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Jade Bottle - 19th or 20th century ?

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Author Topic: Jade Bottle - 19th or 20th century ?  (Read 263 times)
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« on: February 11, 2017, 08:31:05 am »

Dear all,

This is one of my jade bottles which I like very much. It is 53mm high and of light pale green tone. It is also well hollowed.

I was attracted to the softness of the material and the color tone. Very nice feeling in the palm.

The carvings on each shoulder-to-base are quite well executed. One side shows a phoenix flying down and the other side a bixiu crawling up. Both are of high relief with good details of the carvings.

What surprised me is the incised reign mark of [Yongzhen Nian Zhi ] - made in the reign of Yongzhen. I am not seen any jade bottle of such . Usually Qianlong reign mark.

Also, I find that the neck of the bottle appears proportionally too short.

For sharing and your feedbacks.

Inn Bok


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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 10:10:16 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

Thank you for sharing your jade bottle. Indeed, as you mentioned, the fact that it's incised "Yongzheng Nian Zhi" is rather interesting. The Yongzheng reign mark seems rare on jade bottles, at least I haven't seen one since I first started the hobby a year or so ago.

I also agree that the length of the neck seems slightly disproportionate with rest of the bottle.

Joey is the man to turn our heads up to when it comes to jade bottles. Let's see what he has to say.

Best,
Samson
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 01:40:54 pm »

Dear Samson & of course, Inn Bok,

      All right, so, no pressure then...  Thank G-D !    Roll Eyes Shocked Grin

     Dear, Dear Inn Bok,
   
     It is a beautiful piece of Nephrite Jade. Which is its first problem.  Roll Eyes 
From 1710, the aging Kangxi Emperor lost control over the periphery, and that included, first and foremost, Khotan, the source of the best nephrite. Till 1759, when General Zhaohui reconquered it for the Qianlong Emperor. Notice that this period (ca.1710-1759) includes the whole of the Yongzheng reign (1722-1735).

     The carving is not at all like that of the early-mid 18th C. And it is very high relief. Another mark against it.
The shape is all wrong and, moreover, would be very hard to use anywhere but left on a table as a scholar's ornament; but is not 'right' for that either. And the neck is too short, in relation to the bottle.

     The mark looks superb, but the correct marks have been known since 1986 at least, thanks to the late Robert Kleiner's serious research on Qing reign marks when he worked for Sotheby's London's Chinese Dept. in the  late 1970s/1980s.

     If the bottle had been a flattened spade-shaped flask, with a gently flared neck, and with the qilong and phoenix carved in low relief, and that mark, all in a piece of really 'cruddy' nephrite, and had the proper wear (patina), I would have had to work a lot harder; or said it was 'right'.

     Oh, by the way, most Qianlong marked Jades I've seen, primarily all those in the collections of a certain 2  HK collectors, one sadly demised, are fake. They demanded 'reign marked' examples, and the dealers, including well-known UK dealers, were happy to accommodate them, for a premium. And ditto with all their reign marked glass examples.

     I was collecting a lot longer than the two gents from HK (15-18 years longer), and was searching out glass bottles with incised marks a lot earlier than them, and I succeeded in finding #2 and #12 in my 1987 catalogue, my Yuzhi marked overlay from the Schoen collection, and 3 marked examples from Marion Mayer's famous glass collection, so 6 examples between 1970 and 1992. 

    I've seen 7 examples in glass, and 3 in Jade, with 'Wan Yu Xuan' ["Studio of Refined Amusement"], the 5th Prince Ding's personal Studio in the Forbidden City, during the early-mid 19th C. I've seen at least a dozen, if not double that, of jade bottles with obscure Studio names; I've owned a bottle with Qianlong Nianzhi (doubtless stolen by Eunuchs after 1911 but before 1924 when they were expelled from the Forbidden City), and still own one with only a tiny part of the 'Qian' character visible (probably stolen by Eunuchs between the 1890s and 1910, when the mark would have been ground off since if caught with a marked Imperial treasure meant an extremely slow and extremely painful death for all concerned).

    I'm sorry. It is a beautiful object, but most probably made between 1990 and a few months before you first saw it.

Best,
Joey


Dear Inn Bok,

Thank you for sharing your jade bottle. Indeed, as you mentioned, the fact that it's incised "Yongzheng Nian Zhi" is rather interesting. The Yongzheng reign mark seems rare on jade bottles, at least I haven't seen one since I first started the hobby a year or so ago.

