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Glazed Double Gourd Bottle

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Author Topic: Glazed Double Gourd Bottle  (Read 464 times)
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2016, 02:32:12 pm »

Dear Kevin,
I honestly must say what I see and know. You are free to believe what you want, of course. But, although you have the bottle in hands and I only can judge it by pictures, I am sure that the blue grape is not “thickly applied enamels” but under glaze cobalt blue instead. Over glaze enamel has a completely different look. To start with, a neat border and not a soft border due to the diffusion of the cobalt in the glaze and body.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2016, 03:42:39 pm »


Kevin,

This bottle looks like a great little treasure, but I too would not see this as a snuff bottle.  To me the mouth and inner throat are the tell-tale.  Snuff bottle mouth designs are generally flat topped (not rounded or rolled as seen in your bottle) and tend to have throat vertices perpendicular (i.e. 90 degrees horizontal) to the top of the bottle.  Your bottle has more of vase shaped mouth, but given the small size I would first suspect this item to be a storage bottle.   I do have a number of miniature vases and other small storage containers that have been adapted over to function and look like snuff bottles.
 
Also, here is one of my first tests (actually two) that I always employ to see if the bottle was used for snuff.  I bring the bottle mouth in contact with one of my nostrils and inhale deeply.  This is to determine if there is a residual aromatic smell.  Then follow-up by swabbing the interior with a Q-tip to test for any residual power that may be present.  More often than not, old snuff bottles have a residual scent and even have power stuck to the interior walls of the bottle.

Kevin, my guess is that your bottle is a storage container, but of what ethnicity I do not know!!!

Charll
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2016, 04:58:57 pm »

Thank you Charll and all

 we are looking at many similarities between this bottle and what we know of design elements and construction of Chinese bottles and Qing period ceramic patterns:

The Yixing bottle example posted earlier here on the forum with the chocolate brown slip painted on a natural ground surface

By Gotheborg description, the natural slip hues were preferred of the painted Yixing bottles.....again and to the above this is what my bottle shows.

The thickly applied enamel used  to form the grapes is a known Chinese technique (link to a porcelain example given above).... this is how the grapes on my bottle were formed- but w/the enamel applied underglaze not on top

Early Yixing ware is known for simple applied floral and grapevine patterns and many w/ squirrels about the lids or handles in monochrome or monochromatic tones. The absence of a squirrel here may only be an artistic choice, and painting is difficult to accomplish on the natural stone surface

some examples: The 1st is a light chocolate applique grapevine pattern over a buff ground- no squirrels - described as early Qing by the auctioneer

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21882/lot/323/
 
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21882/lot/320/

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22656/lot/77/

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19927/lot/212/


Best,

Kevin









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« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2016, 05:24:01 pm »

Dear Kevin,
sorry but NOTHING of you said above is correct. Underglaze enamels??? Where did you hear about it?? Where have you ever seen it?? Enamels are ONLY over glaze!! And what has to do the Yixing ware examples with your bottle? Those are Yixing, your bottle isn't! The difference of the type of paste is so obvious to anyone, but probably you do not want to see it. Why do not you provide other examples similar to your bottle? Similar, not completely different. Since you do not believe in what I say, please try to send the pictures to a Forum dedicated to Chinese ceramics or to Yixing ware, and you will see that you will have the same answers.
Giovanni
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« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2016, 06:00:53 pm »


Giovanni,

Since there are differing opinions on this one, what might help on the ID and origin is to post this bottle/vase/container on Gotheborg's, with Kevin's permission of course. With greater views there may be an avenue to consensus.  I'm only suggesting it due to your higher level of involvement on the Gotheborg site.   

I would consider this piece to be Chinese in form, body, material, and base style which is similar to other Chinese miniatures I have seen.   

Charll   
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« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2016, 06:07:14 pm »

Quote
The thickly applied enamel used to form the grapes is a known Chinese technique (link to a porcelain example given above)....

Kevin,

So do you mean a "heap and pile" technique with underglazed pigment to give it a tactile feeling?

Charll
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« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2016, 06:13:32 pm »

Giovanni,
 

From Gotheborg.com glossary: " Enamel glaze and decoration on Chinese ceramics"

 "In Chinese ceramics enamels may be applied either to a pre-fired unglazed body (biscuit) or the surface of a high-fired glaze, after which the object is fired a second time at a lower temperature."
 
