Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇

Public Forum Categories and Boards => Porcelain and Yixing Chinese Snuff Bottles 瓷器和宜兴鼻烟壶 => Topic started by: rpfstoneman on December 25, 2012, 11:54:13 pm



Title: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on December 25, 2012, 11:54:13 pm
Today gave me the chance to take some pictures of a few bottles I have acquired over the last two months.  This is a blue and white porcelain snuff bottle that I purchase from John O'Hara, a fellow collector that has a passion for dragon motif bottles.  He acquired it from a well-known collector from Wilmington, Del., who was known as the “Blue Dragon Lady”.

Blue & White Porcelain Dragon Bottle:
A porcelain snuff bottle with a slender cylindrical shape with a straight undecorated neck.  A finely painted five clawed scaly dragon with it's head bursting through a 12 pillowed cloud and body trailing behind.  Also, illustrated is a tiger standing on rocky perch below and to the right of the dragon.  Very fine white clay potted porcelain with glazed base and unglazed raised foot rim, no mark.  Green stone stopper with an ivory spoon.  Height is 7.9 cm by 2.7 cm in diameter.  c. 1820-1880.

(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FDragon%2520Bottles%2F100_1094-1.jpg&hash=7100b3851066f08f047cf34a18c26ef6)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FDragon%2520Bottles%2F100_1089-1.jpg&hash=5b15be2c660c2c3b3a3be34b4c18bcf2)

(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FDragon%2520Bottles%2F100_1090-1.jpg&hash=65df8c62d75caadd18dc6963611a6aaf)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FDragon%2520Bottles%2F100_1091-1.jpg&hash=1b83dc6f184a6d2c019626664dd5b92b)  (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FDragon%2520Bottles%2F100_1093-1.jpg&hash=56945b3ce1316e4564b46a6bc3fd1aa1)

All comments and any additional background information is encouraged and welcome, Charll
    


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Steven on December 26, 2012, 12:08:22 am
Hi Charll,

congratulations!!


A Very lovely dragon bottle, the  motif is not so common on the snuff bottle, its 'fighting between the tiger and dragon' the pillow cloud is very special as well.

Steven


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on December 26, 2012, 02:50:16 am
Beautiful bottle Charll !

Lovely spoon/stopper too !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 26, 2012, 08:10:33 am
Stunning bottle Charll!
I don't remember seeing this one. I'm sure I'd have remembered.
Congratulations.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on December 26, 2012, 09:07:22 pm
This is one I'd love to own Charll!  Congrats...


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on December 27, 2012, 02:37:26 pm
Love the dragon breaking through the cloud!  Glad you got this one Charll, know you are going to treasure it for a long time!   Jo


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on December 28, 2012, 01:08:17 am
Charll,

The combination of dragon and tiger is relatively rare on snuff bottles. I have a duanstone bottle with the same theme. It is accompanied by an inscription in seal script: 'feng yun ji hui', which I understand to mean "the meeting of the wind and the clouds", the dragon and tiger embodying these two elements.

A very attractive and unusual B&W porcelain bottle.

Best wishes to all for the New Year!


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Lamlam on December 28, 2012, 04:03:03 am
'feng yun ji hui', does mean "the meeting of the wind and the clouds" literally.  It is however mostly used to symbolize 'an upcoming battle', 'a meeting of rivalry', 'an incoming storm', etc.

Nice bottle to say the least



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on December 28, 2012, 04:18:41 am
Thanks Lamlam,

If that is so, I am wondering what receiving such a bottle as a gift can mean! Let's have a fight?  :)
 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on December 28, 2012, 05:33:38 am
Thank you Tom and LamLam, I didn't know the meaning of the dragon and tiger motif.
Nice bottle dear Charll, the dragon is very well painted considering the small dimension.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 28, 2012, 03:16:40 pm
Dear Charll, Tom, Lamlam, et al,
    I understood that the motif of dragon and tiger symbolised yin and yang guardians, and was meant to be a sign of protection.  It is a positive symbol, not a negative.  One would hardly put a negative symbol on a snuff bottle, whether meant as a personal possession or as a gift.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on December 28, 2012, 11:08:12 pm
All,

I’ve been trying to figure out soft paste porcelains and the surface interaction with glazing for over a year now.  After hitting upon a few key web sites and discussion threads with referrals to references recently, and acquiring the bottle illustrated below, I think I almost have a handle on the subject of soft paste snuff bottles.
  
The bottle shown below is a soft paste glaze porcelain bottle, but without the usual crackling.  It has a matted silky sheen and a soft waxy feel upon warming in the hand.  The porcelain body has a thin glaze coating which is another feature of soft paste.  The glazed surface is full of minute abrasive wear as if it has been sanded with fine sandpaper.  

Underglazed cobalt blue landscape with two figures standing before an open pavilion on a wooded peninsula surrounded by a large lake with boats and birds.  Gilded rim antique button of blue glass for a stopper with a mother-of-pearl button collar.   Base has an underglazed blue double ring with no mark and a raised unglazed foot rim.    Height is 6 cm with a 4 cm wide bulb.

Speculation on age is late 19th century or early 20th, or it could even be post 1950?

The bottle was acquired from an estate sale in Upper State New York recently.  Price $15.

(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F100_1083-1.jpg&hash=81b144d0b9dc3c984d163ec50f9daf0d) (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F100_1084-1.jpg&hash=fc3e27f34681015599d408867adfae66) (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F100_1085-1.jpg&hash=38e27b3a074f1aff7b7785e95f896738)
(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F100_1087-1.jpg&hash=570e9b30261b372d6da0e02190ca199c) (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F100_1088-1.jpg&hash=d770f049317303d9dae62038a679ae0a)


Charll's Friday Night Bottle, Enjoy and Read Further if Interested.



Soft Paste Porcelains- The term 'soft paste' may be somewhat of a misnomer in that the body does not appear to be any softer than ordinary porcelain.  Generally not as stable in firing, soft paste glazed items often may exhibit production issues like fire-cracks.  The glaze of soft paste is not fused to the body in the same manner as hard paste porcelains, but remains on the surface as a coating, thus many soft paste items exhibit crazing or crackling of the glazed surface.  The glaze is often crackled as a result of a difference in cooling between the glaze and the body.   Chinese soft paste originally was made of a white-firing clay, called huashi or 'slippery stone', which use is documented in reports from 1712 and 1722 by the Jesuit Pere d'Entrecolles.  The surface may look creamy or ‘soapy’ and have a silky waxy feel.  Soft paste porcelains are less resilient than hard paste and its glaze can be scratched more easily.

As this clay was expensive, soft-paste pieces are usual small and thinly potted. They are also well-painted, as the body is particularly suitable for detailed drawing.  Besides the 'true' soft-paste, there are pieces with an ordinary porcelain body and a coating of huashi clay, which gives the same effect.

Distinguishing characteristics of soft paste include:
-a more opaque body (translucency), but it may not always seem entirely consistent
-when chipped soft paste porcelain exhibits a granular interior, rather than one that is glassy
-granular porous body, not completely melted
-glaze not fully fused with body due to 2 firing rounds, more are required if overglazed enamels are used
-overglaze enamels tend to sink in the glaze
-feels warm in the hand
-glaze may be runny and may pool in crevices of carved features or the interiors of foot-rims
-glazed surface has a tendency have body-cracks (because of low fusion), but this can be controlled to provide a non-cracking or non-crazed surface
-glaze has a more creamy-white color
-glazed surface is slightly porous
-an absorbency of the fired body which can be seen as staining under the glaze from use and/or exposure to the elements
-there is a tendency to have finer quality underglaze blue designs or drawings due to a superior adhesion to the porcelain surface




Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 29, 2012, 07:46:43 am
Charll,
     Thank you for all that information. Can you give sources for it, so I can study further?

     I had been under the impression that the difference between hard paste (true) porcelain and soft paste porcelain, was that the hard paste was 90% kaolin clay, and 10% petuntse, a calcium carbonate mineral discovered by the Chinese almost 800 years ago (ie.,ca. 1200 CE), while the soft paste was 100% kaolin, and it contracted and expanded differently than the glazing, thus causing the crackling. I was not aware that you could get soft paste without crackling.

      Dr. Steven Little, at the time Asian Art curator at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, in Hawaii (now the Honolulu Museum of Arts, since they discovered 87% of visitors to Hawaii thought the HAA was an art school!), was the one who told me what I've summarised above, when we were looking at the Idemitsu Museum collection of Yuan & Ming Blue & White Ceramics, then on loan to the HAA (Nov./Dec.1989). However, I could have misunderstood his explanation.

      I've indeed heard that soft paste porcelain was invented during the Kangxi reign (1661-1722), which would agree more with your information then mine.
   
    In any event, facinating information and a beautiful bottle. I think it is post 1950s, but would have bought it myself. A beautiful little bottle! Congratulations. Hate the stopper, though.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on December 29, 2012, 12:17:35 pm
Joey,

It pains  ;) me that you don't like the stopper, because of the time and effort I put into it.  The bottle actually came without a stopper and I made up three different ones from antique buttons.  Donna even said this was not the best one I made, but this one showed off the double blue lines below the mouth the best.

Post 1950's!  I think I would tend to agree, for I have not seen this form in older snuff bottles.  The interesting thing though it is a most practical form for use as a snuff bottle with easy access to the full interior by a spoon and ease of cleaning.  The other thing with this particular bottle is the "feel in the hand".  This is the best feeling bottle I have seen so far from my experience.  The warm waxy smoothness that is generated as you handle it is a wonder feeling.  It's like a silk heating pad!

Charll  


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on December 30, 2012, 07:24:04 am
Thanks Charll,

A very informative post. I have never quite understood what the different processes entail. Part of the problem is the terminology: 'soft' and 'hard'. Are you saying that all soft paste porcelain is fired twice (second time for the glaze), while hard paste fuses the glaze better by only being fired once?

