General information about the Site

This snuff bottle community forum is dedicated to the novice, more experienced, and expert collectors. Topics are intended to cover all aspects and types of bottle collecting. To include trials, tribulations, evaluating, identifying, researching, appraisals, and much more.

Photobucket

Among other things, donations help keep the forum free from Google type advertisements, and also make it possible to purchases additional photo hosting MB space.

Forum Bottle in the Spotlight

Steven shared this beautiful Ma Shaoxian bottle

Gotheborg's Marks On Chinese Porcelain

Photobucket

Snuff Bottle Collector

The International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society


Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
January 23, 2018, 07:54:38 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home Help Search Downloads Gallery Staff List Login Register  

Amber Snuff Bottle With Mask Handles

Pages: [1]
  Add poll  |  Print  
Author Topic: Amber Snuff Bottle With Mask Handles  (Read 1354 times)
pookles
Full Member
***
Posts: 173


View Profile
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:14:45 am »

Dear members,

what do you think the age is on this amber snuff bottle? My research puts the dating from about 1780-1850. What are others opinions? Don't think the bottle could be 20th.... This bottle is very nicely hollowed and smooth inside. Also, it's virtually impossible to photograph, but the foot rim is about 1mm wide or less and the base of the bottle is very subtly concave and not flat. The real shame about this bottle is the damage - a crack at the base and some cracking to the neck of the bottle. I'm wondering if it would be worth getting some restoration done or if that is even possible?

PS: I'm 99% sure this is amber by the way. It's super light and passes all the standard tests, but I am concerned about dropping it in a bowl of salty water. Anyway just looking at it, it seems obvious in this case....





* amber1.jpg (183.92 KB, 800x800 - viewed 68 times.)

* amber2.jpg (196 KB, 771x1119 - viewed 56 times.)

* amber3.jpg (280.33 KB, 800x1022 - viewed 53 times.)

* amber4.jpg (218.71 KB, 958x844 - viewed 38 times.)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 09:24:57 am by pookles » Report Spam   Logged

Luke

Social Buttons

rpfstoneman
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 1618



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 03:12:51 pm »


Luke,

From the photos it looks like a nice striated cherry amber bottle to me.  It appears old as well and I would say at least 19th  So the date range you provided seems reasonable.  Though unless there is a true period mark, I feel that dealers (as well as ourselves) tend to over state the age often times. 

Since it is an organic bottle you pretty much have to rely on quality of material, bottle shape characteristics, and ware indications in an effort to fit it into a time frame.  The taotie masks on the side, though not the highest quality, are pretty well carved.  So a good amount of effort was put into this bottle and the amber quality appears high.

Charll 
Report Spam   Logged

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

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10423



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 04:14:04 pm »

I can not offer anything more than Charll's perfect comment...

Really nice bottle !
Report Spam   Logged

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5120



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 08:29:04 pm »

Hi Luke,

I think Charll hit the nail on the head. From the overall shape of the bottle, and the quality of details like the mask handles and foot rim, I would probably date your bottle slightly later, say 1800-1860. But it is impossible to be precise.

Amber is quite a brittle material, and most older bottles show signs of wear and tear - fine surface crizzling, minor fritting around the lip, and so on. Unfortunately there is not much you can do with the cracks. Just accept it is an old item, and treat with respect!    Wink

Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

pookles
Full Member
***
Posts: 173


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 09:02:33 am »

Hi Charl,

Thanks for your comment. Yeah I'm just getting used to trying to place a snuff bottle in a dating range and I definitely see what you mean about the urge to be too optimistic when it comes to dating our own bottles! I feel lucky to have this bottle as I find organic bottles one of the most interesting areas of snuff bottles and they seem a bit harder to find....

Thanks George!

Hi Tom,

Your dating range makes sense to me when considering the quality of the taotie masks as I guess we would expect higher quality in general when considering 18th century carving. There is some minuscule chipping around the masks as well and it is not surprising as there are some very thin protruding bits that have been chipped away around the lips of the beast handles. Also, I wonder if the nose has been squished slightly after years of handling... though this bottle doesn't feel that malleable, but definitely brittle. I'm wondering whether to clean out all the gunk/dusty bits with a makeup brush or something around the masks. Thanks for the info and advice on caring for this old bottle - will definitely look after it Smiley
Report Spam   Logged

Luke
Rube
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 405


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 01:09:41 pm »

Luke,

Nice amber bottle!  I'm piggybacking off your thread to share one that I recently photographed for my brother. (Unfortunately, he wouldn't let me pry it out of his collection!) It measures 3 inches and is rectangular with rounded shoulders tapering toward the base, which sits on a flat raised foot rim.  I really like the clear brownish yellow color complimented by the jade stopper. 

