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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
December 13, 2018, 05:24:12 pm
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Japanese dragons overlay bottle.

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Author Topic: Japanese dragons overlay bottle.  (Read 188 times)
forestman
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« on: May 19, 2017, 04:20:02 am »

This was a rare case of getting to view an auction and knowing I really wanted to add this to my collection.

I didn't notice when I viewed it that the two dragons fighting over the flaming pearl had three claws which would suggest they are Japanese.

So possibly made as a gift for a Japanese dignitary ?

The height of the bottle is 57 mm and of note is how thin the base glass is which is evident when looking at the opening. Lovely spoon too. The level of detail may suggest it's not a very early bottle.

Regards, Adrian.


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George
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:07:02 am »

I did not know that about a three clawed dragon. The extra thin glass and opening is a nice bonus..

Really a very nice overlay Adrian.  The carver did a very nice job ...

Congratulations !
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forestman
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 01:16:10 pm »

Thank you George.

You can see in some areas, the wave pattern most noticeably, that a fair amount of the base glass has been carved away which has left it thin and there must have been a real danger of cracking the glass when it was carved and polished.

The carving and how smooth the base glass has been finished has been very well executed, the foot rim is perfect.

Regards, Adrian.
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George
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 08:12:57 am »

Nice stopper and spoon as well... Likely the original...
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 01:28:23 pm »


Adrian,

This bottle has me captivated.  It has several characteristics not typically seen.  One of course is the three toed Dragon; see information below for some information on number of dragon toes.  Another is the wide mouth opening.  Raymond Li in his book “Snuff Bottle Terminology/Chines and English Equivalents/Part I Glass-Agate-Quartz provides several examples of wide mouth glass bottles and a very brief discussion.  Though Li’s discussion is not overly informative, it does seem to confer that these are Chinese bottles.  Also, the overall dragon design and shape of your bottle is Chinese in my opinion.  The Chinese have produced three toed dragon designs in glass, metal, and in porcelain.  I have seen a number of late 20th century glass bottles with a similar design, style, and bottle shape in glass.

As to dating of your bottle in my evaluation it would likely be from the 1st quarter of the 20th century (1900-1939) from the sense that I get from the pictures.  Could be a bit older, and I would be interested in other opinions here from our Forum members.  The stopper is definitely old and could be original.  It has a great spoon, old style crafted stopper, and what appears to be a rolled paper on a metal plug/shaft.

Charll


Different Origins of How Many Toes a Dragon is to Have


Link: http://www.blackdrago.com/easterndragons.htm#differences

Chinese dragons have five toes. The Chinese believe that all eastern dragons originated from China. They believed that when the dragons flew away, they began to lose toes. The farther and farther the dragons flew, the more toes they lost. So, Korean dragons have four toes, and Japanese dragons have three.
 
Japanese dragons have three toes. The Japanese believe that all eastern dragons originated from Japan. They also believed that when the dragons began to leave Japan, they gain toes. The farther the dragons went, the more toes they gained. This is why the other dragons have more toes. The breath of Japanese dragons turned into clouds, which could produce rain or fire. Due to a measure upon their heads, they could ascend to Heaven when they chose.

Korean dragons have four toes. The Koreans believe that all eastern dragons originated from Korea. When the dragons leave Korea and go toward China, they gain toes. When the dragons leave Korea and go toward Japan, they lose toes.
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 01:36:03 pm »

Dear Adrian,
nice bottle.
Your bottle is Chinese to me. The rules in China was that five clawed dragons were exclusively reserved to the Emperor, four clawed dragons for the high ranks and three clawed dragons for the rest. So, three clawed dragons should be the most common in China. Indeed, four clawed dragons are common because the rules were not so respected in the later times. Most dragons of earlier times are three clawed dragons.
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: Dear Charll, I have just read your post. I found very funny that story of Sino-Korean-Japanese dragons, each one pushing to their side. I never heard that before.
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forestman
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 03:01:04 pm »

Hi Charll and Giovanni,

Love the explanation of why each Countries dragons have the relevant amount of toes.

My feeling was that it was Chinese in origin but possibly made for someone Japanese due to the 3 toes/claws. I knew 5 clawed dragons should be reserved for Imperial works but didn't know Chinese dragons went down to 3 claws, I assumed if they weren't allowed 5 claws they would go as close as possible with 4 claws.

There is so much of a cross over in Chinese/Japanese legends that it can be hard to decipher which is which. The dragon that is appearing out of the sea has different claws to the main dragon making it more confusing.

The way the opening is formed is quite different to any of my other overlay bottles in the wide opening and thin glass  and perhaps it points to a particular workshop in being unusual in this way.

Regards, Adrian.
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