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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
April 24, 2018, 09:48:37 pm
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Beware with not honest sellers

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Author Topic: Beware with not honest sellers  (Read 196 times)
Fiveroosters
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« on: February 02, 2018, 05:30:23 am »

Dear all,
this is to let the beginners to be aware about the many scams that can easily be found in the Chinese snuff bottles area.
This is an example. This guy buys average or low-grade bottles and then try to resell them at absurd high prices, by means of a false, not correct description.
He sells either on ebay or Trocadero.
Here are some examples.
The bottle here below is described as being made of bamboo and having an aquamarine stopper.
The wood is not bamboo and the stopper is made of plastic:
https://www.trocadero.com/stores/Forestangel/items/1368784/Antique-Chinese-Carved-Bamboo-Gourd-shaped-Snuff-Bottle-Rare
This one is described as early 19th century, with stone stopper and in outstanding conditions.
The stopper is glass and the rim has some chips. Besides not being early 19th century:
https://www.trocadero.com/stores/Forestangel/items/1368783/Early-19th-Overlay-on-Transparent-Glass-Snuff-Bottle-Dragon
And what about this? Enamel on bronze with gold (cloisonné) snuff bottle: gold? Where is the gold?:
https://www.trocadero.com/stores/Forestangel/items/1368788/EARLY-BRONZE-CLOISONNE-ENAMELED-SNUFF-BOTTLE
I know those bottles, which was sold very cheap, at an Italian auction house.
I wonder what this seller does when, having sold at high price one of those bottles, the unfortunate buyer will ask a refund because fraudly described.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Rube
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 06:20:21 am »

Giovanni,
Thanks for the head’s up!

Cheers,
Rube
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 08:38:30 am »

Thank you for your excellent advice.  It is a shame that their are such dishonest people, but new collectors like myself are always in danger of being cheated. So thank you again.

  kaja
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forestman
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 12:31:09 pm »

Dear Giovanni,

I thought I recognised the name of the seller and on checking my ebay watch list I found I have one of their bottles on it which is a well carved black over clear overlay of auspicious objects.

On a first quick look it seems good which is why I was watching it but when you look closer the base glass has numerous small cracks very similar to a blue chi dragon overlay I have posted on here which suggest it is newer than claimed. There is also a chip out of the overlay so it's far from the perfect condition claimed.

It was obvious when I looked at their other snuff bottles that their descriptions were wrong and their prices varied with seemingly no logic to why one was more expensive than the other but most of their bottles on ebay were a better quality than the examples you found which are all pretty horrid.

It is shocking to see the false claims made by far to many sellers and the best advice to anyone new to collecting is to buy some decent reference material like auction catalogues and get a feel for recognising the good, bad and ugly so you don't get caught out.

I take any description with a pinch of salt and concentrate on pictures and go back to them a few times because it's easy to miss things if you don't.

There has been a UK seller listing claimed 19th Century jade bottles which had metal screw stoppers on them and were factory fresh. At least bidding started at £1 on those but they did attract quite a few bids.

I see the American antique dealer (not) has relisted a moulded resin "cinnabar" bottle again at the bargain price of $4000.

I'm clearly turning into a grumpy old man as I am getting close to messaging a few sellers about their bottles  Cheesy

Regards, Adrian. 
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Wattana
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 12:22:16 am »

Dear Giovanni,

Thanks for re-opening this topic. On previous occasions I believe we discussed whether it is ethical to publish a black-list of such vendors on the forum. If I remember correctly, George thought there was no chance of being sued by an aggrieved seller. I think that so long as we say "be careful when buying from these sellers", rather than "these sellers are dishonest", there can be no come-back.

Maybe someone with a bit of legal knowledge can confirm.

Tom
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Tom
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Fiveroosters
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 01:42:37 am »

Dear Tom,
well said. I thought exactly about that before to post, and I did remember what said by George.
Then what I did is to report unconfutable facts: that stopper is plastic and not aquamarine, that wood is not bamboo, and so on.
The seller can’t do nothing, those are facts; for that reason I purposely choose to publish this in a public Forum.
Kind regards,
Giovanni
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Rube
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 08:46:20 am »

Giovanni,

Well done!  I've followed this seller (who I suspect is a member of this forum, though has never posted) and many of the bottles listed look ok, so, I'll have to increase my level of scrutiny.
Tom, I too, think this is an important and informative topic, given the high quality of many fakes in the marketplace today. 
Often times, I've looked at bottles from unknown auction houses, and pass them over, for that very reason.  Instead, buying from some of the more reputable houses, and paying the premiums.  It certainly would be helpful to know which houses and sellers are routinely passing off "fakes".  I think (and I have no background in law)  this forum is a place to share ideas, and thoughts regarding snuff bottles, and though there is much objective information which can be obtained here, there is also much subjective information, which in the end, is merely opinion.
At any rate, Giovanni, you presented this information correctly with "irrefutable" facts and I thank you!

Cheers,
Rube.
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector

joearp
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 05:53:33 pm »

Thanks for this informative post. 
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 09:40:30 pm »


Giovanni and all,

I always like to see this discussion from time to time.  Not only to make some of our our less informed and/or more novice collectors aware, but as Adrain points out it's even a reminder to me that I have to fully exercise my due diligence and take my time when inspecting bottles online or from photos. 

But even better yet is how best to approach, raise, and discuss this topic among ourselves.  Thank you Giovanni for the informative thread, and to all others for your comments on how to keep such discussions civil.  Kutos to all in the discussion here.

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

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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 12:31:23 pm »

Dear Adrian,

     If it has very many very fine cracks on the inside surface of the bottle, that is a sign that it is an early (ca.1690-1750) glass bottle. See #13 in my 1987 catalogue. The modern ones have very large cracks, not a myriad of fine cracks.
Best,
Joey


On a first quick look it seems good which is why I was watching it but when you look closer the base glass has numerous small cracks very similar to a blue chi dragon overlay I have posted on here which suggest it is newer than claimed. 
Regards, Adrian. 
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

forestman
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 03:48:48 am »

Dear Joey,

It isn't crizzled like yours which is associated with early production. I wouldn't call them very large cracks, I did see an overlay on ebay with very large cracks which the seller was suggesting (wrongly) were deliberate. The cracks in the bottle I refer to are associated with incorrect matching of glass expansion properties between the colours which cause problems on cooling.

Regards, Adrian.
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Joey
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 05:40:35 am »

Dear Adrian,

     I forgot you've studied glass-making. Fair enough.
I was hoping you'd actually found an early glass bottle, but not recognised it as such. A pity I was wrong.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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