General information about the Site

This snuff bottle community forum is dedicated to the novice, more experienced, and expert collectors. Topics are intended to cover all aspects and types of bottle collecting. To include trials, tribulations, identifying, researching, and much more.

Photobucket

Among other things, donations help keep the forum free from Google type advertisements, and also make it possible to purchases additional photo hosting MB space.

Forum Bottle in the Spotlight

Adrian recently shared this wonderful Yan Yutian panelled bottle

Gotheborg's Marks On Chinese Porcelain

Photobucket

Snuff Bottle Collector


Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
July 16, 2018, 03:23:27 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home Help Search Downloads Gallery Staff List Login Register  

Teeny Tiny Calligraphy on Ivory? Bottle

Pages: [1] 2
  Add poll  |  Print  
Author Topic: Teeny Tiny Calligraphy on Ivory? Bottle  (Read 550 times)
cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« on: July 25, 2016, 06:42:59 pm »

Hey!!
Another bottle from the BBB finally arrived!
It was posted as wood, and actually looked like wood when I first got it.

I took a box of q-tips to it and started rubbed away the dirt and grime. I was careful because I didn't want to wipe away the calligraphy, but I found that it is deep down in there - like embedded. There are schreger lines on the sides. So I think I found an ivory bottle under all that goo!

Still wondering if it's ok for me to clean bottles. Please give me advice on that. I only used water and a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid on it. Then it was so dry I oiled it up with a tiny bit of olive oil.
I am probably doing it all wrong! It did cross my mind while cleaning it that I might be completely ruining it.

Anyway, so I am posting pictures of it, and what fascinates me (and the reason I bought it) is the teeny tiny calligraphy on the front. The drawing is very nice too! I measured it and the longest line of calligraphy is only 7/16ths of an inch! The bottle measures 2 and 14/16ths of an inch without the top.

It's going to take me a hundred years to decipher it so was wondering if you could give me a clue as to the meaning or if it has a signature or date?

Thanks in advance for any help or comments!



* tinyivory.jpg (433.8 KB, 755x4000 - viewed 43 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

Cathy

Social Buttons

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10425



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 07:40:12 pm »

I can not help much with this one, as do not read Chinese, but appears about the same age as the dragon carved bottle.. Maybe within the last 30/50 years.  I do not see a date..
Report Spam   Logged

Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8837


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 07:55:31 pm »

Dear Cathy,

     These ivory bottles tend to be ca. 1945-1975, and there are arguments whether they were made in China, Hong Kong or even in Kyoto Japan! Yours looks like as nice example of the type, but it would have been made to sell to collectors, not as a vessel to hold snuff. There are collectors who specialise in 'vintage' snuff bottles.

    In fact, I have good friends from Alexandria VA, who actually collect vintage Bakelite snuff bottles. I had found them a few in an auction house in Toronto, years ago, and Giovanni on the Forum, who has become a very good friend, and whom I've visited a number of times in Italy, has helped me find and purchase a few for them. It is very convenient, because their wedding anniversary is close to the convention period (Oct./Nov. after the end of the High Holy Days), so I always have an anniversary gift for them.

   Best,
Joey
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 05:31:14 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 08:51:28 pm »

Joey it is very well hollowed - I can move the spoon around to tell that the walls are pretty thin.
So do you know where I could look for more information about it?

Oh and why are you talking about bakelite? I know for sure it's not bakelite.

thanks
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:05:20 pm by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
YT
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Posts: 1366



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 10:53:49 pm »

Joey it is very well hollowed - I can move the spoon around to tell that the walls are pretty thin.
So do you know where I could look for more information about it?

Oh and why are you talking about bakelite? I know for sure it's not bakelite.

thanks

Dear Cathy,

I am sure Joey knows this is not Bakelite. This is just his way of expression and has always delighted all of us with his collection journey and the many interesting stories relating to snuff bottles.


As for your bottle, I am for a modern dating.
The poem is from Song dynasty of one poet that misses his brother.
"明月几时有,把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年?我欲乘风归去,又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒。起舞弄清影,何似在人间?"

As this poem was later turned into a very famous song sang by Teresa Teng in 1984, I won't be surprise that this bottle was made after that.

Cheers,
YT
Report Spam   Logged
YT
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Posts: 1366



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 11:15:47 pm »


Anyway, so I am posting pictures of it, and what fascinates me (and the reason I bought it) is the teeny tiny calligraphy on the front. The drawing is very nice too! I measured it and the longest line of calligraphy is only 7/16ths of an inch! The bottle measures 2 and 14/16ths of an inch without the top.

Dear Cathy,

If you like inscribed calligraphy, then looked out for micro engravers like Zhou HongLai in the late Qing period.

Attached is one of my porcelain bottle.

Cheers,
YT


* 370Micro1.jpg (108.45 KB, 401x700 - viewed 18 times.)

* 370Micro2.jpg (79.23 KB, 261x400 - viewed 16 times.)
Report Spam   Logged
cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 03:24:54 am »

Yt thank you so much!! Not only have you helped me with the translation, but you have also taught me the proper naming! Micro engraving sounds much more sophisticated than teeny tiny calligraphy!
Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
YT
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Posts: 1366



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 05:51:08 am »

You are very welcome Cathy.
I have nothing to do with this naming as these were given by certain dealers so that the bottles are easier to be sold.

Cheers,
YT
Report Spam   Logged
Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8837


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 05:57:48 am »

Dear Cathy,

     YT, as usual, is correct. I was talking about 'vintage' snuff bottles, as opposed to antique snuff bottles, and was drawn into a tangent about Bakelite snuff bottles. But at least the bakelite bottles, which are ca. 1890-1940, were actually used. This bottle is very pretty, and nicely made, but it dates to ca.1950-1990, and was probably NOT made to be used.

     I say 'probably', because another Forum (AND ICSBS) member and very good friend,  Tom L. from Bangkok, has a small group of modern hardstone bottles made in the PRC for use in Mongolia by Mongolian snuff users. And thanks to Giovanni, yet another Forum member and very good friend, I now also have a beautiful modern Hardstone (probably Jasper) snuff bottle, which we nicknamed 'The Burning Bush' (because the natural material has  what looks like a representation of it from the Biblical story of Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai).

    This was a very generous gift by Giovanni, which I use to give out snuff in Synagogue on Shabbat. Religious Jews who are addicted to nicotine, but can't smoke on Shabbat, take snuff to satisfy their nicotine craving.

    But we don't know of modern Ivory snuff bottles for sale in Ulaanbaatar (or Ulan Bator), Mongolia, while we do know one can still buy the modern hardstone SBs in the menswear depts of department stores there. I had the 3 sons and one daughter of 3  Israeli friends, who were touring in Mongolia, go into a department store, to buy me bottles. They found them, but could not decide which ones to buy, and were worried I'd balk at the price (about US$60-100 each). I'd offered to give them US$500 before they left, "just in case", but they refused saying it would be too stressful for them to worry about losing my money, or buying 'the wrong ones'. Oh well.

   And I don't know of another location where people who themselves take snuff, but bottles for their snuff habit.

   Re.naming: The superb craftsmanship of YT's incised glass bottle by Zhou Honglai is properly referred to as 'Micro Engraving'.
The 'chicken scratching' on your ivory bottle properly deserves the description ' teeny tiny calligraphy'... Grin Roll Eyes
(Me Bad)

Best,
Joey


Joey it is very well hollowed - I can move the spoon around to tell that the walls are pretty thin.
So do you know where I could look for more information about it?

Oh and why are you talking about bakelite? I know for sure it's not bakelite.

thanks

Dear Cathy,

I am sure Joey knows this is not Bakelite. This is just his way of expression and has always delighted all of us with his collection journey and the many interesting stories relating to snuff bottles.


As for your bottle, I am for a modern dating.
The poem is from Song dynasty of one poet that misses his brother.
"明月几时有,把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年?我欲乘风归去,又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒。起舞弄清影,何似在人间?"

As this poem was later turned into a very famous song sang by Teresa Teng in 1984, I won't be surprise that this bottle was made after that.

Cheers,
YT
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 06:02:06 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5163



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 06:19:45 am »

Hi Cathy,

A large number of ivory bottles similar to yours were being produced in Hong Kong workshops during the late 1960s and 1970s as souvenirs. They are incised with designs and include calligraphy. Sometimes one side is carved in shallow relief. For the annual convention of the ICSBS in 1970, 1971 or 1972 (Joey will confirm which year) held in Hong Kong, the Society commissioned several dozen as a memento of the occasion, to give away to convention attendees.

Here are a couple similar to yours. The auction rooms were flooded with these 3-4 years ago when new trading restrictions for ivory in the USA were about to be introduced. 

Tom


* H5753-L90223927.jpg (52.57 KB, 465x600 - viewed 11 times.)

* 12195108_1_x.jpg (36.76 KB, 560x768 - viewed 10 times.)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 06:22:39 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 10:44:35 am »

Quote
Re.naming: The superb craftsmanship of YT's incised glass bottle by Zhou Honglai is properly referred to as 'Micro Engraving'.
The 'chicken scratching' on your ivory bottle properly deserves the description ' teeny tiny calligraphy'... Grin Roll Eyes
(Me Bad)

Hahaha Joey

Tom, thanks so much for the photos and information. Very helpful!! It seems there were a lot of ivory bottles for the tourist trade around the turn of the 20th century. One of my bottles from the BBB is a Japanese made Emperor and Empress polychrome ivory also from that time frame. And so I'm guessing that anytime I run into an ivory that i should first suspect this.


* IMG_6676 (2).JPG (1636.84 KB, 3056x4616 - viewed 11 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8837


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 10:53:21 am »

Dear Cathy,
   
   NOT "around the turn of the 20th century", as you incorrectly wrote below. Rather, after the Korean War to after the Vietnam War (ca.1955-1975).  During the Boxer Uprising and Western Powers Invasion, ca.1896-1903, not a lot of wealthy Westerners were traipsing around, buying ivory bottles... Roll Eyes Grin

   However, in the period 1920-1941, many Westerners, especially Gay men, WERE flocking to Beijing and some other parts of China. 
Best,
Joey

Quote
Re.naming: The superb craftsmanship of YT's incised glass bottle by Zhou Honglai is properly referred to as 'Micro Engraving'.
The 'chicken scratching' on your ivory bottle properly deserves the description ' teeny tiny calligraphy'... Grin Roll Eyes
(Me Bad)

Hahaha Joey

Tom, thanks so much for the photos and information. Very helpful!! It seems there were a lot of ivory bottles for the tourist trade around the turn of the 20th century. One of my bottles from the BBB is a Japanese made Emperor and Empress polychrome ivory also from that time frame. And so I'm guessing that anytime I run into an ivory that i should first suspect this.

Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 11:01:00 am »

Sorry Joey, was basing that on Bob Stevens dating of similar bottles in illustrations 788,790,795-798 where he says early 20th century to 1965, and it appears to me that the quality of the bottles was much better in the earlier examples, while very crude carving the later they are.

The other thing I notice is that the head is larger (proportionate to the body) the newer they are, and so I was thinking my couple might be somewhere in between like maybe as early as 1930ish




« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 11:04:53 am by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8837


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2016, 11:48:01 am »

Dear Cathy,
 
     The late Bob Stevens was a wonderful man, but he died in 1980, and that is 36 years ago. When he wrote that book, he thought the dates he gave were accurate. Even then, they were known to not be, and he admitted to me in 1979 at the Philadelphia convention, that he'd dated them too early, and was planning to redate them to later.

    But yours ARE crudely carved. Make no mistake. I know - I got a pair like your double bottle (ie, but two separate bottles) for my Bar Mitzva, from my parents of blessed memory! I wanted a Coral bottle - the dealer had a box of 10 superb angelskin (soft pink) coral snuff bottles, ca.1800-1900 (she then claimed 1750-1800), for between CAD$85 and CAD$125 each. I begged and begged my late mom to go in and buy one, any one, from that box. Sadly she got there after they were all sold   Cry, and instead, bought me the mates to yours.  And was told the BS story that they were Chinese Jewish Mandarins, to boot!  Roll Eyes   Huh 
After all, they have 'Semitic' noses.  Shocked REALLY.

Some parts are still valid, but lots are really outdated. But if you look at  #795-798, they are ALL ca. 1960-1970. AND HE STATES ca.1965.
      #789 is ca.1880-1910; while #788 and #790 are ca.1910-1930.



Sorry Joey, was basing that on Bob Stevens dating of similar bottles in illustrations 788,790,795-798 where he says early 20th century to 1965, and it appears to me that the quality of the bottles was much better in the earlier examples, while very crude carving the later they are.

The other thing I notice is that the head is larger (proportionate to the body) the newer they are, and so I was thinking my couple might be somewhere in between like maybe as early as 1930ish





Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

cshapiro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 590



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2016, 12:00:02 pm »

Quote
After all, they have 'Semitic' noses.  Shocked REALLY.

hahahaha!

Ok, so this just shows that you really need to write a book to set the record straight!
Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5163



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2016, 08:41:02 pm »


Ok, so this just shows that you really need to write a book to set the record straight!


I suspect Joey has already drafted a book about all the collectors he has met, but is holding back in case he gets sued....!   Grin  Grin
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8837


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2016, 09:18:31 pm »

Dear Tom,

    In the years we've corresponded, have you EVER known me to hold back?  Roll Eyes Grin

Best,
Joey


Ok, so this just shows that you really need to write a book to set the record straight!


I suspect Joey has already drafted a book about all the collectors he has met, but is holding back in case he gets sued....!   Grin  Grin
Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5163



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2016, 09:25:25 pm »

Dear Joey,

I meant 'holding back on publishing'........for the very reason that you NEVER hold back on your opinions !!!  Grin

Best,
Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

YT
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Posts: 1366



View Profile
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2016, 10:21:13 pm »

Hahahaha...

Dear Joey, I have to agree with Tom Roll Eyes Tongue
Report Spam   Logged
Pat - 查尚杰
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 3400


Zha Shang Jie 查尚杰


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2016, 06:04:07 am »

Lol

Yes I think maybe better to publish it posthumously ( no offense meant Joey, wishing you a long life )... But boy would I love to read it.  So I have to encourage Joey to do so.  As some of us have agreed on prior, a fair amount of the material is known to us but would be so cool to see it all strung together ..
Report Spam   Logged

Best Regards

Pat
查尚杰
Zha Shang Jie
Pages: [1] 2
  Add poll  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal