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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
July 16, 2018, 03:25:49 pm
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My second jet bottle!

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Author Topic: My second jet bottle!  (Read 333 times)
cshapiro
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« on: May 25, 2017, 03:13:46 pm »

I am super excited to have my second jet bottle!

I did all the tests (except scratch test) on it - specific gravity is 1.21, hot needle to the inside smells like coal, and the similarities to my other bottle are there, but this one is definitely the harder version of the mineraloid.

There is a great book I found called, "Coal: its properties, analysis, classification, geology, extraction, uses..." by Elwood S. Moore that I have been reading and it's given me some insight into the differences between my two bottles.

Jet can be separated into two types - my first bottle (posted several weeks ago) I believe is xyloid lignite (also known as fossil wood) - it is the freshwater version of jet and is much softer and the grain more pronounced than my new bottle - which I believe is the second form of compact lignite.

Both bottles have similarities - they both have a piano keys shine, they both have a great deal of surface scratching (seen more under magnification on the second bottle), a wood type grain, the wear (pitting and chipping) is the same, and of course both fairly warm to the touch and light weight.

The main differences are the first bottle appears to be softer, more prone to scratching, and appears more brittle or fragile - the wood grain on the first bottle is also much more pronounced.

There appears to be something scratched on the bottom of the new bottle that I can't make out - this bottle is rather large - it's 8.3cm tall, it's well hollowed - the inside surface is smooth (q-tip test). The bottle has a horn stopper which compliments it, but is also great to use as a comparison of the differences.

Could anyone venture to guess what is written on the bottom? What is the the symbol for jet?






 

« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 05:08:21 pm by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy

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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 10:07:17 pm »

Congratulations Cathy - a great find!

I have seen a number of lobed form jet bottles with dates ranging from mid-1800s to 1960s. Really hard to date these bottles. This one looks like a good quality jet, so likely earlier rather than later.

Interesting to read what you say about the two types of jet. I think it was Charll who made a similar comment a while back. If I remember correctly, his source suggested one was a freshwater version, the other a saltwater version. Does your book mention that?

According to another source, the Chinese had limited access to local jet of good quality. England supposedly has the best quality jet, and an opinion was put forward that some of the finest snuff bottles used imported English jet. But there is no proof for this hypothesis.

Tom
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 10:12:39 pm by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 11:18:34 pm »


Jet can be separated into two types - my first bottle (posted several weeks ago) I believe is xyloid lignite (also known as fossil wood) - it is the freshwater version of jet and is much softer and the grain more pronounced than my new bottle - which I believe is the second form of compact lignite.



Wonderful bottle Cathy, and congratulations!

I had a lot of fun trying to figure out the reason for soft ( more porous ) and hard ( less porous ) varieties..

You might find this interesting.. http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1367.msg39705.html#msg39705
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 11:34:20 pm »

George,

Thanks for reminding me of that educational post on jet / lignite!

Tom
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 12:07:58 am »

Nice Bottle although a little too big for me

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

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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 12:13:14 am »


Nice Bottle although a little too big for me


Hi Pin,

You may need some larger boxes...!   Grin

Tom
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 12:42:48 am »

Thanks! Yes, Charll did mention the two types - lots of wisdom here!
Thanks for the reference to the previous post George.

The book I referenced was published in 1922 and it is fascinating that jet can have so many different properties - from inclusions like silica and pyrite, to various luster from dull to shiny, and even the specific gravity can vary quite a bit depending on where it was mined and how pure it is. Whitby, England has some of the finest specimens and allegedly has been traded far and wide since the second millenium BCE (1000-1999) (see Archaeomineralogy By George R. Rapp).

Jet is formed from pieces of wood that did not go through the peat process and so were not coalified, but underwent decomposition and retained their cellular structure.

So it wouldn't be surprising to find major differences in every single bottle - because we can't know the original source of the material and the Chinese may very well have used many sources over the years.

I bought this bottle from the same gallery I got the other bottle from, so the collector must have favored jet bottles. It's funny to imagine that the previous owner probably went through much the same path of discovery as I am now. It is a shame that their history doesn't follow them. The gallery I bought it from claims it dates to 1850 - but if you wanted to get technical it's really 182 million years old!

It is quite a large bottle - so may have been a table bottle... and yes, I will need to find a large box for it!

Any ideas on the scratched mark on the base?








« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:12:38 am by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 12:55:37 am »


Jet is formed from pieces of wood that did not go through the peat process and so were not coalified, but underwent decomposition and retained their cellular structure.

So it wouldn't be surprising to find major differences in every single bottle - because we can't know the original source of the material and the Chinese may very well have used many sources over the years.


I have a very dull jet bottle, which was for many years classified as wood.
Yet all jet supposedly comes from just one species of tree.

I have no idea about the base mark. It looks like it was added later. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 01:04:26 am »

Tom, do you have pictures of your bottle? Would love to see it!

Yes, the mark on the bottom definitely looks like an afterthought - it might have even been the price scratched on it. ?!
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Cathy
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 01:08:03 am »


Yes, the mark on the bottom definitely looks like an afterthought - it might have even been the price scratched on it. ?!


That's exactly what had crossed my mind!

My bottle has been posted here somewhere. I will try and find it and send the link. Meanwhile, here is a group shot. It's the dull bottle on the right. Far left is the normal glossy jet, and one in centre is not jet but black lacquer.

Tom


* IMGP2635-lo.jpg (163.35 KB, 800x530 - viewed 37 times.)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:28:15 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 01:33:36 am »

Wow! Beautiful bottles Tom!!! What a difference too in the luster - the lacquer would pass as jet before the right one would to most collectors. I would guess it was black jade from looking at the picture. Good to know that these beauties exist! The dull sheen makes it easier to read the calligraphy too I imagine. Just gorgeous!
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 01:50:31 am »

Thanks Cathy,
Yes, it certainly fooled the experts for decades!
And you are right - the inscription is easier to read. Here's another shot, scratches and all.


* SB165.1A-lo.jpg (126.74 KB, 600x868 - viewed 36 times.)
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2017, 03:49:37 am »

Hi Tom :

This is an excellent bottle .... the calligraphy is top class !!

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

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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 03:54:32 am »


This is an excellent bottle .... the calligraphy is top class !!


Thanks Pin,

Wait till you see the other side!  Wink

Tom
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 07:47:50 pm »

Hey Tom, when will we see the other side?

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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2017, 11:37:41 am »

OK, here is the B side....

Tom


* SB165.1B_6ZSL9-lo.jpg (359.52 KB, 600x976 - viewed 31 times.)
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2017, 12:18:41 pm »

Tom, you have the finest bottles!

So I imagine it's a poem. Is there a date or signature? If not, what are you thinking on the date of your bottle?

Also if memory serves I think you also have a flattened either agate or jade bow bottle? I was so taken with that bottle and now I can't seem to find the post. I purchased a similar one that I am anxiously awaiting. I will be sure to post when it gets here.
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2017, 06:57:15 pm »

Very nice Tom.... if you ever want to sell this bottle... please remember me first....

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

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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2017, 04:18:48 am »

Ha...ha...
I will do so Pin.

Tom
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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2017, 11:09:40 am »

Tom,

I think you did not show me this piece of inscribed jet bottle when we met in Bangkok quite a while ago.

The more I look at the pictures you posted, the more intrigue I become. I think you have a piece of gem though the bottle was not as well polished as we would expect. I have a wild guess that the piece you have shown ( looking at both inscription on both faces ) could possibly be a bottle carved out of a palm-size tablet originally owned by a famous Qing artist known as Jing Rong ( born 1687, died 1763 ). He belonged to the group of what the Chinese called ' the 8 Eccentrics of Yangzhou ' - famous for their paintings / calligraphy.

His name appeared as Jing ( 金 )  Nong ( 農 ), and I think the word Jing was another old form of writing, on the face with two columns of four characters, inscribed in the Li script of calligraphy.
It appears to me that Jing Nong personally inscribed these 8 charcters on this face of the original small tablet when he was travelling to the capital Beijing. Jing Nong was known to be excellent in seal carving before he started painting after 50 years old.

The 8 characters are 【 如玉之潔, 如月之精  】,expressing Jing Nong's desire to have the virtuous qualities of jade ( 玉 ) and moon ( 月 ).

On the reverse face are actually two stanzas of 7 characters each inscribed in running script and I venture to guess that these were done by another artist after the tablet has been transformed to a snuff bottle. The rough lines on both shoulders of the bottle appears to suggest this speculation of mine.

Just my thots.

Inn Bok
 
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