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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
October 16, 2018, 02:39:48 am
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You won't believe this

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cshapiro
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2016, 04:52:20 pm »

Dear Giovanni, I would rather not get in a shooting match over whose bottle is older. Let us all be happy that we have very collectible bottles. Besides, I am getting mine appraised and so will post the findings.
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2016, 05:25:28 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


Good point, and I see what you mean..
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2016, 08:25:29 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

     Of course I'm not offended. I respect your knowledge, experience, and even more, your common sense!

     BUT, since mid-Dec., I have had one of the Edward O'Dell Hornbill Ivory bottles, #75 from his catalogue, and it is ca.1780-1830. And the base of Cathy's bottle, the material of the bottle itself, AND THE PATINA, resemble my Hornbill much more than your two modern ones do. And the shape of Cathy's bottle is much more traditional, and thus more 'genuine', than the thousands of post-1960 'fake' ones.
It is later than mine, based on the calligraphy, and I would date it ca.1880-1940 or even 1890-1950; but in my opinion, it is still not part of the huge mass (estimated at 10,000!) of dreadful post-1960 Hornbill snuff bottles.

    Again, you are right that I am always saying I find it hard to judge over the 'Net. But it still seems 'right' to me.
I look forward to seeing it 'live' at some stage. Cathy, would you bring it to the LA convention, if you attend, the first week of Nov.?
Clare, Marsha and Michael could then see it.
Best,
Joey
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 12:06:46 pm by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2016, 08:47:45 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

I agree that patina and wear provide some clues from which to date a bottle. But, as you yourself have said before, both patina and wear can be faked. That is especially true of organic materials like hornbill, which are soft and easily absorb the oils of people handling the bottle.

So, if this bottle was trying to look older than it really was, it would not be difficult to add patina and wear. On the other hand, if the bottle has spent most of its life sitting in a museum, one would expect to see very little patina and wear from handling.

I think the better way to judge Cathy's bottle is to carefully examine the carving style and calligraphy, and compare them to other examples of hornbill and ivory bottles (assuming that hornbill would be carved by the same workshops that produced ivory carvings), and look for similarities.

All best,
Tom
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2016, 08:52:52 pm »

I would love nothing more than to come to the convention, but we have a daughter getting married and have family weekend at my sons college right around that time and so I am afraid we won't be able to fit another thing in!

I really must join the society. It sounds like a great opportunity to learn more and meet fascinating people!

You all are of course welcome to visit me anytime! Eat some good barbecue, dance to the blues on Beale, see the ghost of Elvis... we'll show ya some good ole southern hospitality at its finest!
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« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2016, 12:01:06 pm »

Dear Cathy,
 
    If it is beef or lamb barbeque rather than pork, I'm definitely in!  Grin
A pity you can't  come to LA, but with your son on the East Coast in late Oct., and the wedding a few weeks later,
I totally understand.
Best,
Joey



I would love nothing more than to come to the convention, but we have a daughter getting married and have family weekend at my sons college right around that time and so I am afraid we won't be able to fit another thing in!

I really must join the society. It sounds like a great opportunity to learn more and meet fascinating people!

You all are of course welcome to visit me anytime! Eat some good barbecue, dance to the blues on Beale, see the ghost of Elvis... we'll show ya some good ole southern hospitality at its finest!


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« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2016, 12:08:50 pm »

If you reread #22, you will see that I've added "and the patina" to the reasons I believe Cathy's bottle is late 19th/early 20th C.,
and not one of the 10,000 (estimated) post-1960 Hornbill snuff bottles around.

Best,
Joey
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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2016, 08:31:08 pm »


....and not one of the 10,000 (estimated) post-1960 Hornbill snuff bottles around.


Dear Joey,

Are there really THAT many post-1960 bottles? I understand you can only get one snuff bottle out of a Hornbill's casque. So if that 's the case, it saddens me to think of all these magnificent birds killed in this short period.   Sad

Best,
Tom
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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2016, 08:45:31 pm »

Dear Tom,

     Estimates for MODERN (post 1960) Helmeted Hornbill snuff bottles range from around 5,000 to about double that, or 10,000. I have seen multiple 12-bottles sets of the Chinese Zodiac in Hornbill, and more multiple sets of the Eight Daoist Immortals or the 8 Buddhist Immortals, during the late 1970s and the  1980s.

    One day in 1979, the late Agatha Aronson and I went to 8 of those overpriced emporia of 'antiques' in NYC. In each one we found the same 2 or 3 sets of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, a couple of sets of the 8 Daoist Immortals, and a couple of the 8 Buddhist Immortals sets! 75 dead hornbills X 8 stores in NYC on one day! That is 600 bottles!  Do the math! Sad, isn't it?

Best,
Joey
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2016, 09:10:55 pm »

Dear Joey,

A sickening account. And that's just one of several major 'art' cities, on just one visit.
The rainforests of Borneo have fallen silent.

Best,
Tom
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« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2016, 09:13:04 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

     Of course I'm not offended. I respect your knowledge, experience, and even more, your common sense!

     BUT, since mid-Dec., I have had one of the Edward O'Dell Hornbill Ivory bottles, #75 from his catalogue, and it is ca.1780-1830. And the base of Cathy's bottle, the material of the bottle itself, AND THE PATINA, resemble my Hornbill much more than your two modern ones do. And the shape of Cathy's bottle is much more traditional, and thus more 'genuine', than the thousands of post-1960 'fake' ones.
It is later than mine, based on the calligraphy, and I would date it ca.1880-1940 or even 1890-1950; but in my opinion, it is still not part of the huge mass (estimated at 10,000!) of dreadful post-1960 Hornbill snuff bottles.

    Again, you are right that I am always saying I find it hard to judge over the 'Net. But it still seems 'right' to me.
I look forward to seeing it 'live' at some stage. Cathy, would you bring it to the LA convention, if you attend, the first week of Nov.?
Clare, Marsha and Michael could then see it.
Best,
Joey

Dear Joey,

Your O'Dell's bottle has a deep patina. I have attached a photo comparison of mine and yours with both looking very similar.

As for Cathy's bottle, I have made a wrong assumption after looking closely at the patina of the top and base. The whole bottle shows a 20th dating.
As for the carving-
look at the sharp corners at the base,
the side profile with carved in relief protruding chilong and rounded carvings,
the engraved words are not typical of hornbill bottles.
The bottle as a whole, it looks too flashy with no cracks at all.

Sorry Cathy. Your discussions here has intrigued me so much that I did a through comparison.
The way I have written looks messy, hope all of you don't mind.

Cheers,
YT


* Hornbill comparison.jpg (50.83 KB, 700x508 - viewed 20 times.)
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2016, 12:47:06 am »

You know... looking at your pictures YT it occurred to me that photography is a funny thing. I originally took pictures of my hornbill in strong daylight against a black background. Now look at the difference it makes taking a picture at night against a white one. I think the patina can be misleading. All of the examples have been taken under different lighting conditions, and so the only "real" way to judge is in person. 


* IMG_6854 (2) (Small).JPG (50.55 KB, 403x480 - viewed 20 times.)
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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2016, 01:41:55 am »

Dear Cathy,

Of course you are correct that lighting plays an impact to colours but there are other areas that are more important as stated by Tom and Giovanni.

My photos will always be the same lighting as they are taken by my colleague in a dark room with a few 'natural coloured' LED light shining on the bottle. Attached is a photo of a few bottles that I have just taken out for comparison in this discussion.

As Tom, I view these birds with a certain beliefs and respect and have ignored some of these organic bottles.

Cheers,
YT


* Hornbills1.jpg (29.22 KB, 400x174 - viewed 20 times.)
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2016, 06:56:24 am »

To add to this thread a Chinese 'tourist' was jailed last year (and later deported) in South Thailand after getting caught with a dozen or so casques ...

It's still going on folks .. I beg you all to stay away from these bottles. It only further encourages these crimes.
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Pat
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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2016, 09:33:51 am »

Yes Pat, I'm sorry to say it but I think Lilla Perry's book is the biggest contributor to the Hornbills demise at least in the West. I am a spanking new collector of snuff bottles and like most of you the first book I read was her's - and she makes the pursuit of a hornbill almost a noble quest for the holy grail.

This whole thing has been a big education for me. The CITEs laws are really restrictive - I'm finding a hard time getting an appraiser because I can't send the bottle out of state, and the CITEs laws themselves make the bottle less valuable. 

Even with the laws, Hornbill is stated to be 5 times more valuable than elephant ivory, so I'm sure that only contributes to it's extinction. I see pictures online of dozens of casques laid out on tables in Asian markets, and I don't know if it is as highly desired by the Chinese or if it's just us Westerners causing the problem.

If anything, I do think it would be worthwhile to pursue getting the publishers of Lilla Perry's book to put an addition in about the current state of the grand bird.

I don't think I could have started off my collection with a more controversial bottle!

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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2016, 12:51:58 pm »

Dear Cathy,

    The combined lure of good Barbeque AND a Hornbill bottle to examine, is quite tempting!
Till I see it 'live', and pace Giovanni & YT, I will stick to my opinion that your bottle is ca.1890-1940. And I know Rick agrees with me, as to that dating.

     However, I agree with Pat, Tom, YT, etc., 100%, that the destruction of the Helmeted Hornbill as a species demands NOT buying MODERN Hornbill Ivory bottles.

     I must confess, that I had this discussion with YT in Singapore in 2014, and my argument was that, while I was against buying MODERN (post 1960) examples, there was nothing wrong with buying genuine antique examples.  But how does one make sure one is buying ONLY a genuine antique bottle? 

    Once I started looking into the issue, and remembering all the thousands of really bad quality modern bottles I've seen, I'm getting to the opinion that we need to find a way to protect the remaining living Helmeted Hornbill.

    But I still don't see why the job of protecting them means denying ourselves the beautiful antique examples. 
I liked Cathy's suggestion, that a paragraph or two be added to the chapter [Chapter 11 (appropriate! Wink), "The Story of the Famous Hornbill", in Mrs. Perry's book], describing the situation today, and recommending against buying Hornbill bottles.

Best,
Joey
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« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2016, 03:10:14 pm »

Joey - I would be most appreciative if you would come visit! It would be fun! I will find you some kosher barbecue! hahahaha
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« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2016, 04:03:06 pm »

Dear Cathy,

     No need for 'kosher' - just no pork or shellfish. And I will come visit and see the Hornbill.
Best,
Joey


Joey - I would be most appreciative if you would come visit! It would be fun! I will find you some kosher barbecue! hahahaha

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