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 31, 2012, 06:26:04 pm
Charll,
   Press the mouth of the bottle onto paper, and trace it, thereby adding a tiny bit to the mouth. Send it to me, and I'll try to find a lapis lazuli cabochon and a black collar, from my stock of stoppers, which will suit better, IMHO.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on January 10, 2013, 12:42:06 am

All,

In regard to the blue and white bottle with the dragon and tiger, Joey appears to be correct in the aspect of yin and yang symbology.  According to Terese Tse Bartholomew in ‘Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art’, the tiger is one of the oldest protectors of China.  When teamed with dragon is represents the ‘Yin and Yang’ guardians used in protecting palaces as well as tombs. 

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on January 10, 2013, 01:27:32 am

Are you saying that all soft paste porcelain is fired twice (second time for the glaze), while hard paste fuses the glaze better by only being fired once?


Charll,
    Another post from Joey came in after mine, so not sure you spotted my question. Would like some clarification....!
Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on January 10, 2013, 01:40:18 am
Tom,

Will have to go back an check my notes, but this does seem to be the case with the initial glazing phase as I recall.  Any over enameling would require an additional firing or firings regardless of whether it is soft or hard paste porcelain.

Charll  


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on January 10, 2013, 01:45:41 am
Thanks Charll. Noted


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 10, 2013, 02:23:49 am
Dear Tom,
if I have correctly understood your question:
real porcelain (hard paste) is fired at over 1300 degrees celsius. Soft paste is fired at lower temperature, about 1100-1200dgrees. under the point of view of the glaze, both hard and soft paste are fired once. To be more specific, under-glaze decorated items must then be fired once at that temperature. The problem in that case is when both cobalt blue and red copper are present together, being the red much more sensitive to the temperature and kiln atmosphere, and that is the reason why successfully fird underglaze red and blue are more rare.
All the over-glaze enamels are fired at much lower temperature, about 800 degress. That means that all over-glaze items are fired at least twice. In some cases, more than twice depending on the type of enamels.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on January 10, 2013, 03:01:41 am
Dear Giovanni,

Thank you for your answer. However, that still does not explain why soft paste glazes 'crackle', which I think Charll's description was attempting to do.

Confused in Bangkok...


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on January 10, 2013, 08:45:05 am
    Dr. Steve Little, presently Chinese Arts curator at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), located near the La Brea Tar Pits (you can see dinosaurs' last resting place as well as great Arts holdings!); formerly Asian Arts Curator at HAA (Honolulu Academy of Arts; now Honolulu Museum of Arts); and then Pritzker curator of Asian Arts, Chicago Art Institute; is known as an expert in Asian Arts, especially Chinese.
    His explanation to me, was that 'soft paste porcelain' is 100% kaolin (china) clay, and the clay and glaze expand and contract differently, so that causes the cracks, and hence, the crackle. He said 'hard paste porcelain' was 90 % kaolin clay and 10% Petuntse (a calcium carbonate compound) which caused the clay body NOT to expand and contract,  stopping this reaction.
    This explanation is different than Charll's. I don't know which is correct.

Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on January 10, 2013, 12:27:52 pm
All,

I’m still trying to answer these questions myself.  When looking at this issue you need to make the distinction between 1) the body (hard or soft paste porcelain, i.e., the clay mixture of the body as Joey points outs), 2) the over glaze mixture, and 3) how the over glaze reacts to with the body when fired.  Yes, my understanding is hard past porcelain (the unfired clay base) is decorated, glazed, and then fired once.  Additional over glazing decorating would require one or more additional firings (ex., over glaze iron red enamel that is then gilded with gold would require two additional firings which the same process as I remember my mother doing in her years of ceramics).  All these firings at different temperatures as Giovanni points out.

Now, to the question of soft paste.  Is it fired once or twice in the initial forming of the glazed item?  I don’t know for sure.  Will have to get back to my notes and reference sources unless someone else here knows.  The answer could be both process would work depending on the glaze mixture and how it reacts with the unfired or fire body. 

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 27, 2013, 12:48:39 am
A new porcelain bottle just acquired.  Any speculation on the age of this blue and white bottle?

Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Rounded rectangular form with a tapering base, blue and white hard paste porcelain bottle. A scene of two fishermen facing each other over a watery landscape. One fisherman on land sitting at the water’s edge with a pole laying alongside on the ground and another fisherman in a sampan emerging from behind a rock formation.  Raise unglazed foot rim and glazed base with no mark.  Height 7 cm without stopper.  Coral bead stopper with green stone collar and old ivory spoon. Cork is a thin cork veneer coiled around the stem of the spoon.  Came out of a Rhode Island estate.   Thanks for any insight and comments, Charll

(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Fcaf401d0-e663-4c2b-9094-cebde0bccb53_zpsc118cbca.jpg&hash=270fa03f365c6c7eed7543aec57c7a34) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/caf401d0-e663-4c2b-9094-cebde0bccb53_zpsc118cbca.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F41d74cd5-92bf-4c64-b2cc-2065cafb992f_zpsa0e290d6.jpg&hash=66c6a48e7d231980785a5db5b41d3811) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/41d74cd5-92bf-4c64-b2cc-2065cafb992f_zpsa0e290d6.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Feecf4ce8-45a2-46ce-8107-fddfa6b3e9a5_zpsb785364f.jpg&hash=cf084226268d89bdd7a64dc0c8fdd6cd) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/eecf4ce8-45a2-46ce-8107-fddfa6b3e9a5_zpsb785364f.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Fd4460b80-4bfb-45c9-adef-f184205e6e89_zps8ce5a312.jpg&hash=5732336af22277a4e0aa2926d7f84499) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/d4460b80-4bfb-45c9-adef-f184205e6e89_zps8ce5a312.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F2af36166-f044-439f-91a8-e1327e12113b_zpsc6ad9ce8.jpg&hash=e2ead836268dc28bd4ea6e99640a095d) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/2af36166-f044-439f-91a8-e1327e12113b_zpsc6ad9ce8.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 27, 2013, 01:38:06 am
Dear Charll,
your bottle is a clear example of how it is difficult to date them by a no expert of snuff bottles. Being you expert also on porcelain, I think that you know very well that the type and style of decoration, the smooth paste and the yellowish border of the glaze on the base, if seen by an expert on porcelain, would leading him to point toward Kangxi, which is not possible for what I know and because the border on the collar is typical of Qianlong. I am saying this only for pointing out how difficult is the dating of snuff bottles for a no expert like myself.
Dear Tom, I have seen that I didn't answer to your question "However, that still does not explain why soft paste glazes 'crackle'...". I believe that we have already discussed this in another thread, it is matter of different shrinking ratio, intentionally achieved by means of different recipes.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on October 27, 2013, 01:43:38 am
I can only comment that it is a lovely bottle Charll... !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 27, 2013, 02:14:32 am
Giovanni and all,

Well I'm no porcelain expert, but I do know a little about porcelain snuff bottles. Quoting from Joey's catalog, bottle 60, page 89 of "In Search of a Dragon", according to the analysis by John Ault, the trefoil band around the neck without dots is the earliest form (as early a Qianlong), although it was used into the nineteenth century as well.  So the age of this bottle could range from the late 1700's to the earlier 1900's.  I'm just trying to see if we can narrow it down a bit for I really don't know.  That's why I appreciate the opinions of fellow bottle collectors and particularly those that collect porcelains, like Giovanni.  Giovanni nailed some of the key indicators and issues on dating, and as he indicated in the snuff bottle world it often adds to the confusion. 

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on October 27, 2013, 06:31:01 am
Charll,
    An attractive bottle - I really like the theme. I have little knowledge of porcelain bottles other than what I pick up from reading books and catalogue descriptions (which are often misleading!). John Ault and some of Robert Kleiner's books discuss blue & white bottles at some length, as I am sure you are aware. I am sorry I cannot add anything that has not already been said there.

Giovanni,
    Thanks for your reply to my earlier post from January!

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 27, 2013, 11:30:51 am
Dear Charll,
   A real beauty. Congratulations!
   Second, I must correct a small error on your part. The bottle could date from the late 18th C. (Late 1700s), to the early 19th C. (Early 1800s, NOT 1900s). I would have thought a  40 year range good enough, but I will tell you, based on my bottles, I would say 1780-1800. But I'm not Robert Kleiner, from the point of dating ability, sadly...
Best,
Joey

Charll, after looking at it a lot, I would even go as early as ca.1770-1800.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 27, 2013, 11:43:52 am
Wow dear Charll, congratulations! I am glad that Joey confirmed that we can apply more or less the same rules of the porcelain. Your bottle reallly has the feeling of an 18th century porcelain.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Steven on October 27, 2013, 11:35:04 pm
Wonderful bottle Charll,

I actually placed a  low bid on it, but the pictures ware not so well, so I could not go higher than you.:)

So glad that you won it and with a good price.

Steven



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on December 30, 2013, 01:53:09 pm
Stunning Bottle Charll!!! I purchased one that reminds me of your beauty from Kleiner last May.  Glad this one ended up with you and know you will enjoy it very much.   We are all so glad you shared the photo with us!  Jo


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 30, 2013, 02:57:38 pm
Dear Charll,
    Your stopper on this bottle has an original cork. That thin 'cork veneer' wrapped around the base of the spoon was how all old bottles were stoppered. Many of them have crumbled over the years, but yours looks quite good from the photo.
     Giovanni has tried to replicate it.
Happy New Year 2014 Everyone!
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on December 30, 2013, 05:13:57 pm
Dear Joey,
I have a further new about replicating the correct cork assembly, will post everything as I will take some pictures.
Wishing a great New Year to all the members,
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on December 30, 2013, 05:54:54 pm
Happy New Year to everyone, and may we all share wonderful 2014 bottle collecting together for yet another year !!


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on December 31, 2013, 06:29:31 am
Happy New Year to all on the Forum !!

