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
October 21, 2017, 03:32:59 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

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

Seeking opinions on 3 shadow agates.

Pages: [1] 2
  Add poll  |  Print  
Author Topic: Seeking opinions on 3 shadow agates.  (Read 263 times)
forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« on: March 07, 2017, 07:57:45 am »

3 bottles described at auction as cameo glass but carved agate, not sure why they have problems identifying these as I have bought 2 others described as cameo glass that were shadow agates as well.

All 3 are very well hollowed, the horse and ducks being smoothly hollowed, the other a bit messy.

In terms of being smoothed around the carvings then the horse bottle is really very good, the ducks pretty good and the last one has tool marks left between the carving but otherwise is well smoothed.

The horse bottle has a flat base and the shaping of the inset raised feet of the other two follow the other work on them in the duck bottle is well finished and the other a little messy.

There is a lovely restraint about the horse one and while I know the stopper style appears on older bottles they always look modern to me.

They were all in one lot with me as the only bidder at a low price.

Any comments welcome, good, bad or indifferent. More pictures if needed.

Regards, Adrian.


* P3070531.jpg (92.4 KB, 830x523 - viewed 26 times.)

* P3070530.jpg (121.31 KB, 830x486 - viewed 20 times.)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 11:27:14 am by forestman » Report Spam   Logged

Social Buttons

Rube
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 315


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 08:24:56 am »

Adrian,

I especially like the composition of the horse.

Cheers,

Rheuben
Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10391



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 02:43:30 pm »

Nice bottles...

A red flag for me is hard to explain to others who have not worked with different agate and agate nodules.. But having worked with many agates, these type of bottles with different colored cameo carvings do not make sense to me.. Completely unnatural to me.. I truly think there is some dying going on to create these cameo colors.. I just have not been able to prove it  Wink

Different than when the carver "chases an inclusion" in order to create an image.. For that reason, I will estimate Mid 20th or later.. 

My favorite is the center one though !
Report Spam   Logged

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 03:52:35 pm »

Hi George,

I put a bid in at auction on these because at the price I couldn't go far wrong even though there was one bad picture of all 3 where I couldn't tell if they were slightly unusual cameo glass bottles or not. Having got them and seen they are all carved agates I'm very happy but they are a slight enigma to me as well.

I've included another picture of your favourite to show what I mean.

On all 3 the shadow material is set into the agate to differing degrees, most marked on the one pictured (which I also like except for the quality of finish). I wondered if they could have had blobs of glass put on to form the shadow areas because the colours against the agate look unusual but the agate relief would have to have been pre carved first to get the shadow to be inset into the agate (does that make sense). Could you pre plan a design like that ?

On the bottle pictured it looks like a rough bottle shape was formed and the shadow area went deeper than expected to explain the depth of carving to the front. Also the duck bottle has a lighter colour to the duck top left so a two colour glass overlay on carved agate ?

I can't see the shadow area as dyed myself. How would you control the dying to specific areas and depths, especially in agate which has bands/striations where the dye would run into which is one reason they dye plain agates.

The consistency of colour of the white on the horse bottle looks wrong but the quality of the work on it is very high in every area, it's a lovely thing whether old or new and the shape is pleasing as well.

Regards, Adrian.



* P3070533.jpg (72.09 KB, 400x800 - viewed 18 times.)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 03:55:25 pm by forestman » Report Spam   Logged

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 04:00:29 pm »

Hi Rhuben,

Thanks for your comments.

Regards, Adrian.


* P3070532.jpg (88.46 KB, 613x800 - viewed 20 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10391



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 08:46:31 pm »



On all 3 the shadow material is set into the agate to differing degrees, most marked on the one pictured (which I also like except for the quality of finish). I wondered if they could have had blobs of glass put on to form the shadow areas because the colours against the agate look unusual but the agate relief would have to have been pre carved first to get the shadow to be inset into the agate (does that make sense). Could you pre plan a design like that ?

On the bottle pictured it looks like a rough bottle shape was formed and the shadow area went deeper than expected to explain the depth of carving to the front. Also the duck bottle has a lighter colour to the duck top left so a two colour glass overlay on carved agate ?

