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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
June 24, 2017, 02:06:31 pm
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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 310 times)
Joey
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2016, 01:37:42 pm »

Dear Adrian,

    Actually, your statement that there is only one opening, is the best proof that it IS a snuff bottle. Or a small bottle of some sort, and since it is Chinese, and suitable to a scholar's table and studio, why NOT a snuff bottle?

    A water dropper needs two openings: with only one it is very hard to get water into or out of, the vessel.
When one fills a water dropper, the air needs a way to exit as the water enters. And then, if one keeps a fingertip firmly covering and blocking one opening, the water will not exit the other opening.

   To add water to the inkstone, one opens the other hole, and the water can exit through the spout (there is usually a spout on a water dropper).

    I'm convinced it is a snuff bottle, but confused about its age.
Did you or someone else copy the 6 character mark on paper, or is that a photo of the mark?
It is unclear to me.
And have you seen it 'live', or only through the photos you've shared with us?

   One thing I'd advise (though if you are trying to buy it for a lot less than the US$400 asking price, you've no need of advice from me! Roll Eyes Grin), take with a grain of salt, the claim by the vendor that his father bought it decades ago; UNLESS he has sent you documentary proof it was purchased that long ago.

    The two periods I'd reckon it could reasonably come from, are ca.1890-1930 or ca.1990-2015. Although the really crudely drawn mark (assuming the mark you posted IS from the actual piece) is very odd for either period. Especially since the actual object looks quite well made and decorated.

    You say the stopper has been made to fit using a few pieces of very clean tape. What is the tape on? Is there a porcelain piece, like a cork but smaller in circumference to the opening, which has had the tape wrapped around it?

    Sorry to go on and on, but this bottle has me focused, because of its contradictions (looks well potted and decorated, but truly awful mark; is really odd, but is also very appealing; has me totally confused as to its date of manufacture.), and because I am a sucker for B & W, as well as truly one of a kind pieces.
 
    I have said many times, live and on the Forum, that because of Chinese culture's very strict regimentation, due to the large population that had to be kept alive, individuality had to be kept down quite severely; and so, almost never do the phrases, 'one of a kind' or, "I've never seen another like it!", augur well.
BUT, please notice the caveat, 'almost never'.

    If the Weiqi Table snuff bottle is Guangxu/early Republic, than everything the vendor said, might well be true.
I wish you success. If he doesn't go down in price, and you decide not to go for it, I'd appreciate a heads-up.
Best Wishes,
Joey

Best


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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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 04:22:00 pm »

Dear Joey,

I'm sorry if I have missed you for today as I have just returned from taking my parents out for a meal as I am going away tomorrow for 2 weeks so wouldn't be seeing them for Christmas or my Mothers birthday.

Since my last post I decided that for a water dropper the stopper hole would be to low in the body of the table to hold a useful amount of water so discounted that idea and you have added the need for 2 holes as well. We can discount any use as a container for any liquid due to low position of the stopper but clearly it serves a purpose as I said before.

The part of the stopper that fills the hole is part of the whole stopper so is of porcelain. The picture of the mark was taken on my phone from my computer screen which is why it is so bad but the mark is badly rendered. I have other bottles with Qianlong marks that are perfectly rendered and very easy to recognise against examples on Gotheborg. I have not seen the bottle live, only through pictures. The bottoms of the legs of the table are very black, worn or fake worn (?) and the hole for the stopper seems quite clean.

Regards,

Adrian.

 
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George
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 07:20:26 pm »

If you were to desire and wrap the stopper with tape, string, or what ever.. Would it still fit in the hole ?  I am just thinking that if it is old and was truly created and intended to be used, we should be able to do that and would still end up with a nice fit.

If not, then I think it would be a deal breaker for me thinking it old.
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forestman
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2016, 05:30:37 am »

Hi George,

The stopper has a few layers of tape around it at present to hold it in.

If it is a one off then it would be hard to judge any slight shrinkage during firing of the table and stopper to get any accurate fit I suppose.

I have negotiated and now bought it but have never been so unsure about a bottle I am buying. Call it a Christmas present to myself.

The seller has a few carved glass bottles with cord holes drilled into them as a Japanese netsuke has which is another new one on me. Said to be from 1850-1900 but that is doubtful. Not the standard stopper fitted to new bottles but the spoon is far to short to reach the bottom which is never a good sign.

Off on holiday now.

Merry Christmas to all.

Regards, Adrian.
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Joey
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2016, 09:57:51 am »

Dear Adrian,

     No need to apologise. And I read below that you've bought it! Mazal Tov! Whatever the dating, it is a truly interesting piece. I hope that at some stage, I can see it 'live'.

    I will be interested to see the bottle in better photos.
Best & Happy Holidays,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Dear Joey,

I'm sorry if I have missed you for today as I have just returned from taking my parents out for a meal as I am going away tomorrow for 2 weeks so wouldn't be seeing them for Christmas or my Mothers birthday.

Since my last post I decided that for a water dropper the stopper hole would be to low in the body of the table to hold a useful amount of water so discounted that idea and you have added the need for 2 holes as well. We can discount any use as a container for any liquid due to low position of the stopper but clearly it serves a purpose as I said before.

The part of the stopper that fills the hole is part of the whole stopper so is of porcelain. The picture of the mark was taken on my phone from my computer screen which is why it is so bad but the mark is badly rendered. I have other bottles with Qianlong marks that are perfectly rendered and very easy to recognise against examples on Gotheborg. I have not seen the bottle live, only through pictures. The bottoms of the legs of the table are very black, worn or fake worn (?) and the hole for the stopper seems quite clean.

Regards,

Adrian.

 
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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