 The reason for the Yixing examples as stated earlier was to show the bottle was painted in the Yixing manner -see gotheborg.com description of the glazed wares uner the Yixing glossary section.
 The 1st and last examples may help illustrate the point more, as both are monochromatic with simple grapevine appliques against a buff ground
Thank you for commenting  


Charll,
 
 The tactile feeling comes from the contours of the small potted bottle with a very fine glaze covering. The underglaze paint and small enamel dotting are not felt, allowing the fingers to slide smoothly across the surfaces without any bumps


Best,

Kevin
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« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2016, 10:21:32 pm »


Since there are differing opinions on this one, what might help on the ID and origin is to post this bottle/vase/container on Gotheborg's, with Kevin's permission of course. With greater views there may be an avenue to consensus.  I'm only suggesting it due to your higher level of involvement on the Gotheborg site.   
  

A sensible suggestion Charll.

While the Chinese/Japanese/Korean origin of this bottle/vase/container remains open I would like to return to the question of whether it is a snuff bottle. All I can say with certainty is that in my 44 years of collecting, I have never seen another like this. That is not to say that it could NOT serve as a container for snuff powder, since we know that there was an overlap between snuff bottles and vessels used for medicinal concoctions.** But the present item does not appear to serve as a bottle which was intended to be sealed with a stopper. The neck, lip, mouth and throat do not indicate they were formed for this function.

Tom 

[**see: Li, Raymond. 'The Medicine-Snuff Bottle Connection.' Nine Dragons. Hong Kong,1979.]  
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Tom
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« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2016, 10:34:22 pm »

Dear Kevin,

FYI. Attached are some Japanese pottery wares.

I liked good exchanges and discussions which ultimately I can learn more. When it gets to far-fetched then it becomes counter-productive.

Cheers,
YT


* pottery1.jpg (64.59 KB, 800x572 - viewed 10 times.)

* Pottery2.jpg (131.95 KB, 800x558 - viewed 10 times.)

* Pottery3.jpg (81.98 KB, 800x595 - viewed 9 times.)
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2016, 02:32:01 am »

Dear Charll,
you know that on Gotheborg it is only possible to post for discussion pieces that are of your own property.
So I don’t see how to post this pot there. If Kevin is a Gotheborg member, he could post it. Or he could post it in another Forum. I suppose that there must be also Forums dedicated to Yixing ware.
Anyway, I am convinced that it will just result in a further confirmation to the fact that this bottle is not Yixing. I really don’t understand why I am the only one here supporting this evidence. It seems that nobody here has never handled a Yixing ware? I am inviting again to post here a Yixing example that looks close to this bottle.
Up to now, the best references for this bottle are the Japanese wares shown by YT in his latest post here above. They look to have the same stoneware body and slip type decoration.
Also, dear Charll, the heap and pile effect is very different from what we see on Kevin’s bottle. The heap and pile is darker, almost black, and not raised, often sunk in indeed. Apropos, I also don’t understand why Kevin is talking about “thick enamel”, as I don’t see raised decoration in his pictures.
Dear Kevin, I think that you are not understanding correctly the sentence that you mentioned:
"In Chinese ceramics enamels may be applied either to a pre-fired unglazed body (biscuit) or the surface of a high-fired glaze, after which the object is fired a second time at a lower temperature."
Two very different situation there:
1)   The enamels on biscuit body. If you have never seen one of them, be sure it is something totally different. The enamels are really thick, and the body is not glazed.
2)   In the second part of the sentence “or the surface of a high-fired glaze”, it means that the vessel is first fired at high temperature with the clear glaze, and then decorated with thick enamels OVER the glaze and fired a second time at lower temperature.
Your bottle does not fall in either one of the two situations. You are suggesting to see the Gotheborg’s glossary for Yixing ware. I really don’t see there a relation to your bottle. The first and last examples that you are mentioning (I believe that you are referring to Bonham’s teapots) are made by means of two types of Yixing paste.
Your bottle has been thrown on the wheel as shown by the base. The base of Yixing ware is always very smooth compared to that of your bottle. Then it has been decorated with a brown slip and cobalt blue dots, all covered with transparent glaze, and fired. The style of the decoration is not Chinese to me, and the whole piece, under glaze brown slip and cobalt blue on stoneware body, isn’t either.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2016, 03:24:45 am »

Dear YT
 I fully understand and appreciate what you said. Many thanks for your patience so going forward I will post interesting bottles where more information is readily available for discussion
as mentioned above, the gourd shape does not appear to be Japanese or Korean by the many examples found on the net. and, the paintings in the photos provided in your post were not done in the Yixing manner by the genuine Yixing examples also given


Giovanni,
 I understand this is a rare topic, so I can see why by the many examples of Yixing ware that you might think that the Yixing bottles would have a flat foot, however, this Yixing example dated 1822, from the Bloch sale, in the link below has by the photos a deeply concave foot

http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=1011&exhibition=8&ee_lang=eng&u=14080,0


