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August 23, 2017, 10:18:44 pm
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Mineral checklist for snuff bottles

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Author Topic: Mineral checklist for snuff bottles  (Read 170 times)
Wattana
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« on: August 11, 2017, 07:12:18 am »

Dear All,

Sharing a file I created a few years back.
It is a list of all known minerals found in snuff bottle production.

Tom
PS: I see I need to add chloromelanite...   Wink 

* 01 Mineral specs of SBs.pdf (153.42 KB - downloaded 19 times.)
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Tom
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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 07:38:14 am »

Dear Tom,

    Do you know when the earliest known bottles of Chloromelanite are from? Late 18th C.? 19th C.?
Because I really like Rube's bottle from his grandmother, which she'd thought was Malachite, and wonder if it could be as early as late 18th C., and that it is just the hard crystalline polished surface that makes us want to date it later.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 10:56:05 am »

Tom, here are a couple missing off the top of my head from the list.

Need to add Howlite and Magnesite which can either be in it's natural white to cream color with a black matrix, sometimes brown (if I recall correctly), and is often dyed to resemble turquoise.

Charll

P.S.- Taking the lead from Joey's statement it would be great if we can trace back to a date range when the material was first used in snuff bottle production.
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 11:45:27 am »

Amazing! Very useful. Much appreciated. Thanks Tom.
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 12:40:12 pm »

Thank you Tom Smiley
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Wattana
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 07:35:17 pm »

Joey,
     I find it really hard to put a date on Rube's bottle. I would have to handle it. My initial impression, as yours, was that it was post-1970s. But his grandmother's rock solid 1952 provenance puts a 'spanner in the works'!
     There was a plain chloromelanite snuff bottle in either the Bloch or J&J Collection (I forget which) that is dated to around 1800. The mineral comes from a specific mine in Burma, close to the general region of the jadeite mines, so there is every possibility that the Chinese lapidaries had access to it over the same time-frame. It was only identified as being a distinct and separate mineral in the 20th century. Before that it would have been considered just a spinach green variety of jadeite (as opposed to spinach green nephrite, which mainly comes from New Zealand, British Columbia and Siberia).

Charll,
Thanks for the additional materials. Will add to the list when I next get around to editing it.

Best,
Tom
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 04:19:57 am »

Dear Tom,

     Thank you! You have put the dating forward - late 18th C., though not recognised AS Chloromelanite till recently.
And thank you for the list - very well done.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 08:41:48 am »

Joey and Tom,
Thank you both for helping me date the bottle. I'm quite fond of it, as it was the second bottle I chose after the jade pebble bottle I posted a few weeks back. My only concern, again, is that it is not extremely well hollowed for whatever that's worth?
Cheers,
Rube

PS- thanks Tom for compiling this list
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 11:49:48 am »

Dear Rube,

    If it was hollowed well enough to hold 4 or 5 sniffs of snuff, that's fine. Many times, early bottles were not too well hollowed in order to preserve the colour of the material.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 07:59:34 pm »

Joey,
Good to know about the hollowing. Per my grandmother's list, it was pretty brief. Usually, it specified the material she thought it to be, and that was it. Sometimes, she'd mention where it was purchased, or from whom. This particular bottle had a date associated with it, and so I'm wondering if it was purchased on one of their trips. I'll try and find out if they were abroad that year.
Cheers,
Rube
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 01:27:38 am »

Dear Rube,
 
    That's interesting. Some early collectors wrote a whole detailed description, including material, provenance, style of decoration, stopper material, dating, etc., and others wrote literally nothing.

    And your grandmother was in the middle, with minimal documentation, but still feeling the need to catalogue in whatever way. But have you noticed if she gave more detail at some stages, and less at others?
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 04:36:16 am »

Joey,
That's hard to say. She began her list January 1,
1976.  There's no rhyme to the sequence, I think they were numbered as she pulled them out of the case.  And she mentions bottles belonging to her mother. (And you remember Mr. Quon, those were specified.)  Or bottles she or my grandfather bought (separately before they married) during travels in the 20's. Nothing in the 30's or 40's that I know of.  Then they bought many bottles from a dear friend's mother who had to sell her collection around 1950. This woman was from South Africa. These bottles were always specified as being from that collection. Then, on occasion, she would document a bottle with a date, and sometimes the price paid for bottles from the 50's. But, most of the bottles were purchased in the 60's and 70's. Either by my grandparents, or a few dear friends living in Asia, for them. Then in 1971 they joined the Snuff Bottle Society in Hong Kong, and became associated with Mr. Kaynes. Many of the bottles in the collection from the late 70's and 80's were mineral specimens my grandfather sent over there to have made into bottles.
Cheers,
Rube
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 08:52:01 am »


Many of the bottles in the collection from the late 70's and 80's were mineral specimens my grandfather sent over there to have made into bottles.


Rube,

Wonderful to have these family heirlooms. I am especially fascinated by your last remark. There must be some unusual (if modern) bottles in the collection. Wealthy Mongolians still do that today - find choice raw mineral specimens and commission lapidaries to fashion them into snuff bottles.

Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2017, 09:36:12 am »

Dear Rube,

     I understand Tom's comment, but am more interested in your reminder that your great grandmother had bottles (I'm sure you mentioned it in one post or another, but I did not remember it).
That means you have a FOURTH generation collection!
That is amazing!
Until now, I knew only one collection, that of Jimmy and the late Julie Li, which stretched back 3 generations (albeit on both sides), to Jimmy's and Julie's grandfathers.
   So basically, they bought without documenting till a few years after they joined the HK Society. A very informative post.
Thank you.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2017, 09:55:17 am »

Tom,
As nostalgia, these types are amongst my favorites, he usually commissioned 2 per year as an anniversary gift. In time, I'll post them!
Joey,
I kick myself today because I never asked how my Great Grandmother started collecting. They moved to Hollywood in 1909, so I'm guessing she had exposure there. Her sister had done lots of missionary work abroad late 19th century, and I know she purchased many bottles for her sister along with other artifacts.  In my grandmother's list, she mentions these bottles as being "part" of her mother's collection. So, I'm guessing half the collection went to her sibling, whose family I have no contact with.
But yes, I am a fourth generation collector!
Cheers,
Rube
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Wattana
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 11:53:41 pm »


But yes, I am a fourth generation collector!


Rube,

I think this could be your signature statement!
It sure beats "collecting since 1972"........   Wink
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 07:01:53 am »

Tom,

That's excellent, don't mind if I do!

Cheers,

Rube.
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector
Wattana
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 10:18:11 am »

 Cheesy   Cheesy   Cheesy
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Tom
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 03:49:04 pm »

Dear Rube,
 
    I'm envious. I'm just a second generation collector, and my late mom collected ancient glass from Israel and the Middle East, 1,000 to 3,200 years old, not snuff bottles. 
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2017, 12:37:56 am »


I'm just a second generation collector, and my late mom collected ancient glass from Israel and the Middle East, 1,000 to 3,200 years old, not snuff bottles. 


Dear Joey,
     Collecting other things doesn't count. It's got to be snuff bottles.  Grin

Best,
Tom
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Tom
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