Only around 4 hours to go in Thailand !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on December 31, 2013, 06:41:23 am
And ten hours and an half here in Italy!
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 31, 2013, 09:09:28 am
Here in Jerusalem, my party starts at 19:00, and we are going to celebrate New Year's in the Seychelle Islands - it is the closest non-hostile state East of us, and two hours ahead of Israel. Jerusalemites like to get to bed relatively early, so we can 'raise a glass' at 22:00, and by 23:00 everyone will be off home.
  Best of 2014 to all on the Forum,
Joey

  I was wrong - by 22:30 I didn't have any guests left, and by 23:30 the staff had left. So I got to chill out watching "Monk", one of my favourite shows, followed by "NCIS" another.
A GREAT 2014 to All!
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on December 31, 2013, 11:06:24 pm
happy New Year to all!!  And happy collecting.... 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on February 15, 2014, 12:59:25 am

Well, this recent purchase turned out to be a nice find!  Anyone have a tighter idea on the age?  Charll

Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Rounded rectangular form with a slight tapering to the base, blue and white, soft paste porcelain bottle.  Qing white glaze blue &white figure motif with Gu crackles (or ice crackles).  The scene is of nine (9) figures on railed patio assisting members in plucking tree frawns.  Possibly an extended family for the figures appear to be grandparents, parents, and children.   Blue ringed neck with three bats.  Fine brush strokes with detail and good use of varying density of the cobalt blue pigment; garments and tree leaves are a dark, rich, deep blue.  Raised unglazed foot rim and glazed base with a six character Yongzheng mark.  Height is 7.3 cm without stopper.  A lingering sent of snuff.

Period: early 19th century, maybe earlier.
   
Condition: Abrasions from use, some pitting marks in the glaze, gold enameled restoration at base of the bottle were a portion of glaze was dislodged sometime in the past. 
 
Provenance:  Collected by George W. Bierce (born March 15, 1871, death Sept 1, 1962) in China in the 1920’s, and has been handed down in the Bierce family over the last ninety years.  George Bierce was an art and antique dealer in Cleveland Ohio, traveling extensively for antiquities and art, and had a working association with the Cleveland Historical Society.

(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Ffbb4cb6c-081d-48a1-9ef2-93803ab8447d_zps0728946f.jpg&hash=26bdb55ad70b7c6c99287292eec12ccc) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/fbb4cb6c-081d-48a1-9ef2-93803ab8447d_zps0728946f.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F8e35580b-8407-48bd-91cb-563eb1561fe2_zps6502e1c4.jpg&hash=3af1562bb51145874e714413e26c799e) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/8e35580b-8407-48bd-91cb-563eb1561fe2_zps6502e1c4.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2F945a8024-57ce-43dd-8d09-09a85506c895_zps74cd191b.jpg&hash=445ec58033e955b5a2d65852259988ad) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/945a8024-57ce-43dd-8d09-09a85506c895_zps74cd191b.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Fa379eaaf-dcda-4c9b-91a7-b43ba3e29141_zps869c08bb.jpg&hash=fab8ad903fe12e9b95773ed461203e21) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/a379eaaf-dcda-4c9b-91a7-b43ba3e29141_zps869c08bb.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Ffb7a7afb-a8fc-4392-b355-085c6e745e3d_zps4c6c6e5d.jpg&hash=ff0262dd99e601c8a10bdcb067a9d703) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/2d190079-433e-4f47-a850-7356796f3860_zps60b20d66.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Fde66170e-96a1-4608-b300-52bf6ee842cc_zps06affaad.jpg&hash=3713ff90bacd3cf2a12d95e032938ad3) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/de66170e-96a1-4608-b300-52bf6ee842cc_zps06affaad.jpg.html)(https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1223.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fdd517%2Frpfstoneman%2FPorcelain%2520Bottles%2Fdb4e0938-773c-48a7-8187-9169be33615a_zps118116f4.jpg&hash=94bfea6c2c3413bf6b2e2507031eb3fa) (http://s1223.photobucket.com/user/rpfstoneman/media/Porcelain%20Bottles/db4e0938-773c-48a7-8187-9169be33615a_zps118116f4.jpg.html)



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on February 15, 2014, 01:56:35 am
Dear Charll,
congratulations for another nice addition to your collection. Nice bottle and surely old, but I would exclude the possibility of being it 18th century.
The decoration is really strange, some features are new to me:
I have never seen the hands of the figures drawn that way, they looks like mitten gloves.
Never seen the grass made that way, looking the same as pine needles.
The faces too are strange and somehow also the rocks.
I can’t then say that the style is typical of some specific period, let say Tongzhi or either. Really strange, but no doubt the bottle is old.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on February 15, 2014, 02:03:03 am
Wow Charll... What a beauty, and really an interesting theme !

A special figural example for your collection for sure ..



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on February 15, 2014, 06:43:49 am
Dear Charll,
     I agree with Giovanni, re. its being old. I also can't tell you its dating, but would say Tongzhi and later is reasonable, though it could well be Daoguang. I wish the late Robert Kleiner could have seen it. He would have nailed it immediately, I'm sure.
     Is that a gold lacquer repair I saw on the foot in the first photo? That would show it was in a fine Chinese or Japanese collection before it was in the American one.
     Beautiful bottle, Charll. Congratulations.
    Oh, I now have a panda bottle by Wei Jianchao ! The same artist who painted your two panda bottles. Rick very kindly let me purchase his.
     I am so pleased to finally have one, though somehow 'finally' doesn't seem the right word, seeing as how I disdained what I saw as a 'tourist subject' ,  till I saw your two magnificent examples in late Oct. of 2012.
    Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on February 15, 2014, 12:26:36 pm
Giovanni,

You may be right about later 19th century date.  I was hoping it was a bit earlier based on a past discussion I had with Robert Kleiner.  Robert in discussing soft paste use on dragon pillar bottles indicated that the use of soft paste was more prevalent in the late 18th century up to the 1830's, at which time it's use faded for some period of time do to the cost or more limited supply of the material.  He seemed to infer that if the bottle was old, it could likely fall into this earlier time frame.  But hey, this was just a conversion and I have not found such conclusions in print as of yet.

Also, the pine needle looking plant around the rocks are just that, young pine seedlings from my perspective. 

Joey,

It very well could be a black lacquer fill on the repair.  There is an old gold coating over what was a black fill material that sure looks to have the texture of lacquer where a bit of the gold has been rub away.

Anyway this bottle just had to many things that looked and felt right for me to pass it by.

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on February 15, 2014, 02:22:35 pm
Dear Charll,
I re-read what I have written and frankly I don't think that what I said can be understood as a dating to late 19th century for your bottle. I said two things: that the bottle is not 18th century, and that I can't say to which period of the 19th century it should be dated, because the decoration has some strange features. Sorry if I have been misunderstood.
I can only repeat, to be clear, what I found strange.
I have never seen such hands. Are them really wearing glooves?
You may be right about the plants being young pines and not grass. But in such case too I have never seen them, I mean pines so low, without branch.
The faces are not 18th century nor are them typical faces of the 19th century.
Just my observation, of course I have not seen everything in Chinese porcelain field and much less in snuff bottles field.
I would also add that the whole decoration is strange, because all the figures has the same appearance. Repetitive poses and way to draw them, same clothes, same shoes... it looks like a ritual scene.
If I should really be forced to give my idea about dating, I think that Joey is correct. Although the faces of the Tongzhi era are very typical and I don't see them on your bottle, I also think that the whole appearance of your bottle doesn't look younger than that. But it is just my feeling, because as said I don't see a clear indication to a particular era.
Anyway, a beautiful and, more important I think, an interesting bottle. The scene suggest me the olive harvest, but I don't think that it exists in Chinese iconography. Or not?
Kind regards
Giovanni



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on February 15, 2014, 02:59:37 pm
Giovanni,

Thanks for the additional insight and comments.  As you pointed out the entire group (family?) is dressed or attired in the same fashion as to suggest preparation for an event.  There's got to be more to this image than what we are just seeing, meaning some background story or theme.  Again thanks for the comments.

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on February 15, 2014, 08:19:01 pm
There's got to be more to this image than what we are just seeing, meaning some background story or theme. 

I have hunted high and low Charll... No luck, but your right.. There must be a background story/theme going on..



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Steven on February 15, 2014, 11:20:50 pm
Dear Charll,

Nice bottle, I am with Giovanni and Joey, it could be a19th bottle.

I might also find the background info of the motif for you,not 100% sure,but I think its close.

I think it should be" the picture of picking mulberry leaf" the kids pick mulberry leaves to raise the silkworms,that is how people get the silk from. When I was a kid, I did same thing,but mainly for fun to raise the silkworms, not mean to try to make any silk out it.

I assume the grass Giovanni pointed out is not grass, could be the Pine needles, since you can see the same leaves up on the tree.

Attached please find some reference images for the similar subject.

Best!

Steven


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on February 16, 2014, 02:47:18 am
Dear Steven,
I think that you nailed it, that's great! I said that the scene recall me the olive harvest just because it was clearly a scene of harvesting. I didn't thought about mulberry leaves; it must be that, and to me the last picture shown by Charll is a confirmation because we see small fruits on the branch. Dear Charll you have a very interesting bottle.
Thank you dear Steven for the suggestion. It recall me when I was a child. After the WWII here in Italy many farmers did grow silk worm at home to help the economy of the family. My parents also did that and I still remember the noise of the caterpillars while eating the leaves. All the limits of the fields here in the Po river valley were bordered by rows of mulberry trees. Only a few are surviving.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on February 16, 2014, 03:04:39 am
My goodness Steven... You never cease to amaze me !



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on February 16, 2014, 04:25:51 am
Dear Steven,
    Thank you again for a wonderful visit, and thank all the family for me as well, please.
The info about the mulberry leaves is very interesting. I had assumed that the silk worms were placed on the tree, and then taken off, but obviously, the leaves are picked and fed to the protected silkworms. One little correction, if you don't mind. 'Pine needles' is the correct term for pine tree leaves.
 Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on February 17, 2014, 01:05:42 am
Steven and Giovanni,

Thank you so much for the follow up information and discussion, and the ideas as to what the bottle image maybe portraying.

Charll



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on June 01, 2014, 12:49:42 am
Another recent bottle that has me puzzled on the age?  Also can anyone decipher the three Chinese characters on the panel above Zhu Bajie (the pig)?

Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Underglaze blue and white porcelain snuff bottle in a small ‘firecracker’ form.  Bottle depicts a scene from the ‘Journey to the West’, a classic Chinese novel published in the 16th century (ca. 1592) during the Ming Dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en.  The pig character Zhu Bajie and the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) are seen tugging at a staff while the monk Tang Sanzang (also referred to as Xuanzang ) and his horse look on at the tussle.

The bottle has a ruyi-head collar on the neck that is a typical stylistic device of the late 18th and early 19th century (Kleiner, 2007-In Search of a Dragon).  Fine double underglaze blue lines where the body of the bottle meets the neck and at the base of the painted scene just above the foot rim.

A well balanced six character Yongzheng (1723-1735) mark in underglaze blue on the base enclosed by an fine double blue ring that spans the inter rim of the raised foot.   Fine grained white paste clay body that is almost translucent when held to the light.  Raised unglazed foot rim.  Mammoth tusk ivory stopper and pointed ivory dauber as a spoon.   Only 6.0 cm or 2.35 inches in height. 

Period: believed to be ca.1821-late 1890’s   

Thanks for any help and comments, Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on June 01, 2014, 04:37:43 am
Dear Charll,
    It looks like a very nice bottle. Congratulations.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on June 01, 2014, 11:03:34 am
Another beautiful bottle Charll !

Congratulations !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on June 01, 2014, 08:02:00 pm
Indeed... You guys (and especially Charll) have increased my interest in these bottles by multiples...

Nice acquisition Charll!


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on June 02, 2014, 03:11:24 pm
Very nice!!! Jo


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on June 04, 2014, 05:36:08 am
Charll,

A very attractive bottle, as usual. You are far more knowledgable of porcelain dating than I, so always interesting to read your comments in that regard.

Tom

PS: Just for reference, here are two Yongzheng reign marks - one genuine, the other apocryphal.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on June 04, 2014, 06:56:49 pm
Dear Tom,
   A mark can be genuine in that it is from the same time as it says (for Yongzheng, 1723-1735), but not a genuine Imperial mark (A); or it can be both genuine to the period AND genuine to the Imperial Porcelain Works (B).
   I understood from the late Robert Kleiner that there were only 2 or 3 calligraphers inscribing genuine Imperial marks at the Works during the Yongzheng reign, while there would have been an awful lot of regular calligraphers working on non-Imperial wares during that reign.
  Is the mark shown as genuine, A or B?
Best,
 Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on June 04, 2014, 09:12:24 pm

  Is the mark shown as genuine, A or B?


Dear Joey,
    The title below each image says which is which (top one is 'genuine').  If I recall, this one was copied from the Gotenburg website, or some such similar source.

I take 'genuine' to mean no more than that it appears on porcelain ware of the corresponding reign. That does NOT necessarily imply it is imperial. Am I missing something?

Tom
 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on June 05, 2014, 04:06:42 am
Dear Tom,
   There are porcelain wares, made during a specific reign, and with the correct reign mark of that reign, produced by private kilns in Jingdezhen. They are genuine vis a vis the period. I called this 'A', in that post.
   Then there are wares produced by the Imperial Kilns in Jingdezhen, with marks that are genuine in period, but also genuine Imperial pieces. I  called this 'B' in that post.
   I was trying to find out if it was 'A' or 'B'. I hope this enlightens you on my previous query.
We can all do with enlightenment...  ;)   :D
Best,
  Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on June 05, 2014, 04:17:12 am
Thanks for today's enlightenment Joey.
OK, the penny's dropped.  (In point of fact I didn't even register your 'A' and 'B' in the message, since you had placed them as suffixes rather than prefixes to the two alternatives being promulgated.)   :D

So, to get back to your query, I do not know the answer, but assume the top picture to show type 'A', as the quality of calligraphy appears quite 'cavalier'.

Tom 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on June 05, 2014, 06:12:09 am
Dear Joey and Tom,
Joey is right about the two type of marks and I agree with him that the first six characters mark seen in the post above must have been written by the calligrapher of some private kiln. I am not expert on marks, but it is evident that that one is quite sloppy. So not Imperial and probably even not of the period.
As for the second mark being Imperial, I don’t know. At least for Kangxi marks, Kaishu type written marks with only four characters does not exist except for Impaerial ware on which the mark is surrounded by a square double frame. All four characters kaishu Kangxi mark, without the squared frame, are fake. I am not totally sure, but I think that this is valid for Yongzheng and Qianlong too.
Unless this is not valid for snuff bottles, which seems a world apart, in my opinion that four character mark is not of the period too.
A good reference site is the Marks page of Michael Vermeer. All the marks shown there are from period pieces:
http://www.teadust.com/edu/marks/QingMarks.htm
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on June 05, 2014, 07:17:53 am
Dear Giovanni,
   Thank you for your input. While the larger vessels might seem "a world apart", what about the smaller ones, like water droppers, very small vases, brush washers, etc. ?
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on June 05, 2014, 01:02:31 pm
Dear Joey,
I think it is the same, I don't remember of having seen a four characters mark on a water pot for example. But snuff bottles are much smaller than the object that you mention.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on June 05, 2014, 09:25:40 pm

I agree with him that the first six characters mark seen in the post above must have been written by the calligrapher of some private kiln. I am not expert on marks, but it is evident that that one is quite sloppy. So not Imperial and probably even not of the period.

As for the second mark being Imperial, I don’t know.


Dear Giovanni,

Thank you for your comments. Just to clear up a point: the FIRST (six-character) mark shown in Reply #58 is from a reliable source (Gotenburg or similar), given as "genuine example of the period". The SECOND (four-character) mark is from a 20th century snuff bottle.

It is interesting that you find marks on snuff bottles to be different from those seen on larger porcelain items. I find that a little puzzling, but I am sure there is a good reason for it.

Tom


Title: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 26, 2015, 03:02:56 pm
Hi all,
Here are four B&W snuff bottles I bought together in Beijing around year 2000.  The dealer said they dated to about 1850 except the all blue one which he said was earlier.  The two on the right are gourd shaped bottles which is what really caught my eye.  I had the stoppers made then in Beijing, they are not good,  bottles came without stoppers. The nicest one (second from right) has repaired neck.  Any idea of the age?
Steve Carroll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 26, 2015, 03:10:27 pm
Dear Charll, Tom, Lamlam, et al,
    I understood that the motif of dragon and tiger symbolised yin and yang guardians, and was meant to be a sign of protection.  It is a positive symbol, not a negative.  One would hardly put a negative symbol on a snuff bottle, whether meant as a personal possession or as a gift.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey

龙争虎斗 is a popular saying,  "dragon and tiger fighting",  we have friends two daughters one is a dragon one a tiger who are always competing since they were kids, so you could give such a bottle to such a couple, or a husband and wife, with both having very strong characters.  Not negative and could be used in many ways and meanings.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 26, 2015, 04:31:06 pm
Dear Steve,

       You will need to post each bottle individually, and better shots of each bottle, front, reverse, mouth, and foot, if you'd like us to try and help you with them.

       I'm sorry, but it is impossible to judge from the photo you posted.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on October 26, 2015, 05:59:06 pm
Nice bottles Steve..

Thanks for sharing them !

If you do wish to verify what the dealer told you, then yes, more pics as Joey suggested.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 26, 2015, 06:39:07 pm
Quote
龙争虎斗 is a popular saying,  "dragon and tiger fighting",  we have friends two daughters one is a dragon one a tiger who are always competing since they were kids, so you could give such a bottle to such a couple, or a husband and wife, with both having very strong characters.  Not negative and could be used in many ways and meanings.

Steve, 

Thanks for the additional insight on the 'Dragon and Tiger' themed bottle.  I'm currently at the San Francisco airport waiting to board a flight to attend the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Convention in Chicago for the week. 

Welcome to the Forum,  Charll   


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Steven on October 26, 2015, 09:10:05 pm
Hi Steve,

Welcome to the Forum.

Those bottles look interesting, but as Joey suggest that its really hard to judge based on the image you have. More pics from each sides of bottles will be appreciated.

Steven



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 01:23:10 pm
This bottle is 6 cm high.  The main body ,white glaze portion, is not a pure white, it has a kind of white with undertones of light green.  The body has rib dividers between segments. Could this be Dao Guang or earlier?
Steve


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 01:51:15 pm
All blue, floral pattern is carved, 2 piece construction, seam line is evident on image 5941 and can be seen on inside. Bottle has a bit of tilt to it. Cruder workmanship.  Is this older? That is what Beijing dealer said.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 01:58:27 pm
Gourd shaped B&W, 7 cm high, three gourds and two butterflies.  I love gourd or odd shaped bottles.  Is this Daoguang or even earlier?
Steve


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 02:06:06 pm
6.5 cm, gourd shape body, one butterfly carved and painted, gourd feet not glazed, old button stopper top I had made in BJ.  Seems of same era as earlier pieces.
Steve


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 02:36:19 pm
Ming late Wanli B&W pair of melon gourd shaped jars 17 cm high, painted with hanging melons and vines/leaves (lacking the normal squirrels crawling on vines).  Crudeness indicates late Wanli period work.  Being a pair is quite rare, in this case one is darker than the other. I have a collection of melon shaped jars I got in the mid 1990s in Beijing, this shape jar was most popular during Wanli period (a few were made in Jia Jing).  You can see why I like the sympathetic gourd shaped snuff bottles.  Gourd shape adds a lot of character to a jar. 
Steve C


Title: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 27, 2015, 02:42:18 pm
I forgot to mention the jar base has the classic greenish/blue tinged white glaze on base, a classic Ming B&W marker.  I saw about 50 of these jars and only one was a fake at the time in 1995.  I think the melon shape was too hard to fake, and prices for non-imperial jars were not high then, so there was no money in it.   


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on October 27, 2015, 09:04:28 pm
I am a bit perplexed by these, so I will have to wait and see what the expert porcelain guys and gals think. I like melon shaped ones very much, more so the very last one posted.  I am not so sure these are 19th..





Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: YT on October 28, 2015, 12:47:12 am
Dear George,

I share your perplexity. The paintings and bottle shapes are all out.

Cheers,
YT


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 28, 2015, 06:17:26 am
Dear Steve,
I don’t know what to do with your bottles. All them are strange, I mean all them has something out of what is commonly seen. The first one has a very strange looking foot., besides the very blurred decoration. Same notes for the second one. The decoration of the third one is absolutely strange, never seen a butterfly painted that way and the same I must say for the leaves and flowers. The same for the last one. All in all it is evident to me that all them belongs from the same manufacture, so the fact that you found them together is highly suspicious to me. But I am not very expert on snuff bottles, may be others will think different.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Peter Bentley 彭达理 on October 28, 2015, 06:57:22 am
Hi Steve, All

I  am stepping  into   uncharted   territory here  and  am therefore  ready to  be  refuted

But  when I   was   first  buying    Chinese  artefacts  in  BJ  in the  mid  1980s  at specialist   shops  in LiuLiChang  I noticed  an interesting  thing. 

I had my  eye  on a  particular  small vase - beautiful  purple  glazing -  but the  price  was  astronomical.
When I asked  "why" so expensive it was  pointed  out to me that  it  had a  PRC  government  red seal on the  bottom which  showed that :

a)  it was  a  genuine antique (  Qing  dynasty,  or   something )

b) it  was  permitted  for  export

I could  in no  way afford  it !

But I  later  saw  similar  bottles of  (apparently)  identical  -  or  even better -  quality  and  beauty   which  were  contemporary  and of  course  very  cheap, one of  which  I bought  because  I  always  ever bought  for intrinsic  beauty,  not  for  historic  or  antique  value

It's   easy to  reproduce   porcelain  these  days  and  also the  authenticating   marks  on the  bottom, just  as it's  easy  to  reproduce  antique  IPBs  that  would   fool  even the  most  experienced  collector .  That''s  why  "Provenance is  King"  when  it  comes to   antique  IPBs

I  can  believe that the blue and   white   porcelain  snuff  bottles  Richard  Hardy  picked  up  in HK's   Catte  Street  flea  markets  were  genuine  antiques  because  they  left  China  before   1949 , went through  several changes  of  hands  and  finally  were sold  as  trinkets  before  their  true  collector  value  was  understood

As I understand  it :  Richard  Hardy built  his  collection  on just a   school  teacher's  salary because  he   collected  ahead  of time

But....  as  I    said  ...  I am  in uncharted  territory as  far as  my own knowledge  on  porcelain is  concerned

Cheers

Peter


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 28, 2015, 10:16:24 am
Dear Peter,

  You are partially correct, but most experienced collectors can easily tell the difference between original period pieces and modern copies; ask Giovanni, Charll, Tom B., etc., at least 'live'.
   Who is Richard Hardy?  I don't know anyone named Richard Hardy. Is he a member of the Forum?
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 28, 2015, 10:21:32 am
Do you mean you like the pair of jars?  Melon shaped jars are nice,  these are the crudest ones I have,  but the only pair.  Pairs of non-imperial porcelain are exceedingly rare to find as they were used by ordinary people,  I never saw a pair except these. 
Steve


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 28, 2015, 10:31:56 am
When I got these snuff bottles at a Beijing antique dealer around 1999,   I showed them to an expert in non-imperial porcelain and she said they were old, meaning Qing or thereabouts, but not new fakes.  I got them because of the gourd shape and they are nice looking.  In the 1990s non-imperial porcelain was very reasonably priced and not so forged as the real thing was so cheap, forgers were focused on the higher priced imperial porcelain.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 28, 2015, 11:07:46 am
Dear Steve,
when I did post my comment I had also write that the fact that you bought them in China is a further reason for being suspicious. This is almost a rule for porcelain ware,  but I don’t know if that is valid for snuff bottles too, so before posting I did cancel that sentence. Now Peter gave me the chance for reiterating that.
Dear Peter, I have not seen that particular vase, but if the seller did ask a very high price for something that have the red seal that is ridiculous. The meaning of those seals is just to certificate that the item is not so old, not important, and then can be exported. Finish. Nothing more than that. So indeed it should detract value from the item rather than adding value to it.
Dear Steve, I am not so excited about your jars. Today in China it is more easy to find genuine porcelain because a lot of things went back home, but in 1990 it was not so common. The fact that you said that you have seen there 50 jars of this type of jars is highly suspicious. I am not saying that your jar are knew, but they can easily be 19th century Fujian ware. I am also not sure that they were a pair. Ming jars of this type has about the same decoration and, besides having in general a finer decoration, they have all the same size. Usually they bear a key-fret band around the neck, while the neck of your jars looks quite unusual.
I may be wrong though, a direct handling should leave no doubt because Ming glaze is very typical and easy to spot.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 28, 2015, 01:22:14 pm
Giovanni,
I saw about 50 melon shaped jars between 1994 and 2005.  I went to all the markets almost every week and also looked in Shanghai and Fujian.   They are pretty rare,  not super rare,  but in the main BJ market (which started as the original dirt market) you might find 1-2 pieces in the 100 stalls/shops at any given time including broken, repaired or crude ones.   In the beginning I would take jars to the old guy at the Friendship Store who authorized export if less than 200 years old.  After a couple times of him telling me "No export allowed", I asked him: "are these Ming?"  And all he would say was "they were over 200 years old".  That old guy had seen a lot in his many years of authorizing antique exports.

Melon jars with the "three gentlemen" 松竹梅 pattern,  the squirrels on melons and thin figures were only done in Wanli reign.  Once I bought an outstanding larger sized jar and took it to a porcelain expert at the National Palace Museum,  she said she was not sure.  I returned it to the seller and he laughed at me, gave me my $1,400 back (in 1996),  a few years later,  I was looking for him at the market and his friends told me he was killed in a car accident.  When I said I returned that nice melon jar, they all laughed at me,  insisting it was genuine and by that time worth several times over and very hard to come by. 

In ten years I only saw a few really high quality melon jars.  Unless you deal in non-imperial porcelain,  you probably do no have a feel for this stuff.  Seeing hundreds or thousands of non-imperial B&W porcelain over those ten years gave me a good feel what to look for.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 28, 2015, 03:50:23 pm
Dear Steve,
I don’t know how much expert you are about Chinese porcelain. By the fact that you said that you are buying in China since so many years I presume that you are Chinese. I know a certain number of Chinese guys that deals with Antiques here in Italy. Some are experts, some (many indeed) not at all. The fact that one is Chinese doesn’t necessarily means that he is an expert. Sorry to be frank, but it seems to me that you have some attitude which is very similar to that of some Chinese guys here. Quoting from you: “Unless you deal in non-imperial porcelain, …”: you repeatedly said this. It seems that in your view, it is more common that people deals with Imperial porcelain than with non-Imperial porcelain. How many people you know that deals with Imperial porcelain? I am aware of only a few in the World. There are Chinese guys here who thinks that Imperial porcelain can be find anywhere, in perfect conditions, and at a low price. And, if it has just a short hairline, it is worth nothing more than rubbish.  It is a rule, among collectors of Chinese porcelain, to strictly avoid buying at street Antique markets when visiting China, and especially that famous one in Beijing! Where it seems that you are buying. The fact that a piece is broken doesn’t imply that it is genuine. Fakers knows their job very well.  Now I can accept that some good item may appear in those markets, but frankly, let me say that if you believe of having seen hundreds of thousands of genuine items there, well, you are a bit too much optimist, sorry. And, if you think that the employee who is charged to license the pieces allowed to be exported is an expert only because he has seen a lot of pieces, here too you are optimist in my opinion. Which is his study? He is learning nothing by just seeing many pieces without the support of a specific study. If he were a real expert, maybe he could have a more remunerative job I think. For what I know, mainland Chinese are buying Chinese Antiquities, not selling abroad, if not in rare cases. If you have something good to sell, you will get more money in China than abroad, don’t you think so? Who, among Westerners, is buying Chinese porcelain on Ebay China? Nobody, be sure, everybody knows that everything coming from there is fake. As for the purpose of the wax seal, here it is explained in detail:
http://www.gotheborg.com/marks/jianding.shtml
Dear Steve I really apologize if I got a wrong opinion, but I have been driven there by what you said together with my experience. If I have been wrong, I am happy.
Would you mind to show some of your porcelain pieces?
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Peter Bentley 彭达理 on October 28, 2015, 06:19:06 pm
Hi  All

JOEY  :  Sorry  I meant  Ian Hardy !

GIOVANNI :  Thanks  for the  info  about the  red seals !

As I wrote  before,  I'm  completely  out  of my depth  on porcelain

I had  better  shut up  and  listen ( read)  what others  have to say  :D

Cheers
Peter


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 28, 2015, 10:14:32 pm
Dear Peter,
   Sorry! I did not connect this info to Ian Hardy. You are right, Ian Hardy has a very good eye, and bought some very nice pieces from the late Robert Kleiner, though I have never seen his collection. Today, I showed Ian and Kay the Ando Gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago, which is a meditation space and very 'shibui'.
    Ian had shown me the Rothko chapel in Houston's Menil Collection museum.
Joey




Hi  All

JOEY  :  Sorry  I meant  Ian Hardy !

GIOVANNI :  Thanks  for the  info  about the  red seals !

As I wrote  before,  I'm  completely  out  of my depth  on porcelain

I had  better  shut up  and  listen ( read)  what others  have to say  :D

Cheers
Peter


Title: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 29, 2015, 02:36:07 pm
Dear Giovanni,
I am an American, not a Chinese.  I lived in Taiwan for 11 years and then Beijing for 15 years 1993-2008, and know Chinese.

