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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
December 18, 2018, 01:38:58 pm
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Trying to trace the provenience of SB bought in the seventies

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Author Topic: Trying to trace the provenience of SB bought in the seventies  (Read 613 times)
rosegl
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« on: January 25, 2018, 09:22:18 am »

Hello,
I'm addressing those among you that are in the business for many years (e.g. Joey...). I spent the last weeks on establishing a catalogue of our collection. One of the points is, of course, the provenience of the bottles. Many of them were sold anonymously, i.e. I just know the name of the shop or the auction house. In some cases, the name of the previous owner is mentioned. Several names could be identified (information about the owner, picture, etc.) as in the case of  Alexander Cussons, Marjorie Inman, Mary Kaufman or I. Arnold Victor. But often my search  ends in a "brick wall". At the moment, I'm in particular interested in:
C. de Naray, Esq.
Mrs. A. M. Robertson
Cyril Green
V. J. Kleyman
Victor Weinberg
Harry Ross (I just have his portrait)
Mme. H. A. Goldstein (I found an address in Cham, Switzerland, in a old member's list)
B. C. Zacharias, Esq.
Alfred C. Rogers
Mrs. Booth
The Dodge Collection
Ph. de Tanner (I know there is a catalogue of his jade collection from 1925)

Any hint leading to biographical information, photo material, etc. is welcome.
With greetings from snowbound Switzerland

Georges
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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 07:04:10 am »

Dear Georges,

      I'm not in any business, unless you see collecting as a 'business'.
About the names on your list, I've not got a lot of info.
      I know that Harry Ross and Cyril Green were both English Jews who collected in the 1950s to 1970s.
     I think the Dodge Collection was based in Michigan, USA, and owned by the people who produced the Dodge cars.

      Let me see if Gayle Gray Laverlochere, in Paris, has any info on the collectors on your list.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

rosegl
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 03:05:37 am »

Dear Joey,

thanks for your answer. Yes, I see collecting as a "business", not in a commercial sense (at least in my case), but as something that needs a lot of time and provides a lot of fun. How would you call it in English?
I knew about Cyril Green and Harry Ross (also because Moss described some of their bottles in one of his early Journals), but cannot trace them back.
Hope some other collector (maybe operating also as a dealer) will provide some information.
Best
Georges
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Joey
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 05:16:16 am »

Dear Georges,

      There is an English word, 'hobby', that I used to use to describe my collecting.

      But I realised that it is not strong enough, since I'm prepared to fly all over the world, searching for examples and visiting friends, like Giovanni in Italy; Samson, Geoff and Curt in Hong Kong; Tom and Pat in Bangkok; YT, Pin, Richard, Inn Bok, Denis Low and Quentin Loh in Singapore; Charll in northern CA; Steven in Plano TX; etc., etc.

    So I describe my collecting as a passion and as a bit of a disease, but a good disease, even though it can be communicable.  Shocked Roll Eyes Grin

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

Rube
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 07:43:31 am »

Joey,
Excellent self diagnosis!

Cheers,
Rube
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector

rosegl
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 07:54:12 am »

Dear Georges,

      There is an English word, 'hobby', that I used to use to describe my collecting.

      But I realised that it is not strong enough, since I'm prepared to fly all over the world, searching for examples and visiting friends, like Giovanni in Italy; Samson, Geoff and Curt in Hong Kong; Tom and Pat in Bangkok; YT, Pin, Richard, Inn Bok, Denis Low and Quentin Loh in Singapore; Charll in northern CA; Steven in Plano TX; etc., etc.

    So I describe my collecting as a passion and as a bit of a disease, but a good disease, even though it can be communicable.  Shocked Roll Eyes Grin

    Best,
Joey
If that isn't a kind of "business"...

Best

Georges

 Cheesy
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Joey
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 08:18:56 am »

Dear Rube,
 
     Thanks! But like most Jews I like having a second opinion!  Roll Eyes Grin

Dear Georges,

    I think of a business as something like my family's real estate business: it gives me money to buy bottles etc., and makes a profit. Or a loss.

    But with snuff bottles, the 'profit' is in the knowledge, but also in my social life, interacting with people from all walks of life all around the world, whom I'd never have been blessed to meet, who have the same interest and enthusiasm.

    How would I have met Giovanni otherwise, and gotten to enjoy serious conversation, as well as seriously good home-made pizza, in Emilia Romagna?!
 
     And I could repeat this with almost every person I've corresponded with and shared knowledge with, on the Forum. Or at conventions of the ICSBS.
Collecting snuff bottles has seriously enriched my life, through the people I've met and become friendly with, and through the knowledge I've been blessed to amass. Besides any issue of monetary profit or loss.

    I think of my collecting as more of an education and introduction to parts of Society I'd not have ever discovered otherwise.

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

samsonlzj
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Beautiful things deserve appreciation


« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 06:37:35 pm »

Dear Joey,

I concur with you. Snuff bottle has really broadened my knowledge, my vision, my friend circle, my world and my life! Itís been a rich and fruitful two years of collecting experience in every way and I look forward to many more years to come!

Best,
Samson
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Samson - a young new collector desiring knowledge
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 10:21:37 am »

Dear Joey,
thank you for your nice words. Be sure the same is for me.
Like Samson, I fully agree with you, you are so right.
My passion about Chinese ceramics, which starts about 15 years ago, and then snuff bottles, has deeply modified my life. It brought knowledge about Chinese history and art that I would never have had otherwise. It widened my knowledge of technologies and Art, it allows me to be in contact and exchange information with interesting people from every place in the World; some of them with a larger culture than myself, who enriched me. And I got the pleasure to personally meet some of them.
Kind regards
 Giovanni
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Joey
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 11:18:10 am »

Dear Giovanni,

      My pleasure. And I didn't even have to mention all the delicious roast duck or goose I've eaten with you and with other friends on the Forum!  Roll Eyes Shocked Grin
     
     But seriously, I have learned so much from all my friends on the Forum and in the ICSBS, it has truly been a blessing in my life.

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

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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 10:11:47 pm »

Dear Joey and Giovanni,

I share your experience.

As a Chinese, I learn a lot more by being on the Forum. The information and leads posted by fellow collectors and friends on the Forum always bring new insights on things related to Chinese culture, Chinese arts and crafts which I overlooked before. Your contributions on the technology and processes related to snuff bottles production and reproduction have sharpened my ability to discern and differentiate the different standards of bottles.

Inn Bok
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Joey
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 02:13:54 pm »

Dear Inn Bok,

     Please be sure that your contributions and those of other native Chinese members of the Forum, is equally important and supplies those of us not born into Chinese culture with a lot of context we'd not otherwise have realised.

    It is like the difference between my understanding of the minutiae of Jewish Ritual Laws dealing with food since I can remember [back to 2 1/2 years of age] and that of a well educated convert to Orthodox Judaism. The convert can learn the facts and details, but will never have the automatic understanding and response I have.

   In the same way, things that seem obvious to you might not even occur to me.
   Like my discussion about a bottle with a tree-rat subject with one of the collectors I visited on my East Asian tour a few weeks ago. A certain 'guru', whom we'll call 'Hugo Boss', had stated categorically that a bottle with a Tree-rat could not be 'right'.

   But the only reason we call a certain subject 'squirrels and grape vines' is because he and other Western 'gurus' were disgusted by 'rats'.  But there is the Year of the Rat, in East Asian culture. Rats are NOT a priori, a negative in East Asian Culture.

    So thank you to all Native Chinese members; you've helped me get a better grasp on Chinese art and the context in which these beautiful treasures were made and enjoyed.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

rosegl
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 09:01:46 am »

Hello,
Last January, I posted a message asking for help to establish a ctalogue of our bottles including information on the previous owners. Thanks to many members, I coud identify many of them (e.g. Constantine de Naray, Basil Zacharis, Isabel Dodge). At the moment I'm desperately searching for information about Mrs. A. M. Robertson. Her collection (or part of it) was sold in two parts at Sotheby's in London on June 24 and October 7, 1975. Did anyone know her or have at least information about her first name and the place she lived? Thanks in advance for any information. I join a picture of one of her bottles.
Best
Georges


* SB 067 38 Grünes Glas Kopie.jpg (17.18 KB, 146x240 - viewed 11 times.)
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Joey
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 05:53:43 pm »

Dear Georges,

     I am impressed. I've never heard of Constantine de Naray or Basil Zacharis; and Isabel Dodge, I'm assuming is from the Dodge collection you asked me about earlier.

     The earliest Membership Directory of the ICSBS in my possession in Israel, is from 1980, 5 years after the auctions you referenced [and I'm assuming, at least 5 years after the lady stopped collecting]; I checked the Journal Index volume for 1969 to 1978, and no Mrs. A. M. Robertson appears.

