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August 23, 2017, 10:17:57 pm
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A recent find in an Australian antiques shop

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Author Topic: A recent find in an Australian antiques shop  (Read 242 times)
Boletus
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« on: July 18, 2017, 12:17:31 pm »

Dear everyone,

How are you?
I would like to present here for your comments, opinions and appreciation a group of four bottles I have recently found while on a trip to Australia.
It is my impression that they came from one collection, and that they were not acquired by the dealer one by one from different sources.
I would like to start with the largest bottle, cobalt blue and cinnabar red double overlay over white glass, 8 cm in height without the stopper (not original to the bottle). Yangzhou school?
It shows age and wear, one of the figures' facial details are almost worn out.
I also include an image showing the lot.
I am looking forward to your kind opinions in regard to quality and age and any other thoughts you may want to share.
Thank you in advance, cheers
Frank



* Glass overlay blue red (1).JPG (120.77 KB, 500x529 - viewed 21 times.)

* Glass overlay blue red (2).JPG (145.31 KB, 687x500 - viewed 12 times.)

* Glass overlay blue red (3).JPG (142.39 KB, 674x500 - viewed 17 times.)

* Glass overlay blue red (4).JPG (138.2 KB, 666x500 - viewed 11 times.)

* Glass overlay blue red (5).JPG (163.02 KB, 746x500 - viewed 12 times.)

* Glass overlay blue red (6).JPG (154.1 KB, 700x500 - viewed 11 times.)

* Group of four (1).JPG (157.83 KB, 728x500 - viewed 34 times.)
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Rube
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 10:51:50 am »

Frank,
Welcome to the Forum!
I'm not qualified to guess, but I'll take a stab anyway:
It looks like this bottle is not old Yangzhou and I'm basing my opinion on the fact that the polish seems too rough on the blue glass. Usually a key characteristic I think is very fine and delicate detailing.
Cheers,
Rube
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector
Boletus
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 11:39:47 am »

Hello Rube, thank you very much for your reply and for your very welcome opinion.
I hope that my photos are paying some justice, obviously when seen in person and held in your hands the bottle feels and looks much better, but then again this perhaps could be said of all bottles... or perhaps not?
When examined with a 10x loupe it shows good signs of age and wear, together with clear signs of its being carved with a cameo technique. But perhaps this doesn't mean much, probably many modern examples are carved pretty much the same way...
Anyway, please let me know if you have other thoughts while we wait for more comments and opinions.
What do you think of the other three bottles shown in the group photo?
Cheers and thanks again
Frank
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Frank
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 03:05:27 pm »

Frank,

I'm pretty new to the Forum, and trying to make sense of some bottles that belonged to my mother's family, so I'm no good at trying to date anything.  But it looks like you've got a cloisonné, and a porcelain bottle, of which I have no experience, alongside another overlay.  check out a past post under glass bottles, titled "modern glass bottles"  it should help you with some clues to dating.  In fact, in all the categories of past threads, there is a wealth of knowledge, if you're willing to dig.

Cheers,

Rube.

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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 04:58:39 pm »

Hi Frank, and welcome to the forum !

This first bottle you are sharing is a fairly new overlay.. It was dipped twice.. First time in red and the second in blue..

Pretty bottle though !
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Boletus
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 03:17:12 am »

Dear Rube,

thanks again. Actually perhaps it may sound strange but yes I have already read that post many times, as indeed I have read many, many others in the forum. I found them all extremely interesting to read. I know of no other way when you have interest in something: read and study.
I will try to post the other bottles in the group (and others I have) in the next few days, please let me have your thoughts on those as well, I will also try to add my opinion to other posts when I think it could be of interest.
Thanks again.

Dear George,

thank you for your comments.
I guess fairly new it is then. (when, more or less...?)
If I may, the fact that "it was dipped twice... First time in red and the second in blue" isn't that the way the original "cameo technique" (when applied to glass) is made, even in the oldest bottles? This bottle was clearly carved out (the tool marks are clear) in a "bassorilievo" technique but I'm guessing that is the way even modern bottles are made...?
Also, if possible, apart from your experience formed in years of studying and collecting, is there any other specific element that make you say it is a modern bottle? That would be of great help to me.
I would like to include another image of that bottle, just to show the signs (present only in specific places of the bottle, those that are higher in relief) of wear: please note the face of the figure on the right where its facial features are so worn out that they have almost disappeared. Looking with a loupe this clearly seems to be the result of genuine wear (also because it is present only in the right places) and not like something sanded down to make it look worn. The mouth also shows good signs of use (if they are an indication of anything) and so does the inside of the neck, as far as I can see.
The bottle really doesn't look like a 10, 20 or 30 year old example, but something older than that, but again perhaps this isn't an indication of anything.
I'm glad you think it is pretty though!
Thanks again, cheers
Frank


* Glass overlay blue red (7).JPG (306.77 KB, 848x771 - viewed 11 times.)
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 06:31:17 am »

Hi Frank

Welcome to the forum.... IMO, all the bottles are fairly new.... you will be able to tell the different between antique and new bottle once you read and see more examples.

Pin

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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 07:54:24 am »

Frank,

The last close up picture helps.  Look at the blue wear vs. red, and white.  Every layer is rougher than one would expect for "natural wear".   One could expect some wear on the highest blue layers, but the lower layers shouldn't be.  I think the faces you mention were actually worn away by some form of abrasion, the lines seem fairly uniform going side to side. Some clues to help date your bottles are the size, the shape and the colors used.  I'm trying to buy more books about snuff bottles so I can learn about them, and look at as many examples I can.  Pin is correct, the more examples you look at from collections of provenance, you can start to get a sense of correct sizes, shapes and colors of bottles fitting into certain time frames of their actual manufacture. 

Cheers,

Rube.
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 09:34:14 am »

Dear Boletus,
welcome to the Forum.
I am sorry but I agree with others here, all the bottles are modern. For the overlay one, it is evident by the roughness of the glass and the style of carving.
I am sure you will see that once you will acquire more experience. But please do not ask how old it s, if 10, 20 or 30 years old, because it makes no sense.
In fact saying that it is modern it means that it is a bottle made to imitate the genuine ones.
May I ask you the reason of your nickname? Do you perhaps like to pick up mushrooms in the wild, as myself?
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Boletus
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 11:24:18 am »

Dear Rube, once again thank you for your precious comments.
Just for the sake of precision and for no other reason, I have to disagree on the "form of abrasion" point, the lines that you think you see as uniform going from side to side are actually just an effect of that specific photo, in reality that area and others of that bottle seem to be pretty correct as in having being produced genuinely over a period of time by natural wear and friction. In any case, a "fairly modern" piece seems to be the general consensus, so no worries here.
But this takes me to another point, that of the actual age of the piece, point which I'll address next. Thanks again Rube for your opinion.

Hi Pin, how are you?
Thanks for your comments which I guess just confirm what the general consensus is. No problem mate.
Again, just for the sake of precision: please the fact that I'm new to the forum DOESN'T mean I'm new to reading and learning about snuff bottles nor that I'm actually new to understanding what it takes to become knowledgeable in this or any other field in this world.
I have never claimed these bottles to be "ancient", or very old, or 18th C or anything similar. But I do say that at least three of them seem to be of some age, and not something made yesterday. Which takes me to the next comment/intervention.
Thanks again very much for your precious help.