I collected non-imperial porcelain as it was much cheaper and more available than Imperial porcelain.  I find the late Ming B&W non-imperial porcelain to be very light and fresh, clean and simple.  In the 1990s and especially the earlier part of that decade,  not many Chinese were buying any antiques or art in the Mainland. 
My jar collection is at my Dad's house in Chicago, i do not carry them around as we move every 2-3 years.  Next summer when I get home I will take pictures.  All of mine are melon shaped Ming jars.  It was easier to become knowledgeable when you focus on one narrow genre like melon shaped jars.  I know about fakes in China as I have paid some tuition in this area since 1975.  They are everywhere in every genre. 

Thanks for your advice,
Steve 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 29, 2015, 05:41:23 pm
Dear Steve,
I am glad that you took my words in the right way, I was afraid that you may feel offended because I was so straightforward.  I was surprised of how easily you talk about Imperial porcelain. In many years of collecting/hunting, I have only see a very few ones here.
Melon shaped Ming jars are not common too. I think that I have seen only one or two.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: SteveC on October 30, 2015, 01:17:17 pm
Straight, open communication and sharing is what makes this forum great.
Steve C


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on May 14, 2016, 10:33:48 pm

All,

I picked up this bottle at a recent online auction with two other bottles.  I’m try to determine if it is a design of 31 magpies, 31 sparrows, or some other type of bird.  I think it is a sparrow.  Then the next question is there any significance with the number 31?   

Also, I think the dating is a bit later than what was provided with the bottle; see below. 

Underglaze Cobalt Blue Porcelain Snuff Bottle:   
Of cylindrical form, well hollowed with a short waisted cylindrical neck, wide mouth, flat lip and recessed circular foot. Well painted hard-paste body in underglaze blue with a continuous design of thirty 'sparrow' birds; i.e., six columns of five birds each. The base shows a single 'sparrow' sitting near what appears to be a nest. The stopper is carved glass in the form of a dragon with a green glass collar.  Height:  8 cm or 3 1/4" without stopper.

Condition: Excellent.

Circa: Qing Dynasty, Jingdezhen, 1790-1830.

Thanks for all comments and any insight, Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on May 15, 2016, 12:02:38 am
Beautiful bottle Charll..

Can not find anything regarding #31, and not sure about the bird type..

Look forward to seeing what others come up with !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on May 15, 2016, 01:25:12 am
Charll,
A wonderful bottle - congratulations!
In order to have the correct rebus in Chinese the birds ought to be magpies. The 31st bird is usually depicted on the base, as seems to be the case with your example. One of our Chinese forum members will be able to confirm the exact meaning, but it is something along the lines of "may every day of the month be filled with happiness".

There is an anecdote about a man who passed a shop displaying a beautiful porcelain snuff bottle in the window, just like yours. He went inside to inquire about the price, which was astronomic. The shop keeper explained that the reason for the high price was that it was a magic bottle - each day the number of magpies on it would correspond to the day of the month. It happened to be the 10th day of the month, and sure enough, when the customer counted them there were 10 birds on the bottle.
The customer subsequently made a point of passing the shop every day and found there was one more magpie on the bottle on each occasion. Eventually he got to the 31st day of the month, and checked the bottle again. "Aha, I see there are still only 30 birds on the bottle. The magic has failed!"
"Not at all" replied the shop keeper, and turned the bottle upside down to reveal the 31st magpie. 
The customer was convinced of the bottle's magic qualities, and so paid the high asking price.

Of course, what really happened was that the shop keeper had 31 bottles, each with a different number of birds painted on it, and merely changed the bottle in the window over the course of the month.

Tom
PS: This anecdote has been posted on the forum before, a few years back.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on May 15, 2016, 04:56:13 am
Dear Charll,

     I agree with Tom L. as to the subject matter. Dating I find hard to decide over the 'net.

Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on May 15, 2016, 07:27:58 am
Dear Charll,
I agree that the birds are magpie, not as we see it in the West, but actually as the Chinese represent it.
Dear Tom, funny story, I remember of having read it before here on the Forum. By Joey maybe?
Dear Joey, do you mean that the bottle could be Ming or Kangxi? I don't think you meant that, in any case I would suggest not to judge the blue tone on the monitor. On my one for example, there are no purplish tone at all.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on May 15, 2016, 10:14:17 am
Dear Giovanni,
   
     You are right, I did NOT mean that it could be Kangxi or Ming. I meant that the purply blue tone I saw could be an homage to those periods.
But you are also right that I should not assume that the colour on my iPAD is accurate!
So I will remove that comment.
Thank you for the correction.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on February 06, 2021, 07:30:26 pm

All,

Thanks to Joey Silver and the cataloging of his collection “In Search of a Dragon” (2007), I was able to quickly recognize this bottle when it came up in an Australian auction in 2016.  It was paired with a less interesting blue and copper red porcelain bottle in a two bottle lot.   Either because of the pairing with a poorer bottle, or maybe just a lack participation in the auction, I managed to pick up this bottle for just over $56 dollars US.  This is almost identical to the bottle shown as Lot 99, “In Search of a Dragon”, Joseph Baruch Silver Collection, Robert Kleiner, 2007, on page 135.  Just a hair smaller in stature when compared to the Silver collection bottle.

Goes to show you that if you look at enough bottles and collection/auction publications, and can retain a portion of those images and that reference material in your head, some very good purchases can be made. 

Blue & White Soft-Paste Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Soft-paste porcelain of ivory crackled colored glaze, cylindrical body, that is slightly tapered toward the rounded shoulders with a narrow neck and outturned mouth.  Painting of flowering lotus scrolls in soft tones of contrasting dark and light underglaze blue floral petals supported on balanced undulating curvilinear stems between faint double line borders around foot and base of neck.  Narrow petal border around lip.  Glazed interior.  Raised unglazed foot with unmarked glazed base.  Height is 3 7/8th inches or 8.8 cm without stopper. 

Designs within double-line borders is often a sign of 18th century decoration and the petal border around the neck is sophisticated and original, rather than the standard ruyi or trefoil bands found on 19th century bottles (Robert Kleiner). 

Period: ca 1740-1820, Jingdezhen Kilns

Condition: Near pristine.  Minor glaze nibble loss on lip of mouth.  No stopper or spoon at purchase.


Just set up a new miniature photo studio and seeing how well it works with my older, inexpensive, palm size 'Point-n-Shoot' Kodak 5X camera. 

Charll

 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on February 07, 2021, 05:01:37 am
It sure is nice to see someone find a great bargain on a beautiful bottle, because these bargains are few and far between these days..

Big congratulations on this bottle, and your persistence Charll ! As always, a detailed and educational description :)



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: YT on February 07, 2021, 08:26:31 pm
Nice bottle Charll.
Soft paste bottle almost always look more artistically made. The difficulty in the firing to have the bottle appeared perfect is highly appreciated.

YT


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on February 09, 2021, 09:30:11 pm
Charll,

A very attractive bottle.
Seeking out these hidden treasures in obscure sales is part and parcel of the satisfaction of acquiring them.
Congratulations.

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on February 12, 2021, 04:31:25 pm
Dear Charll,

   A WONDERFUL bottle!
 And I prefer the smaller size. I bought my example [#99] from Bob Lee in Chicago in 1989 for US$ 400.
The late Robert Kleiner, while he wrote a great catalogue based on my collection, really screwed up the provenances.
And in a case like this, I seriously doubt he did not know he'd not sold it to me.
But, c'est la vie.
I  considered US$ 400 a good price.
I can't imagine a smaller example, which I'd consider better, for under US$60! I assume that is hammer price.
Congratulations.
GONG XI FA CAI / GUNG HEE FAT CHOY
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on February 13, 2021, 09:03:51 am
Dear Charll,
I have commented this your superb bottle on Gotheborg.
Dear Joey, nice to see you back, I was a bit worry for your absence.
Dear all, since a few weeks I have some herniated disc problems in the spine, which are not allowing me to stay seated at the computer. Only for a few minutes.
This is the reason why I am not active recently.
Let see if it will be better.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on February 13, 2021, 03:24:54 pm
Dear Giovanni,

     I love our lockdowns in Israel, because it means I get to host Pini and Eitanuli 5 days a week.
But that cuts down on my access time for the Forum.
As well, I hosted a large group [between 40 & 50] on ZOOM on Tues., from The Persian Gulf to South India.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 16, 2021, 12:49:25 am
All, the bottle from the recent Bonhams New York, 21 Sept 2021, Emily Byrne Curtis Collection sale just arrived so I taking the opportunity to share it as I finish up the cataloging description of the bottle.
(https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/dd517/rpfstoneman/Perry_100_3239_(2).JPG?width=590&height=370&fit=bounds) (https://app.photobucket.com/u/rpfstoneman/a/1e85b9db-c407-44f8-91dd-1d0a72e456f8/p/dfc36138-2d58-4b77-ba3b-843d2d8f48fb)
Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Of cylindrical shape with flat shoulder and cylindrical neck, superbly painted with nine cobalt blue Buddhistic lions each cavorting or sitting on conjoined clouds, one with a ribboned ball under its front paws.  Highly detailed design with superb tonal contrast in use of light and dark blue hues.  Neck is highlighted by use of a double, very narrow, blue bands and the throat border is trefoils of a single dot between and below each trefoil, an indication of Daoquang period or later bottles.  A shou character in cobalt blue is applied to the base.

The stopper is a thick circular disc of variegated green and white jadeite with an old, rich caramel color patina, ivory spoon.  Coil ring construction with a completely glazed interior, and a faint hint of an aromatic snuff remains.  The bottle is 7.5 cm (2 15/16th inches) in height without the stopper.

Blue and white decoration was a favorite of the Daoquang Emperor (1821-1850).  Though no reign mark is presented on the base, the bottle can be easily attributed to this period by the characteristic wash filled outlines of the motif (Robert Kleiner, Arts of Asia magazine, May-June 2012).  The neck pattern, however, is indicative of bottles with Xianfeng marks (1851-1861) as well.
 
Period: ca. 1821-1861.
     
Condition: Near pristine with surface abrasions from use as to be expected.  Base has lateral scratches as well.   Minor crescent-shaped crack to foot ring, but unobtrusive.
   
