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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
December 18, 2017, 08:53:38 am
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Small Jade Bottle

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Author Topic: Small Jade Bottle  (Read 210 times)
Rube
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« on: August 01, 2017, 05:15:24 pm »

Greetings Everyone,

I'm sharing another jade bottle with the group.  It measures 1 13/16" and is of flattened spade shape, with a flared neck, and slightly concave mouth, resting on an oval recessed foot rim. 

Judging from the size and shape of the bottle, I was thinking it may be older, but am not so sure because it doesn't seem to be extremely well hollowed.  Is there a way to identify dragon types as a way to help date a bottle?  All I can tell for certain is that it was purchased by my
great grandmother on or before 1938.  She took up painting when she was 72, and this bottle appeared in one of her oil paintings, alongside a bouquet of flowers, dated 1938, which I also have.  Any help dating the bottle is greatly appreciated!

Two more questions are:  What is the motif carved to the left of the phoenix? And, regarding the pink stopper, it is stone, and has a distinct chatoyance when rotated in the light, any ideas?

Cheers,

Rube.


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« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 05:18:50 pm by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

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George
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 05:31:41 pm »

Nice one Rube !  Regardless of age, I like it..

A few positives unclude concave mouth with beveled edge. The edges of the motifs are nice and sharp, 90 degrees to the base bottle. As you mentioned, the size also a plus, as is the overall shape.

I can not make out what that is to the left of phoenix.

Can we get a pick of the base ?
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Rube
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 05:38:12 pm »

George,

You're not going to like it bc for some reason, I can't shrink it, but here it is:


* FullSizeRender light green jade 3.jpg (320.73 KB, 1690x2253 - viewed 23 times.)
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 07:39:35 pm »

George,

You're not going to like it bc for some reason, I can't shrink it, but here it is:

Well, I must admit that had hoped it was carved better...

Lets see what others think.

I know what you mean about sometimes not being able to resize.. What I found is that if after I edit a pic, I "save as" with a new name. Then upload the one with the new name to the forum and it will be resized.  Hope that makes sense..
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Rube
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 08:45:36 pm »

George,

Forgot to thank you for your detailed comments!  And, regarding the resizing, that's normally how I do it, but must have forgot this time.

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 01:21:12 am »

Dear Rube,
if you have not said that you can document that the bottle is at least 1938, I would have said that it is modern (by modern I mean 10 Ė 20 Ė 30 years old).
Why that? Because of the not well shaped, and front facing, dragon; and because of the convex (not concave dear George, it is convex by the pictures) mouth and the not good hollowing.
The shape of the phoenix too is not that good, if it were not for the tail it was more looking as a common bird. Phoenixes have longer neck and legs.
Sorry to say that if I had seen your bottle for sale I would have passed it.
But it is good to know that indeed it is older than what I have thought, thank you.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 05:59:10 am »

Giovanni,

Your comments are most welcome.  And, they probably confirm what I suspected.  Though, I wanted the bottle to be older, I'm not surprised by your analysis, and as a consolation, I feel better knowing that my eyes are gaining valuable experience with every post.  I don't particularly care for the carving either, but it is the lack of hollowing that really bothered me, as the bottle is heavy.  In fact, it's the first bottle I've tested the specific gravity on, 3.25.  Regarding the phoenix, I was assuming it was, because of the dragon on the other side.  And the carving next to it puzzles me, a cloud?  So, with regards to the dragon, a front facing dragon, with cross hatched scales is an indicator of a contemporary bottle?

George,
I know that older glass bottles often have convex shaping on recessed foot rims, but I thought this not to necessarily be the case with stone bottles? Is that also a clue? Also, any ideas about the stopper material?

Cheers,

Rube.


« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 06:03:07 am by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 08:21:48 am »

Dear Rube,
I am very glad that you took my comment positively. I was a bit worried indeed, because my mind was to say that I donít like so much this bottle but at the same afraid in hurting you.
Anyway, PLEASE keep in mind that this is my opinion, others may have a completely different view than mine.
As for the phoenix, I have no doubt that the intention of the carver was to represent a phoenix and not another bird, the only problem is that it is quite off.
Regarding the dragon, my thought about is the following. While dragons painted on porcelain are generally easy to place in a time frame, the same is not really true when it comes to snuff bottles. Either for the lack of enamels and for the fact that carving is much more complicate than drawing.
Nevertheless, two things of your dragon bother me. One thing is the general style, quite sloppy, with those big ears. And the other one is that front facing dragons were rare in the past, and, due to that, they become more common lately.
But they are different. The old ones are rare and convincing, the later ones are sloppy.
I donít know what is near the phoenix. It recalls a lingzhi, but that square shape at the top exclude that possibility.
I see no problems with the foot.
I suppose that the stopper is rose quartz.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 09:50:05 am »

Dear Rube,

     The bottle looks to be Jadeite, rather than Nephrite, which accounts for its looking modern (much harder, and takes a high polish).
I think the bottle was new when bought by your grandmother in 1938, though by that I mean anywhere between 1912 and 1938.

     Front-facing dragons used to denote personal ownership by the Emperor; this was NOT owned by any Emperor.
I think the stopper is rose quartz.

