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Sharing another lacquer bottle

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Author Topic: Sharing another lacquer bottle  (Read 258 times)
marcos
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« on: April 04, 2016, 02:13:33 pm »

Dear All,

I have just bought this lacquer bottle over the week-end.

I think it is real lacquer as the multiple layers can be identified (note the concentric rings at the chrysanthemum leaves).

I have seen this carving with bats, mask and ring, flower pots and the Shou character in new pieces, so I donīt rule it out as a modern piece.

On the other hand, if a modern copy, why a two-character qianlong mark rather than the usual four-characters mark?

It will be great to hear your thought on this bottle.

Best Regards,

Marcos














« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 11:41:54 am by marcos » Report Spam   Logged

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Tom B.
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 05:43:58 pm »

Hi Marcos,

I would like to see an image taken from a bit more distance and then cropped.  Your images seem to distort the shape and make it look awkward. It does appear to be carved lacquer, but I would like you to examine the area where it was chipped.  If you can't identify various layers there, then it is probably a very modern fake.  The two character incised mark is something that can be found on some Qianlong period lacquer SB's, but not often copied in the past 200 years.  Huh


* Lacquer Bottle Marcos1.jpg (105.26 KB, 499x625 - viewed 25 times.)
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 10:46:12 pm »

Hi Marcos,

Most of the ones with brass showing at the foot and the mouth are modern examples, made from resin. However, the layers on your bottle appear to indicate that it is genuine lacquer, but I cannot comment on the possible age.

I recall reading somewhere that there are no genuine Qianlong cinnabar lacquer snuff bottles with reign marks. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 11:09:46 pm »



I recall reading somewhere that there are no genuine Qianlong cinnabar lacquer snuff bottles with reign marks. 

I recall this as well..
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marcos
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 11:39:15 am »

Hello Tom,

I took the pictures with a bit more distance as you suggested. I also varied the angles and light.

I couldnīt identify the layers on the chipped part.

On the other hand, I did the the cotton swab test as suggested on this site https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Cinnabar and it discoloured:



However, I can see the layers very faintly at some angles. The most obvious the concentric rings at the base (the first photo was taken from the website https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Cinnabar, the second photo the lower part of my bottle:






There was a topic started by Giovanni in which you guys argued that there are no genuine Qianlong cinnabar lacquer snuff bottles with reign marks http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1132.0.html.

On the other hand, I am curious about the two-character mark. I read somewhere it was an experimental mark.

I also saw a similar one here http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/a-carved-cinnabar-lacquer-snuff-bottle-qianlong-5891354-details.aspx.

I also noticed that the mark at the Christieīs bottle is slight different from mine. Please note the top character on the right looks like  人 in my bottle (second picture).




Thanks a lot,

Marcos










« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 11:42:36 am by marcos » Report Spam   Logged
Tom B.
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 03:00:56 pm »

Hello Marcos,

First things first, my statement that I had no knowledge of any Qianlong Mark & Period carved lacquer snuff bottles was correct back in 2012.  At that time I was not aware of the example sold by Christie's South Kensington last year.  We can assume it is a genuine example with a provenance of, "With Y.F. Yang, Hong Kong, acquired prior to 1981" and the price realized being double the low estimate.  I have been aware of that bottle since it appeared in the Christie's catalog and that is why I suspected your bottle right away. 

Your new photos show the problem quite clearly.  Your Q-tip test proves it isn't true Chinese lacquer and the macro of the 'layers' shows they are molded on the surface.



* Lacquer Bottle Marcos2.jpg (95.41 KB, 766x516 - viewed 13 times.)
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 03:16:13 pm »

Steven posted a small image

Here is an example posted by our member James on our member board.

Since you are not able able to view it right now,so I post here to share with you.


of http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1132.0/msg,10106.html


Personally I like to use the following 15th century Ming carved cinnabar lacquer brushpot to demonstrate the way layers of carved through lacquer should look - they should be almost like a watermark in paper.  If they look like rolling hills with tiny peaks and valleys, then they were mold on the surface.  Real layers of lacquer become a solid that is very smooth when properly carved and finished.


* lacquer brushpot GerMus10003.JPG (102.5 KB, 681x757 - viewed 15 times.)

* lacquer brushpot GerMus10005.JPG (224.6 KB, 816x800 - viewed 30 times.)
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Tom B.

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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 03:31:12 pm »

Dear Marcos, all,
I must say that I was dubious about those "layers" since the beginning. It is impossible to see layers that way on the petals. The petals are almost parallel to the body of the bottle, hence almost parallel to the layers. If those that we see were layers, it was only possible if the petals was very open, at least 45 degrees from the body, which is not the case. I don't know if I have been clear.
Giovanni
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 05:58:53 pm »

I have to agree with others that bottle is not a real cinnabar bottle.I inspected evey single image, cant find the evidence of the layers.its modern bottle as we can easily tell from the shape and the overall look, the coating might be lacquer, but its not done by the traditional way.

Steven
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Tom B.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 08:26:03 pm »

I still have my problems with the ex-Y.F.Yang 7.0 cm High Cinnabar Lacquer Snuff Bottle sold for circa $6,304 as Qianlong Mark and Period in May 2015 by Christies South Kensington.


* Lacquer Bottle 07.0cmH 1780-1820 QianlongMk 6,304 May15ChristiesSK1.jpg (142.43 KB, 526x714 - viewed 9 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle Marcos8compare Christies1.jpg (153.8 KB, 807x732 - viewed 7 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle Marcos8compare Christies2.jpg (249.34 KB, 828x732 - viewed 9 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle Marcos8compare Christies3.jpg (180.86 KB, 700x732 - viewed 6 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 08:35:02 pm »

I still find it hard to believe that the very fine snuff bottle sold by Christie's is 18th Century.  If it is, then it would be unique.  I first became interested in Chinese snuff bottle because I bought a great group of seven snuff bottles solely due to a two color lacquer SB in that group.  I started to study and buy lacquer snuff bottles and have owned more than twenty genuine carved lacquer snuff bottles since then. I have owned some of the highest quality carved lacquer snuff bottles ever made including the current world auction record Qianlong Imperial 5.8 cm high example sold by Christie's NY ion March 2012

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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 08:47:14 pm »

My problems include:

1. the mark which appears to be unique
2. the shape as already stated unique among genuine Qianlong examples
3. the water diaper pattern as seen in the following image


* Lacquer Bottle Marcos8compare ChristiesOurs.jpg (293.15 KB, 1036x726 - viewed 26 times.)
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 09:17:14 pm »

I found a Qianlong 2 character mark 5.1 cm high carved cinnabar snuff bottle from a "nobody in particular" collection that Skinner Boston described as 19th Century sold for $300.00 in 2006 that is very similar to the YF Yang example. 


* 19thC Lacquer Bottle 05.1cmH 300 Apr06Skinner1.jpg (1247.33 KB, 584x729 - viewed 18 times.)
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 09:48:35 pm »

I agree the Christie's South Kensington example is a slightly better quality and more convincing, but it is not better many other early 19th century SB's I have handled.  The following was my first cinnabar SB.  I was sure that it was 18th Century, but wound up with a 1780-1820 dating with advice from Hugh Moss.


* Lacquer Bottle 07.3cmH part lot 6pcs -1.jpg (197.86 KB, 549x725 - viewed 8 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle 07.3cmH part lot 6pcs -2.jpg (362.03 KB, 985x890 - viewed 7 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle 07.3cmH part lot 6pcs -3.jpg (167.83 KB, 1000x709 - viewed 4 times.)

* Lacquer Bottle 07.3cmH part lot 6pcs -3b.jpg (159.1 KB, 787x539 - viewed 9 times.)
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2016, 09:51:32 pm »

And the following excellent late Qing SB


* Cinnabar Snuff 06.0cmH QianlongMk Jul12DallasTX1 (3).jpg (115.11 KB, 550x732 - viewed 11 times.)

* Cinnabar Snuff 06.0cmH QianlongMk Jul12DallasTX2.jpg (120.5 KB, 800x732 - viewed 8 times.)

* Cinnabar Snuff 06.0cmH QianlongMk Jul12DallasTX3.jpg (168.86 KB, 829x728 - viewed 9 times.)
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marcos
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 09:51:58 pm »

Dear Tom et al.

Carved cinnabar laquer has always been a difficult subject for me. The bright side of buying non-genuine piece is that it goes towards tuition fees ("Rebbe Gelt", as Joey mentioned a while ago).

Just for the sake of clarity, I want to add that this picture (with the petals) was not taken from my bottle but copied from the article on this website www.realorrepro.com/article/cinnabar

I am confused about the acetone test. In the mentioned article the author states that "genuine lacquer will discolor the swab" (moistened with fingernail polish remover).

So does it discolour genuine lacquer or doesn't?


* Lacquer Bottle Marcos2 (1).jpg (88.37 KB, 766x516 - viewed 6 times.)
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Tom B.
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 09:57:19 pm »

Dear Marcos,

Your 'petals' look so similar I did not notice


* Lacquer Bottle Marcos3.jpg (62.46 KB, 712x653 - viewed 10 times.)
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Tom B.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 10:03:23 pm »

Acetone and other solvents won't have any effect on genuine antique lacquer.  Asian lacquer was first used to make other materials impervious to moisture and solvents. An excerpt from the history of Asian lacquerware on the website of the Metropolitan Museum NY:

"East Asian lacquer is a resin made from the highly toxic sap of the Rhus verniciflua tree, which is native to the area and a close relative of poison ivy. In essence, lacquer is a natural plastic; it is remarkably resistant to water, acid, and, to a certain extent, heat. Raw lacquer is collected annually by extracting the viscous sap through notches cut into the trees. It is gently heated to remove excess moisture and impurities. Purified lacquer can then be applied to the surface of nearly any object or be built up into a pile. Once coated with a thin layer of lacquer, the object is placed in a warm, humid, draft-free cabinet to dry. As high-quality lacquer may require thirty or more coats, its production is time-consuming and extremely costly.

While items covered with lacquer have been found in China dating to the Neolithic period, lacquerware with elaborate decoration requiring labor-intensive manufacturing processes made its first appearance during the Warring States period. ..."
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marcos
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 10:09:57 pm »

Hello Tom,

Thanks for clarifying the acetone issue.

I found another similar bottle with the two-character mark at this Ohio auction house https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/29231960_19th-century-snuff-bottle
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 10:11:03 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

Petals do actually show the layers  of the lacquer sometimes, but not as overtly as on Marcos' SB.  If you look at the macro of the late Qing bottle I posted above, you can barely detect some of the layers.  You have to understand that a genuine old lacquer snuff bottle was made by applying numerous thin layers of lacquer over a core material.  Each layer needed to cure for a day or more and on the better examples each layer was smoothed before the next layer was applied.  For this reason each layer has a barely perceptible different coloration and when carved through you can see the individual layers under high magnification.

 
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