I can't see the shadow area as dyed myself. How would you control the dying to specific areas and depths, especially in agate which has bands/striations where the dye would run into which is one reason they dye plain agates.

The consistency of colour of the white on the horse bottle looks wrong but the quality of the work on it is very high in every area, it's a lovely thing whether old or new and the shape is pleasing as well.




I could not see that there was a slight variation into the agate, but does not look the same as others that we call, "chasing the inclusion".. They show much more varying degrees of chasing into the agate ..

I do not think they blobbed anything... And as you point out, a dying process seems impossible to be limited to just the desired cameo areas.. I have seen some banded agates dyed, but only extends so far into the agate, and there is no control the dying to specific areas and depths.. The one and only agate I know of that there is any real success dying to a specific area is snake agate. But it is an electronic process and leaves a dendritic pattern..

It makes no logical sense that anyone could blindly read an agate nodule and plan such an outcome.. No way...

Also none of these colors are natural to the skin or matrix of agate nodules.. Completely unnatural.

What ever process they use I have never been able to figure out...  I would like sometime to slice one of these in half and see just how far under the surface these colors extend.. Perhaps it is some kind of acid solution for the white ?

Some day a clue will present itself, but I am not convinced these type of "non inclusion chasing" cameos are natural.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 08:59:00 pm by George » Report Spam   Logged

Pat - 查尚杰
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 3394


Zha Shang Jie 查尚杰


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 08:52:58 pm »

Hmmm

I like the bottles (a lot) but they look suspect for sure .. would love to know how they do this.  I agree with Adrian that it almost looks like a glass overlay was done over the agate, especially the white 'overlay', for lack of a better word.    In any case, they are nice, regardless.  The only way I an think of is that they use banded agate, and shape it so that they can use the color layer for the carving.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 08:55:36 pm by Pat - 查尚杰 » Report Spam   Logged

Best Regards

Pat
查尚杰
Zha Shang Jie
forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 03:00:09 am »

This is a banded agate I bought at the same auction in another lot of 3. Probably dyed and modern but well hollowed without being smoothly hollowed.

Assuming you get heavily banded agate then it would be a case of cutting your raw stone along the line of the banding as per the line drawn so you have a banded face to work through. In this respect then maybe the white on the horse bottle is less unusual as banding seems to be more white than the colours of the two other bottles.

On all 3 bottles I showed the shadow areas don't go down further into the agate, they are all over carved into the agate in the same way you see with glass overlay bottles.

Regards, Adrian.


* P3080534_LI.jpg (880.42 KB, 439x600 - viewed 9 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 03:22:34 am »

A better example for George of chasing the shadow. Also from the same auction (10 bottles bought).

Regards, Adrian.


* P3080535.jpg (85.32 KB, 693x800 - viewed 10 times.)

* P3080536.jpg (78.03 KB, 700x800 - viewed 7 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10391



View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 04:59:42 am »



Assuming you get heavily banded agate then it would be a case of cutting your raw stone along the line of the banding as per the line drawn so you have a banded face to work through. In this respect then maybe the white on the horse bottle is less unusual as banding seems to be more white than the colours of the two other bottles.


I get what your saying and I think that was shared with me before.. But, these cameos are to high.. I have never seen a thick enough white banding to account for such a high cameo.
Report Spam   Logged

Fiveroosters
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 2763



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 05:33:56 am »

I agree with you George, it is not only high, it is also too much uniform. You can see Adrian that the white layer of the banded agate that you have shown has layers within itself. Instead the horse and pine are too much uniform, any shade whitin the white and that is not natural.
Kind regards
Giovanni
Report Spam   Logged

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 11:36:40 am »

George and Giovanni,

I agree that the white is too uniform, that's the dilemma.

You can see from this side view what I mean about this having to be pre planned if it is white glass blobs, the agate part under the horse protrudes out as far as the white area. You can also see where the agate has been cut into when the shaping of the white area was done.

Regards, Adrian.

 


* P3080537.jpg (57.78 KB, 800x485 - viewed 14 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5033



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 05:56:05 am »

Hi All,

Apologies for coming into his thread so late. I think you are all under-estimating the skills of the Chinese lapidaries. I think the three bottles posted here are not too old (mid 20th C onwards), but there are plenty of older examples around where a uniformly white/cream band has been used to create a cameo effect. White is the more commonly used type, probably due to the striking contrast. But the cameo "skin" can be any contrasting layer or band within the stone.

In many cases the contrasting band is quite thin, and the carver reduces the area around the cameo to make it stand out and look thicker than it really is. The last photo from Adrian demonstrates this technique well.

Tom
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 06:00:01 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

Fiveroosters
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 2763



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 07:06:18 am »

Dear Adrian,
in your last picture of the side view of the white layer it seems to me that we can see that actually there are opaque and translucent layers within it. So it looks natural, as also said by Tom.
Impressive.
Giovanni
Report Spam   Logged

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 08:24:58 am »

Having really inspected these with a loupe I can see they are natural inclusions.

The brown of the scholar bottle is a normal shadow material colour although not on such a dark agate background. The green inclusion on the duck bottle is very like the moss areas on moss agate bottles and you can see from the picture below the spots of green around the shadow area.

The horse and scholar ones are newer so mid 20h Century or later, the duck one "feels" older as much as you can sense these things.

Regards, Adrian.


* P3070531.jpg (95.51 KB, 800x595 - viewed 8 times.)
Report Spam   Logged

rpfstoneman
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 1600



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2017, 08:01:50 pm »

Adrian,

Here is a similar bottle in my collection.  Yes, as Tom indicates it is a natural, unaltered, agate stone.  This cameo rock seems to be from a plentiful source for I have see a number of bottles and other art cameo items made with the same material in similar designs. 

My sense is the cameo material is not necessarily an agate band. It likely could be that of another rock mineral that has been pushed up through small fissures or seams of fractured agate during a hydrothermal event and has fused with the agate material.  See image below. 

Hydrothermal vein: In geology, a vein is a distinct sheetlike body of crystallized minerals within a rock. Veins form when mineral constituents carried by an aqueous solution within the rock mass are deposited through precipitation. The hydraulic flow involved is usually due to hydrothermal circulation.   
 
Two Horses: High grade agate with a skillfully carved cameo of two horses under a pine tree. Sufficiently hollowed to the point that bottle floats.  The surface of the bottle is quite smooth and polished to a mirror finish.  Suitable matching agate stopper with a bone spoon.  Size: 5.2cm in height (without stopper) x 5.2cm wide x 4.0cm thick.  Quite contemporary!



Charll


* Hyrothermal vein.jpg (248.3 KB, 678x787 - viewed 4 times.)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 08:08:43 pm by rpfstoneman » Report Spam   Logged

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

Wattana
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 5033



View Profile
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2017, 12:15:03 am »

Charll,

Looking at the stance of the horse, I'd say both this bottle and Adrian's came from the same workshop, although the detailing on the horse suggests a different hand at work. I have a few cameo bottles of similar material / colouring and polished to a mirror finish. The overall bottle shape and style on all these bottles share traits of bottles I would date to 1980s onwards.

Tom
Report Spam   Logged

Tom
Collecting since 1972

rpfstoneman
Private Boards
Hero Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 1600



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2017, 01:08:34 am »

Quote
The overall bottle shape and style on all these bottles share traits of bottles I would date to 1980s onwards.

Tom, I'm in full agreement.  THAT is why I said Quite Contemporary!  Charll
Report Spam   Logged

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

forestman
Private Boards
Sr. Member
***
Gender: Male
Posts: 468


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2017, 02:20:16 am »

Hi Charll,

Thanks for the explanation of how the material is formed.

Seeing the similarities of your bottle it's not hard to accept what Tom says in them probably coming from the same workshop and 1980 or newer feels right. While modern tools make it easier, it's good to see people working to achieve the highest quality they can. There are a lot of lesser modern shadow agates that seem o be just turned out at a price, many of them looking somewhat dyed.

Regards, Adrian. 
Report Spam   Logged

George
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 10391



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2017, 05:17:51 am »

Hi Charll,

Thanks for the explanation of how the material is formed.



Yes, thank you Charll......
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1] 2
  Add poll  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal