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It's a table bottle, not a table bottle.

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Author Topic: It's a table bottle, not a table bottle.  (Read 311 times)
forestman
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« on: December 13, 2016, 12:12:47 pm »

Hi All.

I've found a weird shaped bottle, it's shaped as a table with a Go (?) board game on top. Has anyone come across a SB like this before?

It is marked underneath as per the photo (sorry about the image quality).

Any help from the admittedly limited information would be appreciated.

Kind regards, Adrian.


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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 12:53:25 pm »

Dear Adrian,

      Let's see the bottle!
The inscription is a very poorly written Da Qing Qianlong nianzhi mark
 (Great Qing [dynasty] Qianlong period made).
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 03:12:05 pm »

Am I looking at cloth ? 

Yes please... Lets see the bottle ! Sounds interesting..
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forestman
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 03:52:32 pm »

Dear Joey,

The right hand mark for Qianlong is an easy one to spot but in this case it was so badly rendered I assumed it must have been something else so thank you for recognising it.

I'm sorry but I can't access a picture at present.

Regards, Adrian.


Dear George,

I have just lied to Joey but I did so for the sake of this forum. I felt submitting a picture of the bottle might lead him to question why he bothered with it when people like me posted pictures of such poor bottles and he is such an asset to everyone here that I couldn't risk that happening. I hope he can find it in himself to forgive me.

My New Years resolution is to only buy or be tempted by better bottles but I am clearly hanging on in there until the last day.

Regards, Adrian.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 06:00:41 pm »

Dear Adrian,

     It's hardly a lie, if you don't feel you can post it. But I'd like to see it just for the heck of it.
But it is a good idea to aim for the best quality bottles you can afford.
Best,
Joey
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forestman
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 12:54:22 am »

Dear Joey,

That was my weird sense of humour again, sorry.

I am posting a picture, sorry for the quality but I didn't want to reveal where I found it.

This was not a bottle I had any intention of buying as the price is far higher than the bottle deserves. I was interested because I have seen numerous moulded bottles but never one like this.

You see modern copies of older bottles, for instance squirrels on cobs of corn etc, so I assume this bottle is a copy of an older one that exists which is why I asked if anyone had seen anything like it before.

I am trying to ease myself into buying better bottles but a very nice Lac Burgaute one I wanted to bid on last week went higher than I was prepared to pay the second bidding opened but on reflection it was worth it and I need to readjust what I am willing to pay to get quality.

Regards, Adrian




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samsonlzj
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 02:47:50 am »

Dear Adrian,

Were you referring to the Lac Burgaute bottle at Anderson & Garland?

Best,
Samson
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Samson - a young new collector desiring knowledge
forestman
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 03:30:24 am »

Hi Samson,

Yes, that was the one. I liked it as the intricate patterns didn't cover the whole bottle leaving the front and back for what I might (wrongly) consider a Somada style of inlay pictures.

Typical that it was the last bottle to be sold meaning I held back on others that I might otherwise have bought had I known the price the Lac Burgaute one would fetch. I did by the Malachite one as I have a fondness for them although it was overworked for my taste, I prefer them plain so the Malachite itself is the focus although the patterning is key to making that work.

Are you the proud owner of the Lac Burgaute one ?

Regards, Adrian.
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 03:49:43 am »

Dear Adrian,

Nope I didn't get it. I intended to and would have bought it for the price realized had its condition been good, unfortunately it wasn't... I liked it a lot so I emailed Anderson & Garland asking about its condition. Apart from some fine crazing which is not really visible on the pics, I was told that the stopper and the number label have been glued to the bottle. My first thought, why would a collector be so foolish to do such irreversible damage to such a beautiful snuff bottle?! It's a shame that it's previous owner didn't take good care of it... Well I had a bid on it at GBP400 as I thought of taking the chance that the damage may not be as serious as I was informed, but when the price went further beyond I thought it would be too costly a risk to take. I really like the design and subjects depicted on the bottle though. And the inlays on the sides look just beautiful... Had the condition been decent, it would have been a good bottle to buy in my opinion... So you haven't have to feel too disappointed about missing it Adrian...

Best,
Samson
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Joey
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 03:56:44 am »

Dear Adrian,

     I'D buy that table-shaped bottle, if only for the subject! I've NEVER seen its like.
What are the measurements and how much is it? This is if you are NOT interested in it, because of its price.
The mark looks very badly done, and I'm not sure about the age, but it looks so interesting.

