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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
June 25, 2017, 12:25:42 am
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The interesting life of a snuff bottle

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Author Topic: The interesting life of a snuff bottle  (Read 226 times)
cshapiro
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« on: January 14, 2017, 09:26:53 pm »

Live Auctioneers is my favorite place to research a bottle. There was an amber bottle on the auction block today and when researching it I found that it has quite a history.

I'm not sure what to make of it's history, and so wanted to share it with you to get your thoughts.

I was concerned that it's been on the auction block so much. I wonder why it's hopped from auction house to auction house? Most of all, I wonder if it's real amber.

Mar 15, 2015
Lot 0111 | Baoyi US Auction Inc. | Flushing, NY
Sold for $2,250
https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/35023016_a-carved-amber-snuff-bottle-of-melon19th-c

Sep 26, 2015
Lot 0185 | Baoyi US Auction Inc. | Flushing, NY
Starting bid: $500
Sold for $1,600
https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/40480191_19th-c-a-amber-snuff-bottle

Sep 3, 2016
Lot 0017 | Atilla Auction Gallery, Inc. | Flushing, NY
Starting bid: $1000
Sold for $1,200
https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/47386215_19th-c-a-amber-snuff-bottle

Nov 12, 2016
Lot 0217 | Katina's Auction | Quincy, MA
Starting bid: $1000
Lot passed
https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/48642085_a-amber-snuff-bottle

Today:
Lot 454 | Saida's Auction Inc. | Fairfax, VA
Starting bid: $400
Sold for $650
https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/50253469_19th-c-a-amber-snuff-bottle
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George
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 10:44:10 pm »

Yes it is indeed amber..

I can not explain the bouncing around of bottles from house to house, except that it must just be efforts to try and profit. One auction house sold it three times.. Hard to explain.
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cshapiro
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 10:58:45 pm »

Oh awesome George! Thanks! I will know soon enough if it's real. I was super worried because of it's history - and that the price kept dropping.
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 11:04:29 pm »

It would not hurt to hear the same about being amber from at least one other member just to double confirm..
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cshapiro
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 11:23:03 pm »

I don't know that anyone could say for sure without examining it and doing some tests. There are some great fakes. Amber is the one thing that I think I will need to buy in person in the future.

It was a gamble because of it's history, so we will see!

I just got the invoice and they charged New York sales tax - not Virginia. So this bottle may still be in Flushing, New York. Hmmmm

I don't know if anyone else has noticed it, but some of these auction houses seem awfully shady to me. It seems like they just pop up overnight out of nowhere, create a new name and a bogus location. Since they're selling out of liveauctioneers or invaluable, they have no web site, no record of them in existence anywhere! 

I wonder if the bottle even exists at all. Maybe they just change the auction house name and sell it over and over again.

I wish liveauctioneers and invaluable would allow buyers to rate the auction houses.

 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 12:43:02 am by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 12:43:44 am »



I don't know if anyone else has noticed it, but some of these auction houses seem awfully shady to me. It seems like they just pop up overnight out of nowhere, create a new name and a bogus location. Since they're selling out of liveauctioneers or invaluable, they have no web site, no record of them in existence anywhere! 

I have noticed, but sort of attribute it to the idea that collections of snuff bottles do not pop up every day at every auction house.. Many times it is a type of store that may never have had someone come in with any kind of Chinese antiques at all..  So I think lots of these are simply an odd collection in some city where the owner just walked in and let the store sell them online. Then sites like LiveAuctioneers and others simply pick up on key word and then add that feed to their site.

Maybe ??
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cshapiro
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 12:56:33 am »

Yeah, I think I've gotten so used to trusting online transactions from shopping with amazon, and the other big sites that I've let my guard down. Like they say ... buyer beware!

I've been doing some interesting reading on shell auctions and failure to ship. I think I need to vet this one carefully next week.