I also agree that the length of the neck seems slightly disproportionate with rest of the bottle.

Joey is the man to turn our heads up to when it comes to jade bottles. Let's see what he has to say.

Best,
Samson
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 07:21:27 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 10:38:49 pm »

Dear Joey,

What a comprehensive comment on jade bottles, it just helps refresh our understanding and knowledge on the subject although you've mentioned some of the info already in the past. So thanks!

Yes, one reliable factor we take into account when it comes to antique nephrite jades is when the Qing Court had access to their supply. When we talk about that, we always go back to the history of Qing Dynasty which interests me a great deal! Smiley

By the way, the slow and painful death you mentioned, I suppose you're referring to Lingchi (death by a thousand cuts)? It's one of the most notorious torture punishments during Chinese feudal period. I believe it must be an astonishing and breathtaking experience to own imperial pieces, things that commoners were once strictly forbidden from possessing, violation of which would have invited a fatal disaster... Shocked Cry

Best,
Samson
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 03:03:01 am »

Dear Joey,

As usual, you didn't disappoint me with your exposition  Smiley Smiley

I bought this piece not for its age ( the Yongzhen mark gave it away ), but the workmanship and the material.

There  are old jade bottles with relatively high-relief carvings ( see " The Collector's Book ... " by Bob's Steven,
examples 401, 402 and 413 attributed to late 18th and early 19th century ).

Thanks for your generous sharing.

Inn Bok
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 03:29:42 am »

Two additional bottles for sharing.

Inn Bok


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* IMG_7488.JPG (184.56 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 15 times.)

* 498.JPG (272.35 KB, 775x1037 - viewed 16 times.)

* 499.JPG (291.76 KB, 775x1037 - viewed 10 times.)
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 04:19:07 am »

another jade bottle, of pebble form.

for sharing.

Inn Bok


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* 190.JPG (71.15 KB, 388x519 - viewed 11 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 07:33:26 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

     Sadly, my Bob Stevens book is stuck at DHL. I thought it was stuck in Israel Customs, along with my whole collection of Journals, and some other stuff, but it now turns out a couple of morons in DHL have been causing all the problems and refusing to free my shipment from Ireland!

    Could you please post the 3 bottles in high relief from Bob's book, which are attributed to the late 18th/early 19th C.?
The level of knowledge has gone up exponentially since 1976, when Bob published his landmark book. I call the Lilla Perry book, 
published in 1960, my 'Bible' on snuff bottles; and Bob's book from 1976, my 'Mishna'! You could be correct, or they could have been dated 50-70 years too early.

     In any event, I agree it is a beautiful object in a fine piece of nephrite, the modern date notwithstanding.
Best,
Joey

Dear Joey,

As usual, you didn't disappoint me with your exposition  Smiley Smiley

I bought this piece not for its age ( the Yongzhen mark gave it away ), but the workmanship and the material.

There  are old jade bottles with relatively high-relief carvings ( see " The Collector's Book ... " by Bob's Steven,
examples 401, 402 and 413 attributed to late 18th and early 19th century ).

Thanks for your generous sharing.

Inn Bok
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 07:37:08 pm »

Inn Bok

I especially like the light green jade!  Very special... pleasing to the eyes.  I am not qualified to judge age but each of these is worth having and keeping.
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 06:26:44 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

      With these two, is the first Jadeite and the second Spinach Green (Nephrite) ? Or is the second Chloromelanite ?
And when you write 'sharing', what do you mean?  Cheesy Roll Eyes
Best,
Joey


Two additional bottles for sharing.

Inn Bok
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 05:08:07 am »

Joey,

I owed you a reply on Bob Steven's examples of jade bottles with high relief carvings. I made reference to his collection on whether all jade bottles of 19th century and before would necessarily have shallow relief in their carving styles.

Attached are the photos taken from Bob Steven's book as requested by you.

Inn Bok


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* IMG_5141.JPG (165.58 KB, 637x478 - viewed 12 times.)

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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 09:18:57 pm »

Dear Inn Bok,
 
       Personally, I would say all three are not 19th C., and that the late Bob Stevens really made a mistake. If you look at the V & A catalogue, of a collection made by 1906, you will see high relief examples, but they were made for sale to rich Victorians visiting in China, or for sale in Europe/USA.
Best,
Joey
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