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December 18, 2017, 04:59:01 am
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Jade Bottle from the Master of the Rocks School?

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Author Topic: Jade Bottle from the Master of the Rocks School?  (Read 261 times)
Rube
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« on: July 21, 2017, 07:15:59 am »

Greetings Everyone,

I'd like to share another bottle from my grandmother's collection, purchased in Hong Kong in 1964.  I'm calling it a flattened bottle of square shape with rounded shoulders.  It's mouth is slightly concave and sits on a raised foot, and measures 6.7 cm.  From her terse list she (incorrectly, I think) calls it mutton jade.  Is this actually yellowish green russet nephrite? If so, is this the yellow-steamed chestnut or "han" jade? And, is this a type that would be carved from the Master of the Rocks School?  As always, any help regarding aging this bottle is greatly appreciated!  It is a real pleasure to hold, and it's extremely well hollowed. Also, I don't come across these types of tops very often.  Was there a time frame when they were made? I'm proud that I'm finally able to correctly identify the bat and shou motif on it!

Cheers,
Rube.


* FullSizeRender jade wall 1.jpg (95.62 KB, 480x640 - viewed 45 times.)

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* FullSizeRender jade wall 3.jpg (71.72 KB, 480x640 - viewed 19 times.)

* FullSizeRender jade wall 4.jpg (71.68 KB, 480x640 - viewed 25 times.)
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 07:19:37 am »

Hi Rube,

is this your one? If so, congratulations it's a really nice bottle! When you mention the height is that without the stopper? Also, I believe it is in that master of rocks category you mention, which I'm told Hugh Moss first coined.

Cheers
Luke
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 07:54:47 am »

 Very nice bottle.... but no mutton Jade....

Anyway... you should be proud of this !!! ... congratulations

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Rube
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 08:05:50 am »

Luke and Pin,

Thanks for your comments. I really like the bottle too, and I'm glad that it's now part of my collection. And all measurements I post are without the stopper.

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 10:09:14 am »

Dear Rube,
nice bottle, I think it is correct to call it russet nephrite.
To all, I am interested to know the definition of "master of the rock" style, I mean I would like to know what Hugh Moss meant, what features a bottle must have for being catalogued as "master of the rock".
I am asking so becasue, in Chinese porcelain field, "Master of the rocks" means something that has nothing to do with this bottle.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Rube
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 11:44:06 am »

Giovanni,

Thanks for your comments, and for asking for more information regarding the Master of the Rocks School.  I, too, would like to know more, but what I have read about it indicates that there is a belief that one workshop favored and specialized in this type of "yellow steamed-chestnut"  pebble jade, and the carvings they produced were often landscapes and sometimes dragons, but that many other subjects were also produced.  Apparently, this Master of the Rocks School is discussed in depth in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The George and Mary Bloch Collection, Vol. 1,(no. 133-143) by Moss, Graham, and Tsang, a book I do not own.  And apparently, based on a signature by a famous Ming carver named Lu Zigang found on one of these bottles, (no. 133) they suggest that this school may have been based in Suzhou, inspired by the earlier master.  ( Read from an excerpt from Robert Kleiner's White Wing Collection, no. 20.)

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 03:18:40 pm »

Giovanni,

Thanks for your comments, and for asking for more information regarding the Master of the Rocks School.  I, too, would like to know more, but what I have read about it indicates that there is a belief that one workshop favored and specialized in this type of "yellow steamed-chestnut"  pebble jade, and the carvings they produced were often landscapes and sometimes dragons, but that many other subjects were also produced.  Apparently, this Master of the Rocks School is discussed in depth in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The George and Mary Bloch Collection, Vol. 1,(no. 133-143) by Moss, Graham, and Tsang, a book I do not own.  And apparently, based on a signature by a famous Ming carver named Lu Zigang found on one of these bottles, (no. 133) they suggest that this school may have been based in Suzhou, inspired by the earlier master.  ( Read from an excerpt from Robert Kleiner's White Wing Collection, no. 20.)

Cheers,

Rube.

Rube, this is a really nice bottle.. !  Congratulations !

I think Joey will be the first to suggest that Hugh M high jacked the term "Master of the Rocks" because he likes to brand bottles to make them more saleable.
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 02:53:20 am »

Thanks George!
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2017, 01:03:48 am »

Hi Rube,

Thanks for sharing this bottle with us. It is indeed a fine representative example of this distinctive group or series of bottles. Han (or celadon) jade with russet inclusions is how I would describe the material. Date range 1760-1850, although I would hazard a guess that yours is from the earlier part.

Tom
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 04:49:27 am »

Dear Tom,
by saying "a fine representative example of this distinctive group or series of bottles" are you referring to the "Master of the rock" group? If yes, which are the features that classify that group? Is it perhaps referred to the way of carving?
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2017, 08:58:36 am »

Dear Giovanni,

I was deliberately trying to avoid using the term 'Master of the Rocks School', as it clashes with a completely different period and group of artists who have nothing to do with snuff bottles. In several of his earlier publications Hugh Moss places stone snuff bottles into different groups according to similarities in style of carving and types of material used. For bottles of quartz or silica he calls these groups A, B, C, D, etc. Not exactly exciting names. So later these groups were given names like 'Official School', 'Rustic Crystal Master School', and so on. Similar "school" names were created for jade bottles. But I am going off track.

Rube's bottle fits into a group or school (whatever you want to call it!) that predominantly favours yellow-green nephrite jade, utilizing the russet coloured 'skin' as a canvas on which to carve the subject matter, generally leaving the yellow-green areas plain, without decoration. There are stylistic similarities which link some bottles in this group to ones made of other types of stone. This would suggest that more than one workshop was producing this kind of bottle, and over a long period, so that other influences were both absorbed and dispersed along the way.

I realize this may lead to more questions rather than answering your question! 

Regards,
Tom   
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2017, 12:17:07 pm »

Dear Tom,
thank you again.
As you most probably know, the “Master of the rocks” style on porcelain refers to a particular style of painting. The term refers to dramatic mountainous landscapes, where the rocks are painted with a sort of parallel lines, and it was coined by Gerald Reitlinger, an Art historian specialized on Asian ceramics.
Instead, for what I understand it seems that Hugh Moss adopted the same term for good carvings of a type of material, regardless the style/subject. At least I understand so by what I found here:
http://www.alaintruong.com/archives/2015/08/22/32520819.html
If that is true, I personally think that this gives space to a wide range of interpretation, it lacks of specific parameters.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2017, 09:39:57 pm »


If that is true, I personally think that this gives space to a wide range of interpretation, it lacks of specific parameters.



Dear Giovanni,

I could not have phrased it better myself !!!

Regards,
Tom
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Rube
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 08:59:23 am »

Tom,
Thanks for your description and for help dating bottle. Any chance the stopper could be original?
Giovanni,
I liked the link you posted for the pretty bottle.  I, myself, have no experience studying the Master of the Rocks School in porcelain, but what you describe as the vivid parallel lines of the mountains sounds just like a key characteristic of the Suzhou carved bottles as well, at least the way the mountains are depicted, carved by distinct layers.
Cheers,
Rube
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 10:52:46 am »


Thanks for your description and for help dating bottle. Any chance the stopper could be original?


Rube,

The stopper is certainly an old one, but I doubt it was originally intended for this bottle. My guess is that a past owner made the match later.

Tom
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 11:20:15 am »

Dear Rube,
actually, I don’t agree so much. Please look at the following links, plus the two pictures here below, which are pieces of mine. You will see different examples. I am sure that you will immediately note the similar style of painting:
http://www.gettyimages.dk/detail/news-photo/blue-and-white-dish-with-landscape-in-master-of-the-rocks-news-photo/464490895#blue-and-white-dish-with-landscape-in-master-of-the-rocks-style-early-picture-id464490895
https://alaintruong2014.wordpress.com/tag/master-of-the-rocks-style/

Now, look at the following example:
http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-carved-yellow-and-russet-jade-snuff-6058271-details.aspx
What it has to do with your bottle and the one of the link in my previous post, other than the material? To me, nothing. Then, if something else is not escaping to my eyes, why take the trouble/liberty to coin or copy a specific term? All Amethyst bottles are just Amethyst bottles, there is not a specific class or name. Or should we invent the “Famille purple” group for them? Grin
Kind regards
Giovanni


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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2017, 12:11:43 pm »

Giovanni,
I'm not implying that my bottle has any similarity to the Master of the Rocks School in porcelain. I was trying to say that I've seen bottles carved in jade and quartz group that were carved by the" Suzhou School" where there are fine detailing of parallel layers of carving depicting rocks denoting mountains like the nice examples you show. (I'll post a picture later.). I don't think my bottle has any similarity to the dragons bottles posted thus far, they're carved much better, but I agree with you it appears to be carved in a similar manner to other bottles of the Master of the Rocks School, in that it is made from a similar material, and how the russet detailing is used to form the composition.  If this bottle came from the same area, or workshop, and there were multitudes of bottles that came from the same area, carved in the same material, I can see why they were given a label as such. (I think George's comment might have merit, however!)

Cheers,
Rube
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