From what I read on liveauctioneers, anyone can become a seller. You just have to fill out a form and only need a working email address.

In the meantime, I feel like quite the idiot. Here is a lovely street view of Saida's Auction Inc.



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Cathy
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 10:41:26 am »

Good morning Joey!
No I haven't paid for it yet.

If you remember I recently complained about an auction house named Holly Auctions losing my bottles. Another thought that occurred to me is that they could be phishing for credit card numbers and something always suspiciously happens to the merchandise. They probably would issue refunds to seem legit and then you would find these mysterious charges pop up on your card.

Just throwing that out there as a possibility.

I wouldn't suspect if I hadn't seen this bottle's very suspicious history
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 11:11:51 am »

Hi Cathy,

I see the exact same pictures used in each auction which to me seems strange. It was sold by the same auction house twice so not hard to think they may have had pictures held on file from the first sale that they reused but then there was a gap of a year before it was auctioned again by another company, how did they, and the next two auctioneers, get the same pictures. Just a thought.

Regards, Adrian (British, questionable sense of humour).
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cshapiro
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 11:47:24 am »

Yes Adrian - excellent point!

Quote
Adrian (British, questionable sense of humour).
Hahaha! I think I should trust my instincts...
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 02:22:29 pm »

Hi Cathy,

Did you ever get the bottle ?

Regards, Adrian.
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cshapiro
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 10:58:32 am »

Hi Adrian,

Well there is a happy ending to this story. The bottle arrived (from Flushing, New York) and I tested it.
It floats, and has a specific gravity of 1.05

So it's genuine - the bottle really existed - and now it is in my collection! 

Here is a picture of the sunlight shining through it from my kitchen window.

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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 11:18:01 am »

Hi Cathy,

Glad to see it arrived okay, I know you were concerned it might not and glad it's genuine as well.

It's a long time since I saw sunlight shinning through a bottle, part of the joy of being British.

Regards, Adrian.
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 03:35:34 pm »



Well there is a happy ending to this story. The bottle arrived (from Flushing, New York) and I tested it.
It floats, and has a specific gravity of 1.05

So it's genuine - the bottle really existed - and now it is in my collection! 





Excellent and congratulations !
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 03:48:48 pm »

Cathy,

You got lucky on this one.  I did not want to worry you before it was received, but I suspect the high bids at the previous auctions were not honored because those bids did not achieve some set minimum by the seller and/or auction house.  

Within the last two years there was a nicely done porcelain bottle that I coveted.  It was being offered by one of these minor auction houses back east run by Chinese speaking proprietors; i.e., when I called about my successful bid I could not understand their English.  I bid on this porcelain bottle twice in the last two years, and each time I was informed though I was the high bidder the bid did not meet some unpublished reserve.  I asked what was the reserve? They could not give me that information.  I offered to pay the reserve amount and was turned down.  Later the bottle came up at other auction houses under different names with a lower estimated value range.  I did not pursue it, for I did not want the continued let down.  

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

cshapiro
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 04:17:08 pm »

Thank you George!

Thanks Charll! I'm sorry you didn't get your bottle.

Because I was wary, I called and told them if they would walk out to the warehouse and take some candid photos of the bottle and text them to me right then, I would pay right then. I was surprised they complied. So I paid and then worried all the way up until it got here.

It's interesting that the bottle was shipped from Flushing, New York - home of the original auction house, even though it was listed as being in Fairfax, Virginia. So the other auction houses are affiliated in some way and that is disconcerting.

I'm happy that all turned out well, but this was a bigger gamble than I was comfortable taking, and so won't be making the same mistake again. There are several of these second tier auction houses in the US, UK and Canada that are older established companies that I am comfortable doing business with, and so will buy from them, and avoid these unknown ones in future.
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 08:05:39 pm »

Very nice bottle Cathy!  By the way, you never replied to my mail about the Chen Zhongsan bottle.  Have a look if you are still interested.  Thanks!
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