If at all possible, I too, would like help dating this bottle.  I read all the aforementioned comments, but I'm still unsure about trying to place a bottle in a timeframe given it's shape. 
Am I correct in thinking a 3" bottle is more contemporary?  Am I correct in thinking that all the crizzling, which I'm daffy about, dates it older?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Rube.


* FullSizeRender amber 1.jpg (77.18 KB, 480x640 - viewed 21 times.)

* FullSizeRender amber 2.jpg (83.56 KB, 480x640 - viewed 12 times.)

* FullSizeRender amber 3.jpg (96.92 KB, 480x640 - viewed 14 times.)

* FullSizeRender amber 4.jpg (75.87 KB, 480x640 - viewed 16 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10423



View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 02:53:04 pm »

Nice one Rube !

I would agree that the 3" and shape make me also think it contemporary, but would like to ask for you to remove the sticker and take another pic..  Looking for a swirling motion to the glass from being spun while being blown.. I do not see any signs of that from this pic, and am curious if this may be carved from a solid piece ( ingot ) of glass.

The crizzling is a bit perplexing as I might not expect to see that in a contemporary bottle, so perhaps older than I think even for a 3" bottle..

Nice bottle and congrats !
Report Spam   Logged

Rube
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 405


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 05:52:10 pm »

Hi George,

I'll ask my brother to send a picture of the bottom for you to see, without the label.
But, I'm pretty sure this bottle is amber and not any type of glass. From what I recall,
it was very static, and extremely light, but I did forget to do the "taste test" nor did I dunk it in salt water.  Dumb question, but can amber be blown?

Cheers,

Rube.


* FullSizeRender amber close up.jpg (117.47 KB, 515x915 - viewed 9 times.)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 07:12:51 pm by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10423



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 12:25:41 am »

I did not know that amber can crizzle..  Yes, I thought it was glass because of that..

Now I can see that it is crizzled amber.

No in regards to being able to blow it..

Look forward to hearing guesses for dating it..
Report Spam   Logged

Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8647


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 02:51:42 am »

Dear Luke,

     I don't know how I missed your bottle in Feb., but I consider the quality of the taotie and the shape etc., definitely acceptable for the period ca. 1750-1850.

    It looks like it has 'condition issues' (damage, cracks etc.). Is that the case? If you'd like, bring it to lunch on the 20th.

Dear Rube,
 
    I would date yours the same as Luke's, and it seems in much better condition, though what I think I see in Luke's bottle might be superficial and not serious.

    Best,
Joey
Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

pookles
Full Member
***
Posts: 173


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 04:57:04 am »

Dear Joey,

There are a few cracks here and there. Nothing too bad I suppose as the crack doesn't go through to the inside. There's also some damage around the neck of the bottle, which concerns me more. Anyway, I took this to a major London auction house recently to take advantage of a free valuation. They questioned whether it was amber and suggested I get the bottle tested. I did and it was confirmed as Burmese amber. I assume some snuff bottles are made from the Baltic amber also. I read somewhere that Burmese is the most valuable variety. Would be nice to find more information about this but info is hard to find. I'll bring this one along as it does fit into the organic catergory Smiley

Dear Rube,

Really nice bottle! Wish mine was as pristine!

Best
Luke
Report Spam   Logged

Luke
Rube
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 405


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 06:08:39 am »

Luke,

Bob Steven's had a nice write up about amber in his book.  He mentioned that amber bottles (and glass) can be subject to cracking around the neck, especially with changes in humidity, so, it's best to have loose stoppers on these varieties.  It can be of concern where I live but not sure it applies to your climate in England. 

George, I'm assuming the crizzling happens over time, as the material brittles? In any case, I really like it.

Joey,  Thanks for putting it in a date range, my brother will be thrilled.

Cheers,

Rube.
Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5120



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 06:15:14 am »


.....especially with changes in humidity, so, it's best to have loose stoppers on these varieties.  It can be of concern where I live but not sure it applies to your climate in England. 


Rube,

I've just spent a week in London, where temperatures were hitting 34degC, with 99% humidity !!!   Tongue

Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8647


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 06:52:52 am »

Dear Luke,
 
     At lunch there will be no restriction on bottle materials!
I'm bringing with me my Imperial Workshops Cinnabar & Teadust lacquer, but not the Fuzhou lacquer (walrus ivory stopper and collar - SITES issue); but I'm also bringing 2 Jades and another 7 IPSBs which will all be in the ICSBS exhibit at Bonhams during the convention.