Dear Giovanni,
the name is Frank, but thank you very much for your comments which put the last nail on the coffin. "Modern" they are. But please do not ask me not to ask "how old they are" saying it makes no sense, it actually does make a lot of sense, at least to me
For example, one of those four bottles (the porcelain one) bears an Artemisia leaf mark on the base, a calligraphic image on the reverse, and a fine brush work with again, signs of "some" age. That, according to members of this forum, should lead to the revival period, 1880 - 1920. Which to me for 95 Australian dollars seems like a good buy.
One thing is 20 or 30 years (in this of course I agree with you: if that is the case how old a bottle really is doesn't mean much), another thing is 100 years or more. At least for me.
An Artemisia revival leaf mark bottle that is, let's say, 1890 in date (I am NOT claiming at all that that is the case with my example, that should be the subject of another thread) is still something made more than 120 years ago, and quality and beauty aside, just because of this, should have a different perception than something made 20 years ago... or not? 120 years is "modern" (because it imitates older styles) or can it still be considered "old"?
Semantics are always important.
Apart from other sources, even here on this forum I remember posts that state that  even in the early-mid 19th C some bottles were made to homage older styles, 18th C, with the use of Imperial marks but not of the period, and that obviously has happened in many other areas of "Asian Art". (Japanese Netsuke, Edo - Meiji etc. comes to mind)
Anyway, again no worries mate, the perception of "modern" has been made very clear, I was perhaps just trying to understand if that overlay bottle is "yesterday modern" or perhaps  "1920s-1930s modern" or something like that, which does make a difference.
At least to me.
Yes Giovanni, Boletus comes from the "porcino" that I'm sure you know very well, and yes I'm also a passionate mushroom hunter who can't wait for the season to start! (over here, in the province of Brescia, even at around 1400 mt there are no porcini yet...)
Where do you live? It would be great to meet one day in person, and have some interesting conversation about bottles and mushrooms, and anything else we'd feel to talk about.
Thanks mate, cheers
Frank
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Frank
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 03:50:15 pm »

Dear Frank,
you are absolutely right, semantic is VERY important. I apologize for my self-learned English, which can me lead toward a not correct expression.
In fact, by saying “do not ask if the bottle is 10 or 20 years old because it is a non-sense”, my real meaning was that it is useless to ask that because it makes no difference if the bottle is 10 or 30 years old, at least under my point of view.
But it makes a BIG difference if the bottle is 100 years old, because late Qing and Republic are well defined historical periods, with their own artistic personality. I totally agree with you on this, and in fact bottles of those periods can be of very good quality and highly collectable.
Now, about mushrooms: what a surprise! Are you Italian? I live in Piacenza, which is not far from you as you know.
It will be great to meet sometime!
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: my hunting area for the boletus is the Val Trebbia which you may know.
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 04:02:06 am »

Dear Giovanni,

thank you very much for your kind reply and for your opinion.
No worries at all mate, your points are perfectly clear and have been taken on board!
Thanks again!
It would be lovely to meet you in person, I could show you some of my bottles including one that I believe you'll like, a cinnabar red lacquer bottle that is very similar to the one you posted on this forum sometime ago and that was the focus of a very interesting thread. You could also show me some of yours which would be fantastic for me to see, if you like. I don't know the rules of this forum in this regard but I'd like to give you my email and phone number so that we can organize a meeting in Piacenza!
Kindest regards
Frank
P.S. yes I'm Italian!
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Frank
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 04:14:29 am »

Dear all,
I met Frank last Saturday and he did show me the porcelain bottle, the cloisonné one and the blue-red overlay one.
By handling them, I confirm my opinion that the porcelain and the overlay one are recent bottles, but I had a good feeling about the cloisonné one. It has a convincing age patina, it doesn’t looks artificially aged.
Since I am not expert on cloisonné, may be it will be interesting if Frank will start a new thread for that bottle.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Boletus
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 04:29:22 am »

Excellent, thank you very much Giovanni!
I will certainly take your suggestion and post the cloisonné bottle very soon.
Best
Frank
P.S. what a great day it was last Saturday! Boy, do you have some wonderful bottles and exciting stories to tell! I'm really looking forward to our next meeting.
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 08:55:52 am »

Thank you dear Frank. It has been a real pleasure to me too.
Giovanni
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 02:18:07 pm »

Dear Frank,

     If Giovanni says the Cloisonne has appropriate wear, than I will change my opinion about it and put it back to ca. 1880-1930. It is simple enough a design to be genuine, but I am not familiar with the shape, so was wary.
The other three look VERY modern (ca. 1980-2010 or at least 6 months before you bought them, whichever is later).
This bottle CAN'T be a genuine Yangzhou Seal School bottle - the overlay is very thin and delicate on those.

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

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