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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
July 22, 2018, 03:31:28 pm
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Photos and thoughts on fake cinnabar lacquer.

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Author Topic: Photos and thoughts on fake cinnabar lacquer.  (Read 96 times)
forestman
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« on: December 06, 2016, 04:57:45 am »

I ended up with a very poor quality moulded resin bottle as part of a group I bought which had better bottles in it and thought it would make a good example to highlight what to look for if people looking in here had any doubts and lacked experience or knowledge.

It was prompted by seeing one for sale on a popular site ! at a very high price which had tiny spheres on it's surface. It didn't have many but you only need one.

You can clearly see in the first picture of my bottle numerous of these spheres. As talented as lacquer carvers are, they can't carve perfect tiny spheres less than a millimetre in diameter.

When a mould is taken from the original bottle the viscosity of the moulding liquid doesn't fill areas of fine detail quickly and air is trapped in tiny bubbles between the surface of the bottle and the moulding liquid. These tiny air bubbles leave spherical voids in the surface of the mould when it sets. When a copy bottle is made from the mould the moulding liquid fills these voids and so spheres appear on the surface of the finished copy.

In the second picture you also see spherical voids on the finished surface of the copy. They form by air bubbles being trapped as the liquid for the copy is poured into the mould so essentially the reverse of what happened when the mould was made.

Real lacquer bottles seem almost always to be formed over brass/copper bodies. The copy bottles have to suggest they have been made in the same way and have brass/copper on the base, on the top and inside of the neck and the underside of the stopper.

On a real example, if you ran a cocktail stick down the inside of the neck (which is a tube of metal) it would be smooth until the void of the inner bottle was reached. On a copy the copper tube lining the neck would end a short way down and you should be able to feel where it ends.  If there is no metal tube lining the neck then it should be more of a clue.

Feel free to correct or add anything.

Regards, Adrian.






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George
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 07:46:37 am »

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us Adrian..  Smiley
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Joey
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 10:57:42 am »

Well done, Adrian.
After reading it, I can't think of anything to add.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 12:08:07 pm »

I know that I may be taking it to the very basics as far as members here are concerned and also that this has been covered in the "Lacquer (I hope so)" thread but that takes the matter from the other end, how to tell if it's real lacquer, as opposed to how to spot a fake. It's different, honest, it is.

You can see that from the fact the "Lacquer (I hope so)" thread has had 24,540 views that it's a topic of interest. The fact that there were 43 guests on this site when I started typing this shows there are good numbers of people looking at the site even if they are not posting or signing up and anything that helps them from avoiding mistakes can only be good.

The bottle that prompted me to post was up for sale at $1,000's and sadly I see numerous bottles for sale at high prices that cannot justify what is being sought for them. A site I use has very modern glass overlay bottles that it's claimed are perfectly preserved from the 1700's, I doubt they are over a year old, although at the price being asked for them they may have been in stock for a while.

Regards, Adrian.
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