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Tiny middle period bottle.

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Author Topic: Tiny middle period bottle.  (Read 292 times)
forestman
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« on: May 05, 2017, 08:14:09 am »

Sweet little bottle, all of 48mm high minus stopper.

Flattened rectangular form with rounded shoulders and panels on all four sides, sits on a flat raised oval foot.

I think early 1900's. Any help with the calligraphy would be appreciated.

Regards, Adrian.


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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 11:07:18 am »

Dear Adrian,

    I really like this little bottle, but sadly, can't help with the calligraphy.
I will be watching, though.
Best,
Joey
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George
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 11:26:25 am »

Wonderful Shandong bottle Adrian...

I also like it a lot, but neither can I help with the calligraphy..

Congratulations !
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ileney
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 02:13:04 pm »

I love the bottle. I'm curious. Is the top made of sunstone/feldspar or bubbly glass?  It's interesting.
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bokaba
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 07:03:52 pm »

Looks like it might be in the style of Xin Yong Tian, but I don't see his signature. I think late 19th/early 20 Century Shandong School and painted on old Chinese medicine bottle.

Brian
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2017, 08:32:39 pm »

Looks like it might be in the style of Xin Yong Tian, but I don't see his signature. I think late 19th/early 20 Century Shandong School and painted on old Chinese medicine bottle.

Brian

I think you nailed it Brian with believing painted by Xin Yong Tian..  Also very much agree about it being an old medicine bottle..


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forestman
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 02:23:37 am »

Thanks for the comments. I do like this one for it's painting and size.

Not sure about the stopper material except that it isn't glass. It could be Sunstone.

I'm also not convinced about Xin Yong Tian as the detail is different and might suggest Mei Fa/Shi San. The bottle style was very popular late 19th/ early 20th Century and could well have been medicine bottles bought up by studios for painting.

Regards, Adrian.
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2017, 03:57:22 am »

Thanks for the comments. I do like this one for it's painting and size.

Not sure about the stopper material except that it isn't glass. It could be Sunstone.

I'm also not convinced about Xin Yong Tian as the detail is different and might suggest Mei Fa/Shi San. The bottle style was very popular late 19th/ early 20th Century and could well have been medicine bottles bought up by studios for painting.

Regards, Adrian.

I do not think Mei Fa.. The painting on Bill's bottle looks different than yours.. Trees, mountains and calligraphy look different to me..

Maybe Steven will see this ... He is really an expert at identifying calligraphy to painters.. Extremely knowledgeable about Shandong artists..
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bokaba
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2017, 11:36:53 am »

I think the artwork and calligraphy is similar to Xin Yong Tian. I attached a picture from Bill's site as well as my own bottle. Another similarity is that all three have the original red spoon attached to the stopper (not visible in my pic, but it has one).  I think the artwork may be a bit sloppier since your bottle is so small.

Best,

Brian


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Joey
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2017, 06:11:45 pm »

What is the basis of the statement " original red spoon"?
Were you there when they were made, to state that these are the original spoons? Huh
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2017, 07:51:48 am »

Dear Joey,

I think it was a fair assumption from Brian in that there are 3 bottles that are likely painted by the same artist, in the same style bottle and of the same period, all of which have red stained spoons.

As each bottle is owned by a different person then the chances of each one choosing the same relatively unusual spoon to replace an original one seems improbable although, as you say, without someone having been there to witness it then who can say for sure.

The same "did anyone witness it" can apply to pretty much every snuff bottle out there of age except for a very few that are described in official Imperial workshop records that have provenance.

Even provenance can be faked. I have a fake Monet painted by a man who went to prison for forgery and now produces known fakes. The man who commissioned the fakes from him managed to pass off what were not especially good fakes by creating provenance for them, even altering records in museums etc to do so. To this day no-one knows how many records he altered and it was one of the biggest art scandals of the "20th Century. He was paid by a museum to travel to America and authenticate one of the forgeries he had commissoned so did pretty well that day.

Regards, Adrian.
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OIB
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2017, 10:54:22 am »

Dear all,

From what I can interpret, the Chinese characters reads like [ 暖春成化年味朝题 】, and in English
" the warm spring(暖春) of Cheng Hua(成化) year (年) by Wei Chao (味朝题) ".

You and I know that Cheng Hua could refer to the Ming dynasty's Cheng Hua !?

Inn Bok
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Wattana
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2017, 09:38:34 pm »


Even provenance can be faked. I have a fake Monet painted by a man who went to prison for forgery and now produces known fakes.


Hi Adrian,

If you are referring to the same faker I am thinking of, I believe his authenticated fakes are now quite valuable in their own right. So hold on to your 'Monet' !!!   Wink

Tom
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Tom
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forestman
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2017, 01:45:02 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

Thank you for the translation, very helpful and added to my notes on the bottle.

Regards, Adrian.
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forestman
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2017, 02:12:22 am »

Hi Tom,

I believe he is doing far better as a authenticated faker than he was doing before and I think it was because he was paid so little for his fakes that lead him to alert the police to the scam. He went to an auction with the man that commissioned the fakes and saw one sell for a few hundred thousand with altered provenance that he had been paid a few hundred for.

I saw one of his paintings at a local gallery and liked it but bought one from an auction. The delivery quote was very high so I decided on a day out driving up country to pick it up. The measurements from the auction house meant it would be a tight fit in my car but when I got there and saw the picture it was massive. They give sizes of the painting minus the frame. The frame is very elaborate with plaster mouldings put over the corners of the frame after it is made and the whole then gold leafed and aged.

I provided much amusement to the auction room staff as I broke the frame over a wall in the car park so it would fit in my car having removed the canvas from the frame first. I broke it carefully on the diagonal and the plaster mouldings didn't break. I've glued it back together and you can't see the joins.

I did politely suggest they gave sizes including the frame in future as it was 7 hours of driving there and back.

Regards, Adrian.
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Wattana
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2017, 03:26:02 am »

Adrian,

I hadn't realized it was he himself who had alerted the authorities. One can quite understand, after seeing the incredible profit his effort was earning others. There is a good short story by Frederick Forsyth along those lines - 'The Art of the Matter'.

Re. picture sizes, perhaps the auction houses take their cue from snuff bottles, which should always be measured without the stopper.  Wink

Tom
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Joey
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2017, 05:21:03 am »

Dear Adrian,

      I don't accept your thesis that the spoons are original because they are in different collections and the chances that 3 people would ALL choose red stained spoons, is beyond the realm of possibility. I have seen dozens if these poorly carved red stained spoons over the last
47+ years I've been collecting. And they are singularly unattractive.

     Thirty years ago, I asked YF Yang about them, and if they could be genuine late 19th/early 20th C.
      His answer was that, first, most were in Shandong bottles; second, all of them had gone through the PRC gov't selling org. in the 1950s-1970s, when they were trying to get foreign currency for the PRC. China was strapped for hard (read 'Western') currency.

      I was trying obliquely to point out that between the early 20th C., and the early 21st C.,
stuff could have happened to these bottles.
      Evidently, I failed in my attempt to be subtle...  Wink Roll Eyes

    How did you succeed in breaking the frame without damaging the gilt gesso decoration?
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2017, 11:03:49 am »

Dear Joey,

I know you are not an Ebay watcher but most modern bottles seem to have stoppers and spoons coming from what could be a single supplier.

Could the fact that you have seen dozens of these red stained spoons over the years and that YF Yang said that most were in Shandong bottles be explained by numerous Shandong artists getting their spoons from one supplier ?

I'm just putting it out there as a possibility that, to me, has some logic to it.

My spoon seems to be red stained ivory and isn't really a spoon in that it is shaped like a spear head so has no "cup" to hold snuff. I don't know if the other red stained spoons are the same as mine. I have another spoon that is made of bamboo and has some red markings on it but may have been shaped from the bamboo frame of a broken fan or something similar.

I broke the frame as carefully as I could as it could be worth more than the picture. The gesso broke cleanly so went back together well.

Regards, Adrian.



 

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Joey
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2017, 07:34:27 am »

Dear Adrian,

       You and I both grew up in a free, democratic, individualist culture. Try to imagine Communist China in the 1950s and 1960s. A lot of these late 19th / early 20th C. bottles had been confiscated as 'counter-revolutionary' because they were 'just' decorative.

        Or even, when there was widespread famine in China for 3 years (1960-1963), even before the Cultural Revolution's upheaval (Steven's wife told me about it last night, after dinner; I must confess that I was ignorant about this widespread natural disaster before then),  people willingly traded away family treasures for food.

      And then they were sold to the West, for cold hard cash.
And since Y.F. Yang lived through a lot of it in China, and then as a dealer, sold a lot of the stuff, and since I've known him personally as an unimpeachable source of knowledge since we first corresponded in 1973, I will continue to go with his info.

     By the way, as an aside, unless one personally bought from Y.F., as Vaughan, Tom, and I did, one needs to take a Y.F. Yang ltd. receipt with a grain of salt. What i mean by that is, and everyone with a receipt should be able to attest to this, Y.F.'s descriptions were very terse.

     I had dozens with " 18th c. Plain Agate snuff bottle; or 19th C. Carved Jade snuff bottle. Unlike the top English dealers (Hugh Moss, Robert Hall, Clare Lawrence/ then Chu, Robert Kleiner, Michael Hughes) who were very verbose in description.

     So, unless there is a photo of Y.F., the happy new owner AND the new treasure clearly identifiable, don't necessarily assume it is the bottle referenced on the receipt.

     Let me digress, and tell the following story, to explain the foregoing:

     In Israel, I bought some decorated pottery oil lamps, ca. 2,000 years old, from the estate of a family friend, a noted Jerusalem lawyer. His wife had no interest in the lamps, and felt he'd wasted time and funds he should better have used buying her more jewelry, etc., in buying and studying these antiquities. And he was considered a world class authority on these lamps.

      I'd been with him at the antiquity dealer's, when he'd bought a group of 5 lamps supposedly found together. My late mom was buying ancient glass from the same find. When I bought them from the widow, she gave me an assortment of receipts from different dealers! I told her that the lamps were all on one receipt, from J. Zadok & Sons. She asked why it mattered. I explained that it was important to me.

      She kindly let me go through his file of receipts, and I found the correct one.
This is a case where there was no intent to deceive.
A word to the wise.
 
Best to all,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2017, 08:45:07 am »

Dear Joey,

I'm not in any way trying to say what YF Yang said was wrong. He has forgotten more about snuff bottles than I will likely ever know.

I was taking what you said he had related to you and looking at it logically.

If the PRC confiscated these bottles to then sell them to the West because they were desperate for dollars then why would they go to an added expense of changing spoons from the originals ? If it was some sort of PRC policy to add red stained spoons, why did the policy centre around Shandong bottles ?

Like I said, just putting my thoughts out there, discussion is good and it's being held on a snuff bottle discussion forum.  Smiley

If you question nothing you learn little.

Regards, Adrian.
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