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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
October 18, 2018, 08:32:31 pm
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Cinnabar bottle

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Author Topic: Cinnabar bottle  (Read 751 times)
pookles
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« on: June 24, 2017, 03:33:38 am »

Dear members,

this bottle was an eBay purchase. The detail on this one is IMO really good and carving deep. I don't think the pictures do it justice as it's very hard to capture all the detail and carving - also the bottle is very dirty. Even with the naked eye, the details are tiny. Anyway, it has a Qianlong mark on the bottom, which I know can't be authentic, so I'm tentatively dating this one late 19th, maybe early 20th. What do others think of the age on this bottle, please? BTW, I'm 99% sure it is cinnabar lacquer - maybe it's obvious from the pics and the cinnabar has IMO an attractive patina...

As you can see one of the scholars on this bottle met with the emperor's displeasure and lost his head Smiley Real shame as it's the only damage... thinking I could get someone to look at some restoration here, but then again I can live with it... Any feedback, as always appreciated!

Best,
Luke


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« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 03:48:23 am by pookles » Report Spam   Logged

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forestman
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 01:16:04 pm »

Hi Luke,

That is very deeply carved, the deepest I've seen which shows best on the third picture.

Do you know if the base bottle is wood as it is so deeply carved I imagine it would be.

Regards, Adrian.
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pookles
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 02:10:10 pm »

Hi Adrian,

Yeah the carving is deep for a cinnabar. I just had another look at it and the stopper is definitely wood and I'd also say the bottle is too looking into the mouth.

Best
Luke
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Luke
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 04:37:41 pm »

Nice one Luke..

Here is a topic showing a bottle deeply carved like yours.. Also tells about the background diaper pattern..

I think you will find it interesting..
http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,2993.0.html
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pookles
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 05:59:51 pm »

Thanks George...Yeah tricky one after reading that thread. I still think it's layered lacquer - there is something very liquid like about parts of the bottle imo... going to have a look at it under the loupe tomorrow and will try and get a macro shot... I think there is a lot of evidence of carving marks particularly on the branches of the trees for instance, but who knows - maybe a mold... what's your thoughts or feeling?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 06:02:46 pm by pookles » Report Spam   Logged

Luke
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 10:34:02 pm »

Thanks George...Yeah tricky one after reading that thread. I still think it's layered lacquer - there is something very liquid like about parts of the bottle imo... going to have a look at it under the loupe tomorrow and will try and get a macro shot... I think there is a lot of evidence of carving marks particularly on the branches of the trees for instance, but who knows - maybe a mold... what's your thoughts or feeling?

A lot of times they start with the cast piece then fine tune or highlight additional detailing with hand tools.

Will know more when you post a few macro pics tomorrow...
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pookles
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2017, 02:36:31 am »

That makes sense George. I will say though if this is a mould I'm impressed they can get such sharpness on such tiny details as this bottle is roughly 6cms high without stopper. If it's possible though it will be done no doubt! Anyway, this is a good learning process for me Smiley Also, took a couple of macro pics and highlighted where I think there is possible evidence of layering... let me know if any more pics are needed... really hard to get the detail with my phone camera as I dont have my SLR camera at the moment...





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« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 04:33:44 am by pookles » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2017, 08:39:14 am »

Morning Luke ...

Not sure what to make of where your pointing in the first pic.  But does not look like lacquer layers.

Your arrows in the second pic look like what might expect to be left after being touched up with a rotary tool.

The blue arrows I added look like air bubbles that we see when something is cast in resin.

Lets see what others think...


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Joey
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2017, 09:04:04 am »

Dear Luke,

    Why not focus on the 'decapitated' figure's neck? It should be obvious if there are multiple layers of cinnabar lacquer there.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2017, 10:52:43 am »

Luke,

Congratulations on this bottle. I think you did well

No metal on the top or bottom
Style of the carving - very well done
Looks like layers to me Wink
To me it appears to have all the markings of a genuinely old lacquer bottle, and no signs that it's new

See this similar one that sold for $2400 in 2011

https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/8969145_225-a-cinnabar-lacquer-snuff-bottle-height-2-78-inch

The only thing different is the bottle shape. That bottle also had the 4 character reign mark, leading me to believe yours is genuine as well

That bottle had good provenance - from the collection of Dr. Samuel Grant of Chicago. I remember seeing yours for sale, but can't remember the city - it would be really interesting if it was from Chicago. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2017, 12:52:57 pm »

Hi George,
Just to be sure I did a hot pin test and can confirm that's not resin. Also, I don't think your picture with arrows uploaded as I can't see anything.

Dear Joey,
I took a picture of the area where the head should be. Is that layering?

Hi Cathy,
Thanks! I saw that bottle too and also this one:
http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22949/lot/1070/

I only know that the bottle came from America. Would be interesting to know more!



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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 02:37:59 pm »

Dear Luke,

    I'm sorry, I can't tell. But possibly George can.

Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 02:47:58 pm »

Cathy,

    Who is Dr. Samuel Grant of Chicago? I've never heard of him.
He does not appear as a member of the ICSBS between 1974 and the present; or in the lists of the Kaynes Snuff Bottle Society, between 1972 and 1980. I know, because I checked the membership directories of both groups during the years mentioned.

   Is the statement that it has good provenance based on your many 'year' of study and all your socialising with fellow snuff bottle collectors all over the world?

   
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

pookles
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2017, 03:24:20 pm »

Dear Joey,

Yeah I must admit the picture isn't superb... I need to get a macro lens on it and will do when possible . I think it is layered looking through a loupe, but only 80% sure. Be interesting to hear George's view.

Best
Luke
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2017, 03:25:13 pm »

I don't think your picture with arrows uploaded as I can't see anything.


I just added it ... Your last pic does seem to show layers though..

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forestman
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2017, 03:55:15 pm »

Hi Luke and George,

I see why the potential bubbles were highlighted but I think air bubbles would be more clearly defined in shape and obviously spherical which I don't see in the arrowed area.

It looks okay to me as lacquer but having it in hand is the only real time to tell. It seems carved lacquer causes more debate that anything else.

Regards, Adrian.
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Joey
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2017, 04:52:05 pm »

Adrian, everything you wrote is correct.
I wonder if part of the problem is the similarity of lacquer to plastic and resin as a material and due to the texture.
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2017, 02:52:01 am »

Hi Joey,

One thing that shows on Luke's macro images is the difference in the shine and surface texture of cut and uncut surfaces of the lacquer.

A resin bottle doesn't have any actual cuts, it is cast from a mould of an already cut surface, so you don't see that contrast between the cut and uncut surfaces as the shine is more uniform.

A exception to this is that a few lacquer items are carved and, possibly at a later date, painted over with a layer of lacquer which would hide the contrast between cut and uncut surfaces. I don't know if this reference applied to carved snuff bottles although I have seen examples that seem to have been lacquered over.

Regards, Adrian.



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pookles
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2017, 05:13:57 am »

Hi Adrian, Joey & George,

Although I'm no lacquer expert, I think having it in the hand and looking through a loupe it is obvious that it's lacquer. I'm not a 100% on the bottle being layered though, but think with a loupe in a certain light there are tiny ridges or maybe colour variation running through in the snapped area. Would be nice for someone who actually knows lacquer to have a look. It's interesting to me because I was reading about the time-consuming process real layered carved cinnabar can take... been looking around for a good book on organic SBs... and some journals have information...

Best,
Luke
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2017, 05:32:40 am »

Dear Luke,

     I'm in Oxford, 16-19.July, and in London, 19-21.July. If you can meet me at either of those places, I will bring my 18th C. Beijing Palace Workshops Cinnabar on Teadust Lacquer SB, bought from Eunice Cameron (Hugh Moss ltd.) in 1987, with me. We can compare the materials, and I can look at your bottle. I have owned at least 8 genuine 18th & 19th C. lacquer bottles in my 47+ years of collecting.

   If you are available (and Adrian, if you are around, I'd love to meet you as well), please let me know and we'll co-ordinate.

Best,
Joey
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