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December 18, 2017, 08:54:28 am
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A burlwood bottle

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Author Topic: A burlwood bottle  (Read 169 times)
samsonlzj
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« on: August 02, 2017, 11:38:35 am »

Dear all,

I'm sharing with you all a burlwood bottle from my collection. To me, this is a very interesting bottle. It looks clean and intact and rather tiny as well. As I can see, such material is rarely posted on the forum.

Provenance: Property from the Collection of Lolo Sarnoff, Sotheby's NY March 2015.

Any views guys?

Best,
Samson


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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 12:23:43 pm »

Height, Samson?

Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 12:50:15 pm »

Samson,

As a woodworker by trade, I'm quite fond of this bottle.

Congrats!

Rube.
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 01:32:08 pm »

It really is a pretty wood .. Thank you for sharing it Samson.
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 03:39:41 pm »


Samson,

Do to its drying which causes shrinkage and cracking, wood snuff bottles do not fair well over time unless they are sealed with a lacquer and/or maintained in a humid climate.  Also, unless finished to a very fine and hard surface on the interior and sealed as well, wood snuff bottles are not the best functional medium for snuff usage.  They are 1) not easily cleaned without losing the finish and 2) wood readily absorbs the oils and scents often uses to enhance the snuff.  Thus if used, an owner would be limited to a single brand or style of snuff in order to prevent cross contamination of flavors. 

Charll   
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

samsonlzj
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 08:36:35 pm »

Thank you all!

Dear Joey,

As I'm out of town right now, I can't measure the accurate height of the bottle. But I remember it's roughly 55mm.

Dear Charll,

Thank you for sharing with us the common issues with wood bottles. I will keep mine with care. So far I haven't noticed any crack on its surface due to dryness. I read that's a common issue for bamboo as well.

Best to all,
Samson
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Wattana
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 10:16:47 pm »

Dear Samson,

Thanks for posting. I find wood snuff bottles very appealing, and have a few in my collection. Some are burlwood, and some are in other woods such as rosewood, boxwood and pearwood. I was sure I had posted one of my burlwood bottles on the forum before, but having just done a search I cannot find the thread.

Charll's observations are correct, and also explain why we don't see more bottles in this material from a snuff user's viewpoint. Wood is not an ideal material for storing snuff powder. I am told that deer horn was also unsuitable for snuff, which explains why we see very few old bottles made of horn.

Tom

PS: Just found my old burlwood bottle post....
http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1317.0.html
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 10:20:43 pm by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 10:29:10 pm »

Thank you, Samson. Enjoy your visit home.
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

samsonlzj
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 04:21:34 am »

Dear Tom,

What a beautiful burlwood bottle you have there! Congratulations!

Actually, I didn't plan on getting mine at first. I was after another cinnabar lacquer bottle with the same provenance and this burlwood bottle came together in the same lot. That's how it ended up in my collection. Anyhow I'm happy with its decent condition.

Best,
Samson
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samsonlzj
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 04:22:30 am »

Thank you, Samson. Enjoy your visit home.
Joey

Thanks Joey!

Best,
Samson
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 06:35:21 am »

Here is another burlwood bottle, which is also a Friday Fun Bottle!

Burlwood snuff bottle of compressed baluster shape with a slightly flared cylindrical neck, concave lip, and a recessed flat oval base surrounded by a footrim; carved with a three-legged toad climbing down onto one main side from one shoulder. Mother-of-pearl stopper with a green glass collar.

Height without stopper  5.1 cm

Tentative dating - anywhere from late 1700s to late 1800s   

Additional notes:
     There is a small series of these burlwood snuff bottles which appear at auction from time to time. They are to be found in some of the early Western collections, and a few of them seem never to have been used, suggesting they may have been made for a collectors’ market. But this one has obviously been well used over a considerable period of time judging from its wear and patina.
     The three-legged toad is usually associated with the legend of Liu Hai and his string of coins. As a mythical creature, however, it pre-dates the legend. Three-legged creatures are of ancient origins, and the toad was long before associated with the moon, having been said to live in it.
     The exaggerated three-dimensional carving of the toad leaps out at you, contrasting with the bottle’s otherwise symmetrical form. I find this dynamism very appealing!


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« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 06:44:12 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

Tom
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 06:58:14 am »

Dear Tom,

    Before I tapped on the first photo, I didn't like the bottle - I tend to prefer low relief carving, as being more in keeping with the utilitarian 'form follows function' concept; but the obvious wear and age of this bottle forced me to change 180 degrees!
Beautiful bottle!
Thank you for showing it.
I only ever had one Burlwood bottle,  a relatively large (± 76mm tall, 50mm wide, 20mm thick), spade-shaped flattened flask on raised indented footrim with ornately carved Taotie to the shoulders. I bought it from Y.F. Yang, and it was about US$500 in the 1980s. I didn't value it enough in 1986 to put it in my 1987 catalogue - I was trying to wow the visitors in the Israel Museum, and it did not have the 'wow factor' behind glass. In the 1980s, China, Chinese Art and indeed, most of the Far East of Asia, were not of interest to most Israelis, and I wanted to pique their interest. It seems to have worked, though China agreeing to relations in 1991 may have helped, as well.  Grin Roll Eyes

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

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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 08:09:16 am »

Some beautiful bottles in the thread. Always liked this material. Congrats!

Tom,

Also great bottles. Love the carving on the bottle in the link. You probably know but there is a very similar bottle in the crane collection...

Cheers
Luke
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Luke
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 11:50:27 pm »

Dear Joey and Luke,

Thanks for your comments.

Luke, I have come across three other burlwood bottles very similar to the one in the link you are referring to. They would all seem to be from the same workshop, for even the stopper is the same. But I was unaware of the one in the Crane Collection.

Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 06:04:44 am »

Tom,

This bottle is fantastic!  I love the composition, the way the toad comes alive crawling off the shoulder of the simple vessel.  Personally, I don't have any burl wood bottles, but I have one made from  sea wood and it might be a candidate for a Friday Fun Bottle, so, stay tuned!

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 09:18:50 am »

Thanks Rube.

Look forward to seeing your bottle.
Roll on next Friday...!    Wink

Tom
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