Provenance:  Emily Byrne Curtis Collection, Bonhams, New York, 21 Sept 2021, Lot 691
                      Alice B McReynolds Collection
                      Mechin collection Sotheby’s Parke Bernet 21 Nov 1974, Lot 47
   
Illustrated:  It is the same blue and white porcelain with nine shi/Buddhistic lions that is illustrated in Lila S. Perry's Chinese Snuff Bottles p. 79, fig 56.  Although not mentioned in the provenance of sale, by reference in the text of Perry's book she seems to infer that the bottle was in her collection as well.

Although this bottle was a bit more spendy then what I'm use to paying for a porcelain bottle, I'm surprised it did not go for more given its publication source and provenance.  Lucky me. ;D 

Charll 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Bob on October 16, 2021, 06:00:15 am
I know next to nothing about blue and white porcelain, but I do know this bottle is one of the most beautiful I've seen!   Bob


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Rube on October 16, 2021, 07:17:32 am
Congratulations Charll,
This is a beauty!

Cheers,

Rube.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 16, 2021, 12:36:42 pm
Very very nice dear Charll, great use of shading and very well drawn.
For sure one fo the best b&w bottles that I have seen.
Congratulations.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 16, 2021, 02:18:51 pm

Bob, Rube, & Giovanni,

Thank you for the comments. It is very lovely bottle and is better than what was captured in photos in Perry's book and what Bonhams had in the auction.  I was trying to make the tonal contrast "pop" a bit better and I think the darker background in my photo's provides a better representation of the bottle. 

This bottle, though not necessary the best in my collection, it is definitely in the top 10 of my blue and white's. 

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 16, 2021, 03:51:25 pm
Dear Charll,

    A great score!
Congratulations.
But it should be dates ca. 1821 - 1858, since there was no Jingdezhen from 1858 to 1865, thanks to the Taiping criminals.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on October 16, 2021, 10:08:57 pm
Another beautiful bottle and congratulations Charll..

Wonderfully detailed description..

If I ever want to go to a museum snuff bottle setting in Northern California, it would certainly be a treat to visit you !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: YT on October 16, 2021, 10:31:18 pm
Hi Charll,

Nice catch and not too 'spendy' considering how neat and sharp it was painted.

After re-reading the Perry book, she did indicate this to be among her own 12 Blue and White bottles.

The real good ones tend to be smooth and shorter.

Cheers,
YT


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: YT on October 17, 2021, 03:56:05 am
  A shou character in cobalt blue is applied to the base.


Dear Charll,

The base is a ShuangXi (Double Happiness) artistically written symbol.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Happiness_(calligraphy)

Cheers,
YT


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 17, 2021, 11:26:40 pm

YT, thanks for your additional thoughts on the base mark.  Regarding the bottle being in the Perry collection, I pick up on her reference to this being one of 12 blue & white bottles in her collection as well.

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 19, 2021, 02:44:21 pm
Charll, great find as usual....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 17, 2022, 11:27:56 am
I thought I would show one of my favorite B&W bottles. A rare doucai enameled bottle with the " the eight barbarians bearing tribute" [80mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 17, 2022, 11:42:58 am
Dear John,

   I did not think I would like it, but it is really beautiful.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on August 17, 2022, 12:29:13 pm
Very beautiful bottle John !


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 19, 2022, 08:05:01 am
George and Joey, Robert Kleiner had cataloged one for Sotheby's and put a high price on it. The next bottle is one of my first B&W's [70mm]. The bottle is similar to Charll's.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 20, 2022, 06:02:49 pm
All, the bottle from the recent Bonhams New York, 21 Sept 2021, Emily Byrne Curtis Collection sale just arrived so I taking the opportunity to share it as I finish up the cataloging description of the bottle.
(https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/dd517/rpfstoneman/Perry_100_3239_(2).JPG?width=590&height=370&fit=bounds) (https://app.photobucket.com/u/rpfstoneman/a/1e85b9db-c407-44f8-91dd-1d0a72e456f8/p/dfc36138-2d58-4b77-ba3b-843d2d8f48fb)
Blue & White Porcelain Snuff Bottle:
Of cylindrical shape with flat shoulder and cylindrical neck, superbly painted with nine cobalt blue Buddhistic lions each cavorting or sitting on conjoined clouds, one with a ribboned ball under its front paws.  Highly detailed design with superb tonal contrast in use of light and dark blue hues.  Neck is highlighted by use of a double, very narrow, blue bands and the throat border is trefoils of a single dot between and below each trefoil, an indication of Daoquang period or later bottles.  A shou character in cobalt blue is applied to the base.

The stopper is a thick circular disc of variegated green and white jadeite with an old, rich caramel color patina, ivory spoon.  Coil ring construction with a completely glazed interior, and a faint hint of an aromatic snuff remains.  The bottle is 7.5 cm (2 15/16th inches) in height without the stopper.

Blue and white decoration was a favorite of the Daoquang Emperor (1821-1850).  Though no reign mark is presented on the base, the bottle can be easily attributed to this period by the characteristic wash filled outlines of the motif (Robert Kleiner, Arts of Asia magazine, May-June 2012).  The neck pattern, however, is indicative of bottles with Xianfeng marks (1851-1861) as well.
 
Period: ca. 1821-1861.
     
Condition: Near pristine with surface abrasions from use as to be expected.  Base has lateral scratches as well.   Minor crescent-shaped crack to foot ring, but unobtrusive.
   
Provenance:  Emily Byrne Curtis Collection, Bonhams, New York, 21 Sept 2021, Lot 691
                      Alice B McReynolds Collection
                      Mechin collection Sotheby’s Parke Bernet 21 Nov 1974, Lot 47
   
Illustrated:  It is the same blue and white porcelain with nine shi/Buddhistic lions that is illustrated in Lila S. Perry's Chinese Snuff Bottles p. 79, fig 56.  Although not mentioned in the provenance of sale, by reference in the text of Perry's book she seems to infer that the bottle was in her collection as well.

Although this bottle was a bit more spendy then what I'm use to paying for a porcelain bottle, I'm surprised it did not go for more given its publication source and provenance.  Lucky me. ;D 

Charll 

Dear Charll,

 I just saw this bottle.
WONDERFUL!
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 26, 2022, 12:57:36 pm
The next bottle is soft paste with dragon, tiger, deer, foo lion and monkey [71mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 26, 2022, 03:51:45 pm
Desr John,

  If you look in “in Search of a Dragon”,
You will see 2 bottles (I believe) with monkeys or gibbons
like the one illustrated on your bottle.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on August 27, 2022, 01:32:39 am
Dear John,
your one is third bottle with this exact motif that I am aware of. All them of high quality.
Beside your one and Joey's one, here is my one, with a magnificentspoon/stopper, most probably original:
https://www.xipangu.co.uk/mangialupo/?product=c37-a-three-dragons-polychrome-sgraffiato-bottle-copy-copy-copy-copy-copy-copy-copy
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 27, 2022, 07:10:13 am
Joey and Giovanni, these must have all been done by the same hand. Giovanni, I really like the stopper and spoon on yours....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 27, 2022, 09:09:39 am
I agree - all three look to be painted from the same hand.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 27, 2022, 12:19:27 pm
Besides dragons, monkeys are one of my favorite subjects. The way they are painted is so comical. This miniature example [47mm] is well painted and has a fisherman on the bottom. Maybe Richard can give some meaning to that.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 27, 2022, 12:37:55 pm
Dear John,

  Another beautiful example.
How does one differentiate between monkeys and gibbons?
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on August 28, 2022, 07:17:25 am
John, I love those mischievous monkeys!

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 28, 2022, 07:32:02 am
Joey, if you Google gibbons there are a lot of interesting facts to read. The most interesting was that gibbons were portrayed in China as early as the Song dynasty. Tom, who does not like monkeys?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 28, 2022, 02:28:24 pm
Thank you John, but I was not clear.
I meant to ask how one differentiates illustrations of monkeys from those of gibbons.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 29, 2022, 08:15:03 am
Joey, according to Google the biggest difference between great apes [Gorillas etc.] and lesser apes [gibbons] is size. The smaller size of gibbons allows them to move through the tree branches. The most famous of the monkeys is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King painted on this bottle [56mm]. The bottle has seen heavy use, the glaze missing from the lip rim. Perhaps Richard knows the figure on the reverse?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 29, 2022, 08:32:10 am
John,

   I think that is 'Pigman'.
Watch "New Adventures of the Monkey King".
He's the Monkey King's friend and assistant.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on August 29, 2022, 10:49:01 pm
Hi Joey & John

Joey, I beg to differ.

The figure appeared to be the Bull Demon King in the story.

Actually, he was a good friend of the Monkey God.

However, his wife, the Iron Fan Princess and his son, the Red Child wanted to consume the Monkey God's teacher, Tang Sanzang, the monk who was travelling to India to find the holy Buddhist scripts. It was believed that eating his flesh can give one immortality.

As a result, the two became enemies and fought each other.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 30, 2022, 06:50:17 am
Dear Richard,

    You are correct, of course.
I did not know about the Bull Demon King, but 'Pigman' features prominently
in "The New Adventures of the Monkey King".
And like the drunk Irishman who searches for the car keys he dropped under the street lamp,
rather than where he dropped them, where there is no light... ::) :o ;D
I tried to make my limited knowledge fit the design, rather than search further.
My bad. Thank you for the correction.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on August 30, 2022, 09:41:01 am
John- I have so enjoyed these beautiful Blue and White Porcelain Bottles that you have recently shared.  I have been away from the Forum for a while as we have had much going on here.  I look forward to the bottles shared and the comments from the collectors.   I so enjoy this group.


Best,  Jo


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on August 30, 2022, 09:45:57 am
Hi Joey

You are welcome!

