast bottle', given in the 1925 gift:  1925.1198.

    But this collection was added to at least 20 times between 1938 and 1978, when there was a new USA-PRC on trade in antiquities and antique objects possibly looted from China. They stopped accepting gifts of snuff bottles and other objects, unless the objects were 'important' and had good provenance.

    Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2016, 02:01:24 pm »

Here is an opinion offered by Matthew Isganaitis.

"Looks like hand etching which is a good thing in the sense that a lot of calligraphy in 18th century was done this way. Very hard to read these tool marks from photos but can't rule it out as being right".

At least what was relayed to me is better news than my being sure the tool marks were not right..

If you like, I will share a better blown up pic with him. Maybe that can be convincing enough to say that it is right ( in his opinion ).


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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2016, 08:22:01 pm »

Thanks George and Joey.  Any further info would be appreciated. The number sequence matches to donation of the family per the website but may indeed be a later gift. Can some one translation the inscription for me ? Thanks
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2016, 12:30:01 am »

Hi All,

I have read, with great interest, 17 posts on this thread so far, all concentrating on provenance and technical aspects of the engraving.

No one has yet offered to translate the inscriptions! We are jumping the gun here. There are likely to be good clues as to dating within the content of the inscription.

Tom
PS: Pat, it's a great looking bottle, whatever the age. Congrats!
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2016, 04:29:48 am »

Dear Pat,
 
     I agree with Tom - it is a very appealing bottle! Congratulations.
And he is right - the inscription might give us important clues.
But, what's a 'dremel'?  Embarrassed
Best,
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2016, 04:31:07 am »

松风水月未足比其清华,仙露明珠讵能方其朗润。

唐李世民《大唐三藏圣教序》

This is a phrase used by Li ShiMing (Tang Dynasty Emperor) to praise the upright character and high moral values of the famous monk Tang San Cang (the monk that is featured in the Monkey God story). The verse is captured in the book of "The teaching of Tang San Cang"



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五花馬,千金裘。呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同銷萬古愁。

http://www.chinese-snuff-bottle.com

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