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The last bottle I'm showcasing before 2016 ends

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Author Topic: The last bottle I'm showcasing before 2016 ends  (Read 496 times)
samsonlzj
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« on: December 27, 2016, 10:07:17 am »

Dear all,

I've been having this one for 10 months now. I think it's about time for me to show it to everyone and it's a good one to mark the end of 2016 in my opinion.

This is a four color Yangzhou glass overlay bottle comprising blue, pink, brown and green overlays with a "Ji Xiang" seal on one of its side (Ji Xiang 吉祥 - means good luck). On one side it's a lotus pond with goldfishes swimming in it and dragonflies flying around the lotus flowers. Depicted on the seal side are two persons on a boat in the form of a lotus leaf?/wood branch? and Taihu rock next to a bridge.

This bottle is really special to me, I consider it the first quality bottle I got in the true sense. Thus my holy grail... Wink

Enjoy!

Best and Happy New Year to all of you!

Samson

P.S. The last pic is a screenshot taken from the auction house's webpage.


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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 03:00:54 pm »


Samson,

From the photos it appears to me to be a great bottle illustrating a number of attributes that typify Yangzhou glass bottles.  The maker/artist did an exceptional job with the carvings in balancing the design within the multicolored glass usage.  Looks like it even has an old catalog number on the base.  Does it has the provenance of the collector as well?

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

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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 08:00:57 pm »

Absolutely beautiful Samson.  Very nice.....Congrats!
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Pat
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 04:13:13 am »

The maker/artist did an exceptional job with the carvings in balancing the design within the multicolored glass usage.  Looks like it even has an old catalog number on the base.  Does it has the provenance of the collector as well?

Thanks Charll & Pat!

Charll, I agree with what you said. The carvings were indeed well executed by the maker/artist. The overall profile of the bottle looks pleasant to me and the colors are well balanced.

Regarding the provenance, I was given to understand that the bottle was from the collection of a collector in Connecticut. But not sure who, hopefully this information I got together with the catalog number that remained at the bottom of the bottle would help me to find out eventually. Or I should probably ask the auction house... The is the first bottle I got with catalog number from the previous collector. Did he apply it with a special paint or something? Huh

Best wishes,
Samson
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Joey
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 04:47:17 am »

Dear Samson,

       I'm sorry but I don't remember this bottle. Did you show it to me? Might be a 'senior moment'. Grin
Usually the older collectors used nail polish in a dark colour.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

samsonlzj
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 05:41:38 am »

Dear Samson,

       I'm sorry but I don't remember this bottle. Did you show it to me? Might be a 'senior moment'. Grin
Usually the older collectors used nail polish in a dark colour.
Best,
Joey

Dear Joey,

Did I or did I not?... It may be a case of 'senior moment' for me too... Cheesy Grin
Anyway, what do you think about it?

Nail polish? Wow, didn't know that! I'm inclined to leave the mark there as it's may be be useful in tracing the provenance in the future.. Who knows? Roll Eyes

Best,
Samson

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Joey
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 07:05:28 am »

Dear Samson,

       It looks 'right' (ie., ca.1820-1880), but I'd need to handle it to be able to be more sure.
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 07:36:43 am »

Dear Joey,

Sure! I'll make sure this will be first bottle you will be shown the next time you visit me!  Wink

Best,
Samson
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 09:38:34 am »

Wonderful bottle Samson.. !

They sure went through a lot to make this one.  Looks like they dipped the top part of the bottle, and also dipped the lower part with yet another color, then blotted additional areas as well..

Beautiful bottle and congratulations !
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2016, 12:00:15 pm »

Congratulations Samson! A beautiful bottle! And quite an interesting color combination. I don't think I've ever seen brown combined with the brighter colors.
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2016, 01:41:22 pm »


Samson,

Get back in touch with the auction house on the previous owner and any further provenance information.  Sometime they have this information and will release it, sometimes not!  Anyway you will not know unless you ask.  I make this a standard question while arranging payment of auction house bottles.

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

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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2016, 08:49:25 pm »

A beautiful bottle Samson - congratulations!

It is a good idea to leave any old collector marks or stickers in place until you can establish ownership. Then, and only then, you can decide whether the remove it or keep it as part of the bottle's 'history'.

I had one bottle with a mystery sticky label which was quite distinctive, so I asked if anyone on the forum could identify it. Nobody could. Two years later another bottle with the same label came up for auction, and this one named the provenance. So the mystery was solved!

I have another bottle with an old collector's label on it. It's been in my collection for over 30 years, and I'm still optimistic of one day discovering who it once belonged to!

All best,
Tom
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2016, 04:58:34 am »

Dear all,

Thanks a lot!

Dear Charll and Joey,

Yes I shall get back in touch with the auction house to see if they can inform me of the specific provenance of the bottle. I will make every effort to do that for every bottle I'll buy from now on. One hard truth, I won't know unless I ask...

Dear Tom,

It's very interesting to know how you've managed to helped your bottle find its lost "once upon a time family member"... Roll Eyes Yes, I do think such marks represent part of a bottle's history. So I will leave it there.