     RE. free valuations. Worth all of what you paid for them. Grin
They tend to put people who barely know anything, but can act superior, in forward position [dealing with the grockles  Roll Eyes], while the person supervising checks from the side to decide if the object being examined is worth their valuable time to actually look at. If you'd had a bottle worth UKú 20K, the top guy/gal would have jumped in smartly to 'take over'. And I'm sure you'd have got better treatment.
 
     To 'test' a valuer once, I brought a group of my finest pieces to a 'free valuation'.  I was doing a favour to a friend who'd been saddled with her.
I brought 3 of my  most valuable B & Ws (#82 {ca.1690-1740},  #87 {genuine Qianlong Imperial mark & period}, and # 91 {genuine Yongzhong mark and period}, as well as one of my 18th C. Imperial Workshops Moghul style white Nephrites, and another Jade in the same range [▒UKú20 K].
     And I arrived dressed in a t-shirt and cargo pants. But I had my gold rolex on. It should have been a clue. She was totally clue-LESS. She thought the B & Ws were worth 100-200 Euros each, and the jades 300-400 Euros!
     I started laughing - I had a copy of my B&W book there to give to the top valuer, and showed this one the same bottles in the catalogue. She claimed I'd been sold fakes, copied from the book!
     The person in charge saw what an idiot she was, apologised to me, and shifted her smartly. My friend was very profuse in her thanks later, while we were having dinner in Patrick Guibaud's (GREAT restaurant!). Of course,  I had changed into proper gear for dinner - a linen jacket, a nice shirt and trousers.
       
 My Jades were all in Ireland, then. Now I have them in Israel, so I can enjoy them most of the year.
     Joey

Guys,
    I agree with putting loose stoppers, or even no stoppers, where there are great changes in air pressure/humidity/temp./all of the above.  Wink

34 C?! I'm going to be in Oxford on Sun. till Wed.; and in London Wed. to Fri. I think I will be blessing my return to temperate, green Ireland...
Best,
Joey
   

Dear Rube,

      I calls 'em as I see 'em. I don't always see 'em right, but that's life.  Grin

Best to all,
Joey
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 07:32:14 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5120



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 01:35:34 am »


34 C?! I'm going to be in Oxford on Sun. till Wed.; and in London Wed. to Fri. I think I will be blessing my return to temperate, green Ireland...


Dear Joey,

I wouldn't worry about it. Everything may be different when you arrive. We went from 34 C in London to 14 C in Plymouth the next day - a 20 degree temperature drop in 24 hours !!!   Shocked

Safe travels,
Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

Joey
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 8647


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2017, 02:39:48 am »

Dear Tom,

     Thanks! You've put my mind at rest, at least re.heat.  Roll Eyes Wink
A pity you aren't in the London area, 20.July. You and Nant could have joined us for Chinese food.
Best,
Joey
Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5120



View Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2017, 02:44:36 am »

Dear Joey,

Unfortunately we left the UK last weekend. The Chinese meal will have to wait until next time....  Wink

Best,
Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

pookles
Full Member
***
Posts: 173


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2017, 04:04:58 am »

Dear Joey,

It was an interesting experience! And I was already dubious! The lady we saw was very pleasant/professional, but I was surprised by some of her datings. They liked the cinnabar and wanted to sell it in London even without the head, but obviously the valuation suffered. Also they gave it a dating, which I would be very happily surprised for it to be, but I don't agree with. I wonder if they are just a bit woolly with snuff bottles because it's a really niche field?

Regarding this amber even the jeweller was dubious it was amber until they did the tests. He speculated it was not amber, but resin and not plastic resin but a type of tree resin, which is essentially what amber is anyway Huh I'd definitely think about getting future bottles tested if I had doubts at the jewellers as I found out it's not expensive to get a certificate stating the material used...

Dear Rube,

Thanks I will check that out as I've got the book. I did know amber expands and contracts and have never had a stopper on this one, but only because I didn't have one that fits!

Best,
Luke
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 04:16:30 am by pookles » Report Spam   Logged

Luke
Rube
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 405


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2017, 08:49:49 pm »

Tom,

That sound oppressive!  We haven't had that, but I did have 4 1/2" of rain in two days, and lightning struck a tree not 5 yards from my house last night!  Not good weather when you're trying to sell your house ! No drought in Ohio...

Cheers,

Rube.
Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5120



View Profile
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2017, 10:03:05 pm »


That sound oppressive!  We haven't had that, but I did have 4 1/2" of rain in two days, and lightning struck a tree not 5 yards from my house last night!  Not good weather when you're trying to sell your house ! No drought in Ohio...


Rube,

You're welcome to keep your lightning. I'll stick with the temperature swings....!

Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

Pages: [1]
  Add poll  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal