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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
October 16, 2018, 02:40:08 am
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18th century wooden snuff with written provenance

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Author Topic: 18th century wooden snuff with written provenance  (Read 138 times)
guest551
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« on: May 14, 2016, 05:59:57 am »

Hello all,

I would like to list my first snuff on the forum. It was purchased at a small general fair about six weeks ago, after I had been reading up on snuffs on this forum for about a month.

In the heading I stated it had written provenance which it has, please see the incised letters on the base. As far as I am concerned the silver base and the silver on the sides are original to the piece. I have been around antiques for a long, long time and I would put my reputation on it being original. The silver design, the incised letters and the style of lettering all point to an 18th century date, although I would need a writing expert to confirm this.

The snuff is very unusual in that the actual snuff has no neck. I cannot find another of the same shape on the internet. It measures 2 5/8 high and 3 1/2 with the stopper. It is obviously a burlwood snuff and it has a very nice original patina.  It is very well hollowed.

Has the silver been put on in the west, or do you think it was made like that in China to comply with say, a sailor's request?

I hope you enjoy viewing and I look forward to any comments you may have.

Regards,

Paul


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George
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 10:19:30 am »



Has the silver been put on in the west, or do you think it was made like that in China to comply with say, a sailor's request?


Sure glad you are sharing a couple bottle with us Paul, as it has been unusually quiet lately !

My guess is that the bottle is original to the West, and I can not say for sure if 18th or 19th, but suspect Mid to Late 19th. The burl wood is beautiful, and has been used for Chinese bottles, but not so sure from China.  Lets see what others think, and by the way, it is a beautiful bottle ..

How snug is the stopper to the bottle, and is there any indication there has ever been a spoon attached ?
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guest551
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2016, 10:37:50 am »

Hello George,

Thank you for replying and your kind words about the snuff.

The stopper is quite snug, you can pick it up by the stopper without the bottle dropping. There is a hole where the spoon wood have been. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the shape of the stopper is special, but I can't remember where.

With kind regards,

Paul
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Joey
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2016, 11:53:08 am »

Dear Paul,

      You are in the UK and into antiques there. Do you know anyone who deals in 'treen' (wooden objects)?
The more I look at it, especially the stopper, the less I feel it is Chinese. I agree with George. And I think the silver along the sides originally connected the base plate to a silver neck - on both front and reverse, one can see the hole or pin which would have tethered the silver neck or mouth (or both).

      But I also agree with George that it is a beautiful object.
Personally, I think it is earlier than mid-19th C., possibly ca. 1780-1850.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

guest551
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 12:31:04 pm »

Hello Joey,

Thank you for your kind and informative reply.

I have examined the snuff with an eye glass and I think you're right. There are two holes, one on the front and one on the back, where a silver collar may have been fitted. How you saw this and I didn't amazes me. The holes look as though they have been filled.

This is so specialized that I think I would need to take it to one, or all three of the main auction houses to see what they think, although I have not been impressed by them in the past, as they seem to send out a junior to initially look at items.

It would make sense if it had a silver collar as well to give it total protection, or a pleasing aesthetic look, but wouldn't that possibly fit in with the likes of a sailor using it, as it could very easily be dropped doing such a job. Or am I just clutching at straws to think it might be Chinese?

Kind regards,

Paul
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guest551
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 08:04:38 am »

Hello all,

Any suggestions please as to where is possibly could have been made?

Thank you.
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