     Could you take a picture facing the object to the left of the phoenix? It's impossible to tell anything at the moment.
Best,
Joey
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Rube
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 12:42:48 pm »

Joey, 

Thanks for your funny comments about emperors and front facing dragons, that's hilarious and informative! Also, thanks for the dates... I'll try and post another picture about the left side.

Giovanni,

Please don't be concerned about offending me with your opinions regarding the bottles I post.
As you know, most of those I post, I've inherited, so I have no invested feelings regarding their aesthetics. I'm more interested in trying find out about their making and possible dates associated with them.  I participate on this forum not for popularity, but for scholarship, and sharing snuff bottles.  So, I appreciate all feedback, good, bad, and ugly! 

George,

In your defense, I think the photo of the mouth is misleading, I don't think it's convex.  I was upset that I couldn't get a better pic of the base, so I took another one, and look what I found!
Reminds me of the conversation not too long ago regarding Samson's bottle and cleaning, removing labels etc!

Oh, and if anyone's interested, here's a pic of my great-grandmother's painting, I prefer it to the bottle, but I love having both!

Cheers,

Rube.



* FullSizeRender green jade label.jpg (57.99 KB, 480x640 - viewed 17 times.)

* FullSizeRender green jade with flowers.jpg (136.2 KB, 640x480 - viewed 11 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 01:30:06 pm »

The stopper may be a pink quartz Rube...
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 04:45:03 pm »

George,

I thought the same thing about the rose quartz top, just not used to seeing chatoyannce with it.

Joey,

Here's another pic of the left side of the bottle...


* FullSizeRenderside .jpg (75.36 KB, 480x640 - viewed 15 times.)
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2017, 09:30:43 pm »

Rube,

I concur with Joey's dating. And I love the fact that you have your great-grandmother's painting to associate with the bottle.

Even with the new photo it is still hard to tell exactly what the object at left of the phoenix is supposed to represent. To me it looks like a figure skater with a fish bowl over their head, but I doubt that is what the carver had in mind.

Tom
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2017, 10:27:40 pm »

Dear Rube,

     It looks to me like something I saw on a bottle that was at least 80 years older than this one, though both were apple green Jadeite - the moon in scrolling cloudwork, with the character for moon, yue, incised on the orb!  Rick bought an early 19th C. Jadeite with a dragon and the sun, with the character for sun incised on it, and on the reverse, a phoenix and the moon, with the character for moon incised on it. Most probably made for a wealthy merchant, who needed the sun and moon labeled... Roll Eyes Grin

    Because of my Asperger's, I sometimes am too literal; glad it amused. Better than offending.
I just read about an Israeli MK (Knesset member) who has been trading insults with a Moslem member of the Jordanian Parliament (though adding 'moslem' to Jordanian might be redundant); they decided to have a fistfight in no-man's land by the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan. HM King Abdullah II reined in his man, and Bibi Netanyahu ordered the Israeli to cease and desist.
Personally, I wish they'd met and fought. 
Best,
Joey
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 06:30:38 am »

Joey,

No offense taken.  Thank you so much for taking the time to try and analyze that part of the bottle.  For me, it is the thing that most bothers me.  But I'm not so bothered anymore, because all I see now is a figure skater with a bowl over it's head- thanks Tom!

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2017, 07:33:04 am »

I've had a look in "Hidden meanings in Chinese Art" and can't find anything that refers to ice skaters with fish bowls on their heads.

I have a suspicion that I might dream about and ice skater with a fish bowl on his head being attacked by a demonic goat tonight.

Thanks Tom  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 06:34:16 am »

Guys, It is amazing how a 'word picture' can focus one.

    Years ago, a dear friend from South Africa, happily remarried to a rancher NE of Napa, told me about the first time she went to the Reform Temple in San Francisco on Rosh HaShana, Jewish New Year. On that Holy Day, we blow the ram's horn, or 'shofar' in Hebrew.
   She was accompanied by her husband, his father and his step-mother, all non-Jews (she is Jewish). When they pulled out the ram's horn on the Dais of the Temple, she said,"Wonderful! They are going to blow the 'shofar' now!"
Her father-in-law's response was classic: "Boy, you Jews sure treat your staff well!"  Roll Eyes Shocked Cheesy
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 09:21:28 am »

I think the fish bowl is the Sun... with a Chinese character 日 (meaning Sun) carved in the middle. The body of the skater is clouds.  Grin

Pin
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 09:35:05 am »

Dear Pin,

     Because of the glare, I had a bit of a problem actually reading the character; but assumed it was yue, or moon, because of the context (being juxtaposed with the Phoenix). Are you sure it is the character for sun, and not moon?
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2017, 12:45:40 pm »

You Joey got it at the beginning, meaning that you understood what it is, except that you tought it was the moon.
Then Pin got it exactly.
Here is an extract from "Oriental Ceramic Art" by S. W. Bushell, a fantistic book first edited in 1896!
Dear Rube, now you know what it is. At this point, one may think that the bird could be the three legged bird representing the Sun, but I don't think so because of the dragon on the opposite side.
Unless it really has three legs.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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