     And I just bought a superb 19th C. Weiqi board ('Go' is the Japanese name - 'Weiqi' in Chinese) in wood with turned wood legs and with beautifully turned wooden bowls full of black or white stones in Taipei at a truly charming antique shop owned by a wonderful lady named Lillian Wu. My friend John Ang took me there.

    We enjoyed tea and delicious dried sliced Taiwanese fruits, while having a leisurely look at her assorted wares.
Besides the Weiqi board, I bought a truly spectacular Japanese Taisho (Japanese Art Deco, 1910-1935) teapot lid raiser in ivory and silver (elegant simply carved ivory handle, with a dragon's head in silver at the end; the dragon's 'whiskers' are two long pieces of thick silver wire pinched closely together. One slips the metal teapot lid knob between them, and lifts. Wonderfully Shibui object.), a Taisho Hibachi in steel, brass and copper, a Taisho wooden chest, and commissioned 3 padded boxes for transporting snuff bottles (Lillian's family do superb padded boxes for holding art objects, antiques and antiquities; she was inspired to open her shop by the treasures she saw being fitted for boxes.).
 
   Taiwan was a Japanese-ruled territory from 1895 to 1945, and the Japanese were very careful with and respectful of their Taiwanese Chinese subjects, even while they were happily raping or murdering over 800,000 of the same Chinese in Nanjing, and millions of other Chinese all over China, Singapore, etc., 1937-1945.

   To this day, Taiwanese are very pro-Japanese, and do not feel the visceral loathing that many mainlanders feel towards them.

   Best,
Joey
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forestman
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2016, 06:03:57 am »

Hi Samson,

I can't understand why these auction houses can't do something very simple, just say an item has or doesn't have damage. While I understand it is a case of "Let the buyer beware" it takes a second or two to add a simple damaged or not to a lot description. They earn high commissions and an ever increasing amount of their sales go to online bidders so they could offer them a far better service. You can buy an item from ebay for a couple of pounds that may have 8 good pictures and a full description of any damage the item may have.

It explains the low estimate for that bottle although I see it went up by the day of the auction. As you say, how strange to treat the bottle like that.

Regards, Adrian.

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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2016, 09:18:22 am »

Dear Joey,

Your way of buying antiques sounds very agreeable and far nicer than scouring the internet with little success.

I collect Japanese Inro and various lacquered items including a few tea caddies but have not yet been to Japan and had the pleasure of attending a real tea ceremony although it is very high on my bucket list.

The table bottle that isn't a table bottle is 5 x 4 x 3 cm and priced at more than $400 and came from a collector in the USA via his son. I am currently under negotiation although moving the decimal place to the left may take some doing. I am happy to offer the seller a fair price but a fair price is hard to decide on. The painting is not the best and it's age is unknown.

Kind regards,

Adrian.
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 09:51:34 am »

Sorry folks but I can't keep quiet about this .. we seem to forget the ground rules here for calling things snuff bottles. If it was not made for daily use of snuffing it is NOT a snuff bottle. One could argue that it applies even to modern inside painted bottles I suppose. This one is decorative at best and at worst it is 40 years old (being very generous here).
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2016, 10:17:06 am »

Sorry folks but I can't keep quiet about this .. we seem to forget the ground rules here. If it was not made for daily use of snuffing it is NOT a snuff bottle . This is decorative at best and at worst it is 40 years old (being very generous here).

Maybe so Pat, but not only do we have a section to the forum for "other snuff related containers", but for me, just that it is "snuff container related" makes a piece interesting ..

That is why I shared the Taino Cohoba ( Psychotropic snuff ) effigy.  Although not a Chinese snuff bottle, I think it ok and relevant for interesting discussion on the forum..

I just don't believe a piece necessarily needs to have been or currently "used daily" for snuffing, and also not confined to Chinese.

I do not recall any "ground rules" as you mention for the forum about this..

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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 04:54:01 pm »

Dear Adrian,

      Pat is right that it doesn't look too old, but I can't be sure, since, in over 47 years of actively studying Chinese snuff bottles, I've NEVER seen one like it. It could be late Guangxu, who knows? Or it could be late Deng Xiaoping...  Grin Roll Eyes
      However, with the measurements being 50mm X 40mm X 30mm high (from the upper surface of the 'board' to the bottom of the 'feet'), it is certainly in the ballpark for a working snuff bottle. And it could have been made by a private kiln as a 'one-off' for a snuff taker who was a Weiqi fanatic, for him to keep on his table as a scholarly object. There is no reason it could not have been a 'working' snuff bottle then.
I assume that was the stopper in B & W I saw on the 'front' of the Weiqi Table SB.

      I'd be willing to pay US$400 for it. Do you really think he'd sell it for US$40?

      By the way, I have attended classes and formal tea ceremony by the Urasenke Chanoyu/Chado Foundation in Kyoto, Japan; Honolulu, HI; and both Dublin & West Cork, in Ireland. I was planning to build a tea-house on my property at some stage, but having since experienced Chinese Tea Ceremony in Honolulu, and then in Taipei, I may well build a Chinese Tea House rather than a Japanese one.

     The Chinese are much more practical and sensible. For one thing, in a Chinese Tea House, both host and guests enter standing up; while one is meant to enter a Japanese Tea House crawling on all fours through a small hatch more like a dog-door (about 70cm high X 80cm wide).  Not for me.  Luckily, in each case I was able to plead knee problems and walk in. In which case, one takes the left-side shoji screen door, whereas the host used the right-side shoji screen door (the two doors are next to each other, each running on its own track.).

Best,
Joey



Dear Joey,

Your way of buying antiques sounds very agreeable and far nicer than scouring the internet with little success.

I collect Japanese Inro and various lacquered items including a few tea caddies but have not yet been to Japan and had the pleasure of attending a real tea ceremony although it is very high on my bucket list.

The table bottle that isn't a table bottle is 5 x 4 x 3 cm and priced at more than $400 and came from a collector in the USA via his son. I am currently under negotiation although moving the decimal place to the left may take some doing. I am happy to offer the seller a fair price but a fair price is hard to decide on. The painting is not the best and it's age is unknown.

Kind regards,

Adrian.
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2016, 05:37:34 pm »

George

To be clear I meant ground rules to call things a snuff 'bottle'. I wasn't talking about rules for the forum .
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2016, 07:03:57 pm »

George

To be clear I meant ground rules to call things a snuff 'bottle'. I wasn't talking about rules for the forum .

Apologies Pat... I misunderstood..  Lips sealed
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2016, 07:15:52 pm »

No apologies needed ... no worries !
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2016, 07:34:51 am »

Dear Pat,

     Did you not notice what I assume is the stopper, a B & W stopper-shaped knob on the front of this admittedly oddly-shaped snuff bottle? With measurements of 50mm X 40mm X 30mm, it should certainly be able to hold some snuff, and I'd warrant, quite a bit. If it is a vessel which can hold snuff, with a stopper which I'm assuming has a spoon and cork connected to it, for removing the snuff, it is by my definition, a snuff bottle.

    As to its age, I'm honestly stumped. It could be less than 20 years old, or it could be 120 years old. I'm not sure if the crudely drawn 6 character mark is actually on the base of the piece, or a drawing by Adrian, copied from it.

    But if it has a cavity which could hold snuff, and a stopper, cork and spoon, it is a snuff bottle.
Of course, it could alternatively be an ornate water dropper, which someone stuck a stopper into; in which case, while I'd still be interested in it,  but not as a snuff bottle.  Cheesy

Best,
Joey

Best,
Joey
 
   
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forestman
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 12:07:28 pm »

Dear Joey,

I have to report back that the stopper has no cork or spoon which is disappointing, and the stopper has been made to fit with a few wraps of very clean looking tape. The Sellers description of it as a snuff bottle came via the son of the collector who obtained it some decades ago.

As the table is hollow it would need a route for water vapour to escape from when it was fired. As the hole for the stopper is the only hole in the body then was it decided by whoever made it that they would incorporate the hole in the overall design and fill it with something that may resemble a handle for a drawer in the table in which the stones for the game may be kept ?

There was nothing to stop the maker putting a hole in the underside of the table and adding something resembling a handle to the front of the table into the mould so logic suggests the fact the handle was made to be removed had some function. Your suggestion of it possibly being a water dropper may be more fitting than an assumption that has clearly been held that it was a snuff bottle or something intended to mimic one.

Regards,

Adrian.

 
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