An excerpt from Sotheby's below from the link re the use of underglaze blue being mostly omitted in the Qing period: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2014/kangxi-porcelain-n09110/kangxi-porcelain/2014/02/kangxi-porcelain-a-.html


The porcelain style most immediately identifiable as ‘Kangxi’ is of course the so-called 'famille verte’ color scheme, in China known as wucai, ‘five colors’. As such it acknowledges its direct descent from late Ming polychrome wares, although it is in fact rather different from these. While in the Ming the five colors are easy to identify – blue, red, green, yellow and aubergine – this is much more difficult in the Qing (1644-1911). The Qing version represents a technical simplification, which enabled a decorative sophistication. In the Ming dynasty one color, cobalt blue, had to be applied before application of the glaze and before firing to those areas where it would later be needed, while the other colors were added after firing to make up the complete polychrome design; in the Qing, underglaze blue was mostly omitted making it possible to create much more complex and detailed designs by painting them fully onto the glazed surface. With underglaze blue omitted, the overall color scheme changed and became more distinctive, often with green dominating, hence 'famille verte’.

Tom,
Thank you for your observations on this. looking closely at the throat, the opening could be stoppered by a cork, or leather wrapped to shape in the diameter of the recessed opening. I have several older stone bottles with the deeply concave lip w/ recessed mouth
 The splayed opening of the mouth gives the neck a slightly waisted appearance for smoother handling than what we might be accustomed to on the ceramic bottles

Best,

Kevin
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« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2016, 07:30:50 am »

Dear Giovanni,

     What am I, chopped liver?  Wink Grin  This is a Jewish humour reference from NYC; it means, "Why didn't you notice I made the same points?".

     Of course this is a different pottery from Yixing.
The reason I suggested 'Japanese' or 'Korean' as a source, is because I used to have a vintage or possibly modern water dropper which had a very similar design and was glazed, too. The way the stem crosses the heavier branch was identical, and it was Japanese most probably, or Korean. About 10 years ago, I gave it as a gift, with almost all my other water droppers / suitekis, to Jeremy L.'s daughter, one of my goddaughters, to start her collecting. I kept back only one, a late Ming/early Qing example in silver (Ted, DCIST, saw it in my 'Treasure Box').
Best,
Joey



   I really don’t understand why I am the only one here supporting this evidence. It seems that nobody here has never handled a Yixing ware? I am inviting again to post here a Yixing example that looks close to this bottle.

Up to now, the best references for this bottle are the Japanese wares shown by YT in his latest post here above. They look to have the same stoneware body and slip type decoration. 

Kind regards
Giovanni

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« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2016, 07:32:01 am »

Dear Kevin,
I think that I will stop here, sorry. It is completely worthless to continue the discussion if you refuse to hear and check what I say to you and come out with issues that has nothing to do. You need to study a bit, but most important, you need to understand what you are studying.
All what you said above has nothing to do with your bottle.
The base is not the same only because it is concave. It is the same than saying that my poor car is a Ferrari only because the wheels are round.
What has to do over glaze enamels of the famille verte ware with your bottle?
Underglaze blue almost disappeared during Qing dynasty?Huh That’s interesting! Dear Joey, you must throw out your B&W bottles because they are not Qing. But please tell me where you did throw them. Grin Grin
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: Please understand that “With underglaze blue omitted…..” must be read as “With underglaze blue omitted (within the famille verte scheme)…..”.
Famille verte is just one of the many types of porcelain ware produced under the Kangxi reign.
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« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2016, 07:35:58 am »

Dear Joey,
we did post at the same time. Sorry if I missed that you too said that the bottle is not Yixing. I missed that. Then yes, we said the same points. I too think that most probably it is Japanese or Korean, but as said I can't say that for sure, because I am ignorant on those wares.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2016, 07:56:18 am »

Dear Giovanni,
 
     I was just joking, to lighten the atmosphere. No, I saw immediately that the potting on the base was not the superfine Yixing clay, and made the comment.
     When I was trying to collect scholarly wares (brush washers, water droppers, wrist rests, brushes, brush pots, brush rests, etc., I DID buy a number of very interesting Korean and especially Japanese, wares. That was why I immediately pointed to Japan as a source of this vessel.

     About 10 years ago I gave almost all of the scholarly objects to my goddaughter Sophie, in the UK. Including the water droppers with painted vines like on Kevin's piece.

     I think the problem is that Kevin is searching the Web instead of going to museums and seeing objects.
You can't beat handling genuine objects as a way of learning about them. 

    He's learned the terms, but is understanding them wrongly based on limited information and experience.
I loved the accidental mis-quote about the underglazed blue!  Huh  That was priceless!  Grin Roll Eyes

   Best to all,
Joey


Dear Joey,
we did post at the same time. Sorry if I missed that you too said that the bottle is not Yixing. I missed that. Then yes, we said the same points. I too think that most probably it is Japanese or Korean, but as said I can't say that for sure, because I am ignorant on those wares.
Kind regards
Giovanni

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« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2016, 08:41:15 am »

All
To be sure Giovanni raised the point underglaze enamel decoration blue or any color did not exist w Chinese ceramics however we know it did by the excerpt provided. We also know it is present in Ming ware. Mostly omitted means not in entirety -Unsure how that was so misconstrued

Also by the deeply concave foot example we know that the foot conformed to the aesthetic for the period in general , so not all Yixing bottles have the flat foot feature as I believe Giovanni had indicated that's all that was said and again reading the earlier notes, the 100 yr continuum of the porcelain bottles listed on the forum, may help date stoneware bottles


Best

Kevin
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« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2016, 09:08:38 am »

Dear Joey
Where have you been? If you have scholarly objects from Japan painted in Yixing grapevine patterns, I would love to see them   Last week Cheesy
Thank you for your posts
Best
Kevin
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« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2016, 10:37:16 am »

Dear Kevin,
yes I confirm, underglaze blue enamel does not exist. By enamels I am referring, and I believe you too are thinking the same, to the thick enamels that we usually see on over glaze decorated ware, like Famille verte, famille rose, and so on. The under glaze blue is a diluted cobalt slip and yes, it exists, it is on your bottle and on an impressive quantity of Chinese ceramics starting from Yuan dynasty until today. Probably the most common decoration in the Chinese ceramics field. And it is what you see on Ming ware. The wucai ware has under glaze cobalt blue. It is only during Kangxi that the over glaze thick enamel has been invented and we can see it in full famille verte ware. Since then the blue can either be the classic, typical, extremely common, under glaze cobalt slip or the much, much less common over glaze thick enamel. But you can distinguish them 20 meters away.
Giovanni
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« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2016, 11:04:12 am »

Dear Kevin,
 
     I'm sorry I must have accidentally deleted these few lines:
About 10 years ago I gave almost all of the scholarly objects to my goddaughter Sophie, in the UK. Including the water droppers and brush washers, at least 2 of which had painted vines like on Kevin's piece.

    The way the stem crosses the thicker branch on your vessel, is almost identical to the painting on these, and the dark on lighter colouration under thin clear glaze, and the unglazed foot, showing the coarse pottery, also are almost identical.

   Zisha or Yixing clay, has a MUCH finer texture.
But I still say that your piece looks very tempting to hold.

Best,
Joey




Dear Joey
Where have you been? If you have scholarly objects from Japan painted in Yixing grapevine patterns, I would love to see them   Last week Cheesy
Thank you for your posts
Best
Kevin
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« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2016, 05:13:30 pm »

Dear Joey,
 thank you for the comment,  but no mistake on your part. If you however, come across photos or scholarly objects of the ones you mentioned, I would love to of course see photos of the paintings. Yes, it is a great bottle to hold Smiley

Best,
 Kevin

All,
 To Charll's point in looking or testing by using the sense of smell for the presence of snuff, please look at photo 2-carefully  there is a large gritty dark spot on the rim-  under magnification, and about the rim, there is what looks like old snuff caked in clumps,  after having darkened w/age -  I dont dare remove any of it
 
 The underglaze painting of the swirling vines, branches and the thickly painted grapes against a buff ground, in total matches in character with the early Qing ceramic painting technique and of the Yixing appliques shown here- the few Japanese examples produced thus far relevant to the topic don't show the same painterly techniques, but more importantly neither the subject matter nor representation was at all Chinese
 
Yixing clay textures and hues can vary among the wares, depending on the location of where the clay was produced, and the firing temperature -different purposes would require different clays and temperatures

 With the presence of the tar on the lip, we also have a bottle with these Chinese bottle characteristics:  the height is w/in the normal range (6.35cm), a slightly splayed and recessed mouth w/a diameter of .71cm, w/in the normal range, a neatly formed convex lip rim typical of the ceramic bottle, a slightly waisted neck. An unglazed and deeply convex foot, an unglazed foot rim, w/the glaze ending in a wavy line, and as mentioned by the earlier post on the forum this would be one age indicator of the Chinese ceramic bottle. A very tactile double gourd form, not seen in the Japanese or Korean examples

Best,

Kevin
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