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A Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Bottle

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Author Topic: A Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Bottle  (Read 268 times)
samsonlzj
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« on: May 21, 2017, 09:26:31 am »

Dear all,

I present to you here a cinnabar lacquer snuff bottle in my collection that is believed to be of 19th century.

Though the work on the bottle may not be that great, it seems quite special to me in the sense that even its base has been finished with carved lacquer, and the shape of the bottle is also one I haven't seen before (in such material). This is also my first ever bottle with a good provenance.

Provenance:
Sotheby's NY, 21 March 2015
Property from the Collection of Lolo Sarnoff. 

Best,
Samson


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AntPeople
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 09:59:01 am »

very special bottle.... first time I see such a bottle...even the base of a cinnabar decorated.

Congratulations!!!

Pin
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五花馬,千金裘。呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同銷萬古愁。

http://www.chinese-snuff-bottle.com

forestman
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 12:52:00 pm »

Hi Samson,

The diaper pattern on the base may suggest it's Japanese made. There is a tendency for them to decorate every surface of an object. I have a beautifully lacquered small pin tray and the underside of it is nearly as highly worked as the upper side even though it would not normally be seen.

Regards, Adrian.

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George
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 02:51:33 pm »

One of the nicest cinnabar bottles I have seen...

A special one !
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 11:14:45 pm »

Dear Pin, Adrian and George,

Thanks! Well Adrian, I never thought that it could possibly be Japanese made, so that's interesting to know. I'm impressed by the attention given to the hidden details by the makers of objects like this.

And one thing, I wonder if it's normal for cinnabar lacquer bottles to have a strong odor. It resembles the odor of oil paint to me.

Best,
Samson
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2017, 11:38:22 pm »

Snuff bottle by itself should not have any odor..... tobacco like tea leaves absorb any odor in the surrounding, and their taste or fragrance will be compromised... not a good sign if it has oil paint smell....

Pin
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五花馬,千金裘。呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同銷萬古愁。

http://www.chinese-snuff-bottle.com

samsonlzj
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 12:38:39 am »

You've got a point Pin. But I wonder if cinnabar or lacquer itself has any odor?...

Best,
Samson
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cshapiro
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 10:44:31 am »

Lovely bottle! Congratulations Samson!
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 05:39:51 pm »

Hi Samson,

An interesting bottle,but I do have some concerns about the bottle after you mentioned the oder small of the  bottle . Normally the new cinnabar bottle has a strong smell, after years the smell will fade away.that is actually a sign to judge a cinnabar ware or any lacquer wares . Also the horizontal line on the bottle also not a good sign ,I can't judge more without more detailed photos,.But the bottle looks suspicious to me . I wish I am totally wrong. If you can have more photos I would love to have more insights if I can.

Best,

Steven
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 11:18:30 pm »

Hi Steven,

Thanks for your comment. The smell is noticeable when I stick my nose to the bottle to smell it. I don't do it this much these days as I read that cinnabar contains toxic mercury... Roll Eyes

With horizontal lines, did you mean the horizontal pattern on the upper part of the bottle? Please let me know which part of the bottle you wish to see detail pics for, I'll try to take it.

Best,
Samson
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forestman
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 02:56:52 am »

Hi Samson,

I wonder if Steven is referring to the horizontal line you can see in the last picture of the group.

It seems to be a line depicting a change between land and water in that the diaper design changes slightly from below the line to above the line.

It looks odd in that the line seems to run at a slight angle and it makes the composition look slightly awkward because it could have been left out and made the design cleaner although that is just my opinion.

Regards, Adrian.
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 03:43:38 am »

Oh that line!  Cheesy

I too think it's done to depict the change between land and water in the landscape. The two parts are of different level (or stratum)...

Thanks Adrian!

Best,
Samson
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Steven
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2017, 09:28:10 am »

Yes, Adrian read my mind.Smiley

Waiting for more detailed photos Samson.Smiley

Steven
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Fiveroosters
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2017, 11:40:03 am »

Dear Samson,
the finish of the ridges that are framing the two scenes and the base are not smooth, they look quite crude in the pictures.
I wish to be wrong but my feeling is that this bottle is not old. And I am unsure that it is really lacquer and not resin. You could try the hot pin test.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 08:59:07 am »

Dear Giovanni,

Thanks! Yes I agree that the finishing is not very fine. What is the hot pin test? Could you explain more?

Dear Steven,

I'll make some better shots when I get some free time!

Best,
Samson
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pookles
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2017, 01:58:01 pm »

Congrats nice bottle! Does look a bit different to other cinnabar examples I've seen as well. I was wondering if the line across the middle was a mistake at first or a scratch. Particularly like the 'wan' characters I believe they are called carved into the foot.
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Luke
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2017, 02:33:06 pm »

Dear Samson,
the hot pin test consists in choosing a hided or recessed area where you can try to penetrate the tip of a hot needle. If the bottle is not lacquer it should melt and emanate a strong plastic smell.
To be clear, by finish I was meaning polishing.
Dear Luke, what I see on the base are swastikas, I didn't mention it before, but I have never seen the swastikas pattern interlaced with a flowers pattern. I mean swastikas and flowers together.
Giovanni
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pookles
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 10:48:17 am »

Dear Giovanni,

It is an unusual combination... i didn't notice the flowers! I've haven't seen that combination before either. I do like the pattern that is created though...

Best
Luke
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Luke
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