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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
October 21, 2018, 03:36:08 am
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You won't believe this

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Author Topic: You won't believe this  (Read 455 times)
cshapiro
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« on: July 31, 2016, 07:16:50 pm »

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was posting plastic bottles, and now thanks in large part to Joey's guidance, I have my first "real" bottle, and it just so happens that it's a hornbill!!! 

I will let Joey tell the story if he chooses, because it's an interesting one, and I'm very happy to hopefully be included in his interesting tales about snuff bottles!

In the meantime, I would very much appreciate any information you can give me about the calligraphy, carving, or possible dates. 

 


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Cathy

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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 08:47:55 pm »

Nice acquisition Cathy. Hornbill bottles are among the organic bottles I most desire. However, as much as I want to get one, I can't. That's due to import restrictions on endangered species. The same applies to ivory bottles... Anyway, the poem carved on the bottles seems to depict a scenery viewed from the top of a mountain. It's also carved that it's made during the reign of Xianfeng emperor which is like 150 odd years ago.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 09:06:21 pm »

Thank you so much Samson for the information! I got this at an auction in my home state, and before I went I read the CITEs laws to be sure I was in compliance.  Smiley
I also bought some elephant ivory bottles at this auction that I will share later.
What country are you in? 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 09:24:36 pm by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2016, 09:29:09 pm »

Nice bottle Cathy !

Congratulations !
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 09:48:09 pm »

Dear Cathy,

Nice acquisition and looking forward to your sharing. The more exciting the journey, the more memorable this bottle is.
The platina looks slightly lacking for a XianFeng period and I suspect that this bottle could have been finely sanded/polished. "Joey has a special method of rubbing organic bottles between the nose bridge which I have not really gotten used to. The oil helps to reduce cracking and yet maintain an all time natural shine." -- Oops!! Joey, is it fine to reveal this?  Tongue

Cheers,
YT
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cshapiro
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 09:52:38 pm »

Thank you George! I am so thrilled!!!
I can't thank Joey enough about this. When I first emailed him that I'd found a hornbill close to me, he told me that was next to impossible. But I begged him to look at it, and he was shocked when he saw it. He told me that yes, he thought I had found one. Then he told me about the CITEs laws - which I knew nothing about, so I read them carefully and found that again luck was in my favor - the bottle was in my home state so it didn't have to be transported across state lines and it was from an old estate so was imported way before 1975. Then he told me how much he thought I should bid. So armed with all this information, I went to the auction this weekend and got my bird!
Without Joey, this would not have happened.
I have found this is just a wonderful community and you guys are so nice to help a new collector like me!

Thank you!
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2016, 10:07:24 pm »

Yes the hornbills I see in my catalogs all have a much more orange patina to them. This one has that same patina around the edges of the back, on the top and in the deep recesses of the front. Actually the patina led Joey to believe it was made between 1880-1940, so I was delighted to hear that it could be older.
Some of the items in this auction were decommissioned from state museums, and this one and most of the others appear to have not been handled much, if at all. Could that affect the patina?
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2016, 10:08:55 pm »

Oh YT - I just "got" your meaning - LOL
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Cathy
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 12:29:55 am »

Hi Cathy,

Congratulations! That WAS a lucky find.
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 02:13:02 am »

Thank you so much Samson for the information! I got this at an auction in my home state, and before I went I read the CITEs laws to be sure I was in compliance.  Smiley
I also bought some elephant ivory bottles at this auction that I will share later.
What country are you in? 

Nice Cathy, I am in Hong Kong.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 03:40:11 am »

Hi Cathy :

Congratulation !!! Lucky find !!!.... I dont have a hornbill bottle till now  Grin Grin Grin

Pin
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 04:16:16 am »

For Cathy's reference, can we say this is a "scholar sitting under a tree" carving ?  Although I don't believe I have seen a scholar sitting under a tree carving with a dwelling added to the background..

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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2016, 04:28:47 am »

....And beside a weeping willow?
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Tom
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2016, 10:24:18 am »

Thank you Pin and Tom!

George is the carving theme unusual? It is almost 3d on the tree. The carving goes under some of the branches - you can kind of see that when you look at the picture of the base
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2016, 10:47:46 am »

Thank you Pin and Tom!

George is the carving theme unusual?

No, it is a common motif... I am just not absolutely sure this is a scholar under a tree motif.  Just never seen this with a dwelling included.

Tom noted it a willow tree..
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2016, 12:35:04 pm »

Dear Cathy,

     One of the great advantages to being on the Forum, is the assistance that  Chinese members who are fluent in reading, writing and translating Chinese into English, give to those of us who can't.

     Xianfeng was 1851-1861, and it might be that old; but remember what I wrote you re.trusting inscribed dates and seal marks - DON'T!!  Grin Roll Eyes

    I'd say it is probably 30-60 years later; but that is still very impressive for a Hornbill Ivory, where the vast majority [an estimated 10,000+ bottles (!)] are post-1960; only 30-40 are from the period 1750-1850 and barely another 40-50 from the period
1850-1940. And it is very well carved, from what I can see.

  CONGRATULATIONS!
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 01:34:18 pm »

I guess I will go ahead and postulate my theory here on the board.

There used to be a Museum of Tobacco Art & History in Nashville, Tenn., a grand collection owned by what was once called U.S. Tobacco Co., the snuff vendor of Greenwich, Conn.

The museum was closed in 1998 and it's contents were sold off, many to people around the Nashville area.
The ivories I bought (I have just confirmed with the auction company) were consigned from a man in Hendersonville, TN (a suburb of Nashville) and so I am thinking that there is a real possibility that these bottles came from the museum.
 
I'm planning a trip to Nashville to the state archives because I want to see if I can find the auction records or an inventory list of the museum.
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 03:20:09 pm »

Dear all,
I don't think that this bottle is 19th century. I think so for three reasons. The first two reasons are the patina and the wear. This bottle has no patina in my opinion. You can see that it has a certain translucency. And the inscription, being carved, should reveal more worn and dirty for the handling. The third reason is the two hornbill bottles that I have. They are more opaque; the ivory is more yellowed by age. But, much important, Joy have handled them and, despite being the carving of better quality than what we see here, Joey said that they are not that old and not valuable. Because of this, I am convinced that, if Joey thinks that this is a valuable bottle, he will change his mind if he could handle it.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 03:41:06 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

      You could be right, but both I, and Ted Exstein, who was visiting me with his family for a few days, thought it was certainly pre-1950, and possibly pre-1900. But I would have to hold it and see it 'live' to be sure.  So far, while not as busy as the carving on the two modern Hornbills you have, I am not sure that this is not ca.1880-1940.

But thank you for your vote of confidence.  Wink
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2016, 04:42:00 pm »

Dear Joey,
I may be wrong, I am not expert about hornbill material, but I beg to disagree. I know you will not feel offended because you too often say that you are not so good in judging pictures on the PC. But look at the base of the snuff bottles here below. In my opinion it is evident that the first one is newer than the second and third ones. Translucency, patina, smoothness because of wear we can only see on the two latter bottles.
Let see if it is just me or if others agree.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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