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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
April 20, 2018, 02:04:41 am
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Restoring Polychrome Ivory?

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Author Topic: Restoring Polychrome Ivory?  (Read 115 times)
cshapiro
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« on: May 22, 2017, 12:09:16 pm »

So I have a question. I have a polychrome ivory bottle where the paint is almost completely gone. Funny that the black on the women's hair is the only thing still there, and then faint hints of red in the clothing, and the brown is still present in the crevices of the tree.

So my question is, are these ever restored? In other words, repainted. Or is it sacrilege to even speak of it?

I think it would be absolutely beautiful to restore it to it's original condition, but I don't know if this is ever done and don't know how much that would hurt the value of the bottle.

I've never seen this topic discussed, and so would like to hear opinions.




 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 12:32:31 pm by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy

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forestman
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 02:37:59 am »

Hi Cathy,

I asked the same question of my jade and cloisonne bottle. Leave it dirty or polish the metal so it was as the maker intended it to be seen and I'm still in two minds as to what to do.

I think an ivory bottle is different in that it would be hard not to make it look like a new copy of an old bottle if it was repainted especially if there is very little of the original paint left. Seeing it as it would have been when it was made would be interesting but I would think it would damage it's value.

But that's me not you and as it's owner the choice is yours.

Regards, Adrian.

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cshapiro
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 09:32:17 am »

Thanks Adrian! Looks like I need to love it as is - without wanting to change it.
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Cathy
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 01:31:06 am »

Hi Cathy,

It is entirely a matter of individual taste. But having said that, we are influenced by familiarity. Take Classical Greek marble statues for instance. Originally their surfaces were painted, including the eyes, hair, etc. But we are so conditioned to seeing them without colour that our aesthetic senses generally prefer them that way.

Personally, I'd leave the faded paintwork on an old ivory bottle as is.

Tom
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 01:35:47 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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cshapiro
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 07:37:49 am »

Thanks Tom! Very good analogy. I will try to take some pictures of it so you can see what I mean - it's definitely at an awkward in between moment - would look better with no paint at all.

I am not sure where I am with my collecting. Future profit/loss seems less important to me than enjoying the bottle in the moment, and the thought of seeing it as it must have been when it was made is very appealing. But on the other hand, I can't seem to find a place in the US to do a proper restoration, and I can say that if I was going to have it painted, I would want it to be done right.

I will try to find time to take some pictures so you can see what I mean. The bottle is a large column bottle - similar to the last one I posted, so it's not a super nice bottle - which is why I even considered painting it. If it were a really nice bottle, then I would of course, leave it as is.

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Cathy
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