Best to all,
Samson
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2016, 07:21:55 am »

Dear Samson,

      Think of the marks like a previous collector putting his chop and possibly a colophon on an antique scroll.
Best,
Happy Hanuka,
Joey
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 06:46:14 am »

Think of the marks like a previous collector putting his chop and possibly a colophon on an antique scroll.

Dear Joey,

Right, like Emperor Qianlong stamping his imperial appreciation seals on many masterpieces of Chinese paintings and calligraphy scrolls... Wink

Best,
Happy Hanukkah,
Samson
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 07:26:48 am »

Exactly!  Though he really defaced a lot of fine art treasures with his mediocre prose and poetry...  Grin
But same idea.
Main reason I don't stick anything on my snuff bottles, and try to get them photographed as a way of documenting them.
Best,
Happy Hanuka, Happy New Lunar Month of Tevet, and Happy 2017 tomorrow night.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Think of the marks like a previous collector putting his chop and possibly a colophon on an antique scroll.

Dear Joey,

Right, like Emperor Qianlong stamping his imperial appreciation seals on many masterpieces of Chinese paintings and calligraphy scrolls... Wink

Best,
Happy Hanukkah,
Samson
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 11:02:22 am »

Dear Samson,
I really hope to be wrong, but since the beginning I am not sharing the enthusiasm of everybody here about your bottle. It is plenty of similar bottles on ebay, and I am not finding the carving so well made as typical for old bottles. Again, I really hope to be wrong, but is it an old bottle in your opinion? Please look carefully for some sign of natural wear on the foot and on the highest relief parts. Can you show the spoon?
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 11:32:48 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

I appreciate your comment but I am very convinced that it is an old bottle. And I'm thrilled about its fine condition despite its age. The form and shape of the bottle itself is typical Yangzhou as we may see, so are the carvings and subjects. I have another Yangzhou bottle to compare it with. It's consistent with it in all the above aspects but this one is even better in the execution of carving and the choice of subjects.

Since I acquired it, I had shown it to Robert Hall and a prominent collector in Singapore who both commented that it is a genuine Yangzhou glass overlay of fine quality.

On the other hand, I'm trying to get back in touch with the auction house from which I bought it to enquire about its specific provenance and expect them to reply after the new year holiday. Provenance is a magic bullet! All I know about its provenance now is it's from the collection of a collector in Connecticut and that's it.

Anyway, I believe you'll change your view about it when you get to see it in person!

Happy New Year!
Best wishes for 2017!
Samson

P.S. And here we go pics of the bottle with its stopper and spoon next to it as you requested.


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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 04:40:18 am »

Dear Samson,
I am happy for you, but modestly I keep my own ideas. I can tell you one thing that I did learn during the years, on my own expense: not always blind trust experts. I perfectly know, it sounds like a blasphemy in the case of Worldwide known experts, but believe me, I had totally, proved ridiculous answers from really top scholars.
I may be totally wrong of course, because I am judging an object by pictures alone, but I don’t see that high quality carving on your bottle and, most important, I don’t see the old style of shaping and I don’t see the old patina/feeling. You said that you are convinced that it is an old bottle, but you didn’t say if you are seeing the signs of age. It seems that you are convinced that it is old because of the shape, carving etc. That is not the same. If you think that the carving of your bottle is of high quality, what about this one then? See the first three pictures below. It is on ebay, from China, free shipping and so on, all the typical things that tells us that it is modern. But no doubt another class of carving quality.
The fourth picture below shows an obviously modern bottle. It is obvious by the type of carving and its finishing. Look at the green lotus leaf. In my opinion it is of the same type of your bottle, and if we judge for example by the brown lotus leaf of your bottle (see last picture), even a bit better.
Dear Samson it is plenty of modern bottles nowadays, everywhere. Coming from an Auction house doesn’t mean that it is a good, old object. I see so many everywhere, and even bought some and posted here. The glass imitating silhouette agate that I did post a couple of days ago, for example, has been judged as modern by Joey, despite its nice shape, small size, very good carving. I did not inspect it in detail as I do with lens etc, but he is much probably right, because my immediate reaction, in handling it, has been “what a pretty nice bottle”. It has not been “wow, this is an old one!”. 
Sorry but we are a community of friends sharing love for these objects, and it is right to openly share our opinion. If I am wrong, then I am happy for you.
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: the spoon/stopper are not old but that is not important, they could have been added recently.


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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 05:36:18 am »

Dear Giovanni,

I really appreciate your frank sharing of your experience in identifying snuff bottles. But, I am still inclined to think my Yangzhou bottle here is an antique object. I appreciate that you've shared pics of your samples for comparison, but I'm afraid I'm not really convinced by the finding of it. You may be right that the carving on mine is not exceptional by the general standard of glass overlay snuff bottles. However, I do think it is consistent with other proven Yangzhou glass overlay bottles, mild and subtle, which is typical of such school according to my observation. It isn't as bold and clear as other types glass overlay bottles. In that sense, I think mine isn't really similar to your samples. The execution of the carving on the brown overlay bottle you showed is too detailed and prominent to be Yangzhou (so as in the multi-colored sample of yours), well nice but I personally opine that the maker has kinda overcooked it. Not to comment about the tao tie and the and the slightly protrude surface of the bottle. What I'd like to say is they aren't ideal basis for comparison in this case.

Just exchanging my views... Wink

Warm regards,
Samson
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