   I will make a note to check my earlier material from the HK SBS [from 1971 to 1975] and see if I have any earlier ICSBS Directories, when I can access my Irish library, in 2 weeks.

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

rosegl
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2018, 02:40:10 am »

Dear Joey,
thanks for your reply and your help. Basil Zacharis was a Greek-American shiping-company owner (1914-1981). He is said to have possessed over 2500 bottles. Some were sold at Sotheby's on December 20, 1974. Constantine G. de Naray is his nephew, British-Greek, and inherited many of the bottles. He says to be living between Athens and London and being involved in various annual festivals on Hydra and Spetses. I'm joining the picture of one of their bottles. Isabel Beatty Dodge (1889-1969) and John Franklin Dodge (1890-1970) were American collectors from Newport Beach CA. A couple of Isabel's letters to her friend Lilla Perry about a visit John and she paid to London in 1962 are conserved in the LACMA archives.

By the way: may I ask you a second opinion about the age of a pink sandwich glass bottle bought in Hong Kong in 1999?

My best

Georges
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rosegl
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2018, 02:52:51 am »

Dear Joey,
thanks for your reply and your help. Basil Zacharis was a Greek-American shiping-company owner (1914-1981). He is said to have possessed over 2500 bottles. Some were sold at Sotheby's on December 20, 1974. Constantine G. de Naray is his nephew, British-Greek, and inherited many of the bottles. He says to be living between Athens and London and being involved in various annual festivals on Hydra and Spetses. I'm joining the picture of one of their bottles. Isabel Beatty Dodge (1889-1969) and John Franklin Dodge (1890-1970) were American collectors from Newport Beach CA. A couple of Isabel's letters to her friend Lilla Perry about a visit John and she paid to London in 1962 are conserved in the LACMA archives.

By the way: may I ask you a second opinion about the age of a pink sandwich glass bottle bought in Hong Kong in 1999?

My best

Georges



* SB 053 -2.jpg (3303.49 KB, 1626x2443 - viewed 9 times.)

* SB 208 Blauer Fisch.jpg (52.24 KB, 263x427 - viewed 7 times.)
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Joey
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2018, 03:24:05 am »

Dear Georges,

     I now know who the two gentlemen and the lady are, but still had never heard of them.
And that was a huge void in my knowledge of snuff bottle collectors, so again, thank you.

     I've never, to my recollection, seen a bottle with any provenance from the two Greek men.
I've heard before about the Dodge Collection, but assumed it must be from the Michigan area - the carmakers became immensely wealthy, before the car industry was so heavily regulated.

     I'm not good at judging from photos, and am not sure about either bottle you posted; the top one is MUCH too large - I feel like the blind man asked to judge an elephant by only feeling the leg - I can't even make out the design. It needs to be reduced to 600-800 whatever the measurement is from the 3000+. The one you ask about, is 60 or so, and needs to be enlarged to 600-800.

    But Steven has a much better eye than me over the screen. I'm best 'live'. Then my judgement, honed over 48 years, comes into play.
I can tell you that the green one with the qilong dragons on the shoulders, looks 100% 'right' [colour, shape, etc]. With 'Sandwich glass' in pink and white from the 18th C., it's been my experience that the carver revealed layers of white, then pink, etc., but I could be mistaken.

   I tried to figure out the design above [the 3000+ one]; is it flanking archaistic dragons?
If so, I really want to see it in the proper size, because I love that subject.

Best,
Joey
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 03:38:32 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

rosegl
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2018, 03:37:02 am »

Dear Joey,
my browser told me the sizes were ok...

I'm trying again.
The aquamarin glass bottle is from the collection Zacharis ó> de Naray, sold at Sotheby's on March 11, 1975.

The sandwich glass bottle was bought at Victor Choi's in Hongkong in 1999.

My best

Georges
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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 03:43:39 am »

Dear Georges,

     The Aquamarine glass looks like it could be superb; the second one, I can't tell at the moment. Please look at the number of KB in the brackets under the photo; that will tell you the size. If I remember correctly, George always said 600-800 KB was optimal.
     I've never heard of Victor Choi's, but from Nov. 1996 to Oct. 2014, I stayed away from Hong Kong, so it doesn't really mean anything that I'd not heard the name.
   
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

rosegl
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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 03:50:15 am »

Here they are again.

Georges


* SB 208 neu.jpg (34.61 KB, 292x600 - viewed 9 times.)

* SB 053 neu.jpg (193.3 KB, 379x600 - viewed 12 times.)
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