Jo, welcome back! Good to see you again.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on August 30, 2022, 09:49:14 am
Thanks Richard!  Always good to hear from you.  ;)


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 30, 2022, 11:22:55 am
Jo, welcome back! Richard, thanks for the clarification on the Bull Demon King. The next bottle also with a monkey features a deer, bee, bird and pine.  Interesting provenance: The Richmond Museum-Blair Collection [71mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 30, 2022, 03:45:38 pm
Dear Jo,

   Welcome back from me as well.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 30, 2022, 03:53:10 pm
John,

    A cruder painting than previous examples.
And usually, at least n my experience, soft paste examples have finer painting.
Is the potting thin or thick?
I'm not sure if this is ca. 1821 - 1855 [if thicker, Daoguang style potting],
or ca. 1865 - 1900, if thinner potting.
Though honestly, I usually use that rule of thumb for hard paste porcelain.
I'm not even sure if it applies equally to soft paste porcelain.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on August 30, 2022, 05:01:12 pm
Good to be back!  Maybe it was painted by a student artist. 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 30, 2022, 05:02:23 pm
Or it was made for a person of lesser means,
who couldn't afford a better example.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on August 31, 2022, 04:21:30 am
I have been away from the Forum for a while as we have had much going on here. 

Welcome back Jo :)


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on August 31, 2022, 05:57:25 am
Hi John

The last bottle seems to convey all the best wishes at once!

The monkey and bee suggest a rapid promotion, the deer, a symbol of wealth, the pine tree for longevity, and the bird for happiness.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on August 31, 2022, 08:09:00 am
Joey, the bottle is thickly potted. Richard, thanks for the information. I forgot to mention the 2 small bats on the neck which gives us the whole picture for happiness.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 31, 2022, 09:44:45 am
Dear Richard,

     I thought the deer was a rebus for the rank of Marquis...
Joey

Hi John

The last bottle seems to convey all the best wishes at once!

The monkey and bee suggest a rapid promotion, the deer, a symbol of wealth, the pine tree for longevity, and the bird for happiness.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on August 31, 2022, 10:53:43 am
Hi Joey

No. The monkey is the rebus for Marquis.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on August 31, 2022, 05:31:38 pm
Oh yes. The Monkey and Bee or Bees is the rebus for
"May you be raised to the rank of Marquis".
Deer is the symbol of Longevity and prosperity.
Thank you for reminding me, Richard.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 01, 2022, 01:15:46 pm
Another bottle from the Collection of the Blue Dragon Lady [79mm]. I believe Richard explained the story behind it but I could not locate it.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 01, 2022, 10:55:22 pm
Hi John

The theme appears to be referring to Lin Bo, a poet during the Northern Song dynasty.

He lived as a hermit and never got married, hence, any children. He spent all his spare time planting plum trees and raising cranes. Eventually, people said he took a plum tree as his wife and had cranes as sons.

I think YT (Kelvin) has shared this story before too.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 03, 2022, 12:52:19 pm
Richard, thanks for the information. The next bottle I hope you can find the story behind it. [60mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 03, 2022, 10:05:26 pm
Hi John

This is a chapter from the Chinese classical novel, The Journey to the West.

The name on top of the cave is Yun Zhan Dong, which literally means Cloud Stacking Cave.

It was where Zhu Baije (Monk Pig) originally stayed. He was a demon there and live by consuming humans. He is depicted in the first photo.

When the monk Tang Shanzhang with his eldest disciple, Sun Wukong (Monkey King) was passing by the area, Zhu wanted to eat the monk Tang to achieve immortality. However, he lost the fight to Sun and finally surrendered. He became the second disciple of the monk Tang.

Monk Tang and Sun Wukong are in the second/third photo.

They then continue their journey to the west.

In the story, monk Tang has altogether four disciples, namely Su Wukong (Monkey King), Zhu hu Baije (Monk Pig), Sandy (Monk Sha) and the White Dragon Horse (Dragon prince).

For your information.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 04, 2022, 06:58:21 am
Richard, thanks for the information. On the first and second pictures are Sun and Monk Pig fighting over Sun's staff? They both seem to be holding it.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 04, 2022, 07:54:26 am
Hi John

That should be the fighting scene where Monk Pig is trying to pull the stick which is the Monkey King's weapon.

The weapon of Monk Pig is a rake.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 04, 2022, 01:23:34 pm
Richard, I was reading some background on the Monkey King. It said his staff weighed 8 tons.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 04, 2022, 04:40:34 pm
Dear John,
 
   If you have Netflix, check out "New Adventures of the Monkey King".
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 04, 2022, 11:08:32 pm
Hi John

The weapon of the Monkey King was actually a pillar undersea in the Eastern Sea.

When he became the king of the monkeys at Flower Fruity Mountain, he could not find a suitable weapon. So, he decides to go into the Eastern Sea to borrow one from the Dragon King. The Dragon King offered him many different weapons from his armoury but he found none suitable. He later discovered a pillar standing in the palace and asked to try it. After playing with it for a while, he liked it and asked the Dragon King for it. Although reluctant, the Dragon King finally agreed to give it to him to avoid further trouble, (the Monkey King is a notorious troublemaker according to the immortals in heaven)

This new magical weapon is so suitable for him that he can actually change it to any size. When not in use, he can shrink it till it is so small that he can place it inside his ear. When taken out, he can set it to whatever size he wishes. Thus, it was given the name of the 'magical golden staff'.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on September 05, 2022, 12:04:24 am

John, see attached link or go back to post #53 on this thread for a similar bottle with the 'Journey to the West' motif.

Link:  https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1291.msg26789.html#msg26789

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 05, 2022, 02:04:47 am
Hi Charll & John

Yes, they are almost identical.

On a side note, The Journey to the West remained a popular title till these days and has been translated into many foreign languages.

I have a copy of this book which is the oldest book in my library. It was brought here by my grandfather from China. It was published in 1913.

For your viewing pleasure.

Regards.


Richard



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 05, 2022, 02:45:59 am
Wonderful, Richard!

My oldest family heirloom is a set of the five tractates of the Mishna,
leather-bound and published in 1874 in Vilna.
Vilna, then part of the Russian Empire, is now Vilnius,  the capital of Lithuania.

The set belonged to my maternal great grandfather, and got to me through cousins,
whose ancestors came to the Land of Israel in the late Ottoman period,
when the southern half of Israel was part of the Sanjak of Beirut.
They settled in Petach Tikva, near Tel Aviv, in 1909.

In 1921, they moved to a new farm colony, Kfar Yechezkel, in the Jezreel Valley,
which is the southern part of the Galilee, and just north of Samaria.

I received it, an appropriate engagement gift, when I got engaged in November 1977.
Best,
Joey
 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 05, 2022, 08:06:10 am
Charll, thanks for the link to your bottle. Richard and Joey, it is great to have important mementos passed down through the generations.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 05, 2022, 01:54:41 pm
Dear John,

    You are right.
Thank you.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 15, 2022, 07:59:31 am
The next bottle is interesting, as it has a fully armored warrior with a long axe as it's only decoration [67mm]. Richard has done some great research on the figure.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 15, 2022, 08:18:39 am
Hi all

John has asked me to identify the warrior on this porcelain bottle. Initially, he sent me a photo with the weapon partly hidden (photo 1). Although I have a few possible candidates in mind, I was not too sure what the weapon was. He then sent me the second photo, revealing an axe. It was different from my initial guess. As such, I did a bit of research and came to the following conclusion:

Although the axe was not a common weapon for battles in ancient China, there were several generals and heroes who used it.

There were generally two types of axe used in battle, one is the shorter hand axe, usually used in pairs. The other is the long battle axe like the one on the bottle.

While there were records of generals using battle axes, the figure here appeared to be a young general. As such, there is only one likely possibility: Yang Yande (杨延德).

Yang Yande was the fifth son of general Yang Ye (杨业) from the Northern Song dynasty. The family is well known for their loyalty in defending the country against the Liao northern intruders at that time. In the classic novel, Generals of the Yang Family, it records the story of how the four generations of the Yang family fought and sacrificed their lives for the country, starting from Yang Ye.

Yang Ye had seven sons and two daughters who were all well trained in martial arts.

On a mission to fight the enemy, he and his seven sons were ambushed. Yang Ye and four of his sons were killed in the battle.

The three survivors are his fourth, fifth, and sixth son.

The fourth son was captured by the enemy and later married a foreign princess. The sixth son continued his father's ambition as the commander in chief and continued to fight the northern intruders.

The fifth son, our hero depicted on the bottle, managed to escape and later become a monk at Mount Wutai (五台山). His original weapon was the battle axe. However, after becoming a monk, he changed it to a staff as a defending weapon instead of an offensive one.

So, the figure shown here should be Yang Yande.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 15, 2022, 03:04:44 pm
Richard, I've only one word, and not much of one at that:
WOW.
Your knowledge is so impressive.
Best,
joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on September 15, 2022, 10:05:34 pm
That's a WOW from me too !
(to paraphrase the Britain's Got Talent judges)  ;D

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 16, 2022, 12:01:21 am
Hi all

Thank you for your kind words. I am just sharing what I know.

Of course, I may not be 100% correct, for which I stand corrected.

It is fortunate that the weapon is a battle axe and a young warrior. Otherwise, if it is a spear, the possibility will be endless.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 16, 2022, 08:06:50 am
Richard, thanks for posting the information. I am still amazed. One correction though, a staff can be quite a deadly weapon in the hands of an expert. The next bottle is painted with figures in a garden scene [78mm]. I do not know if it has any special meaning....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 16, 2022, 08:19:20 am
Hi John

Yes, I agreed. In fact, anything can be used as a weapon for a martial art expert, including normal household items such as a broom, a bench, etc. Changing his weapon from an axe to staff indicates his change in mindset. As the staff has no sharp edges, it served as more of a defensive weapon than something to attack.

Regarding the last bottle, there is too little data to specify the theme or background story. However, I noticed a monk in the second photo. Do you happen to have a photo between photos 1 & 2? That may provide us with more clues on the subject.

Regards.


Richard



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Wattana on September 16, 2022, 10:03:30 am
John,
I really like the soft painterly style of this bottle, which stands in contrast to the precision found on many of the dragon bottles.

Tom


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 16, 2022, 01:28:41 pm
Richard, I do agree that switching from an axe to a staff is a change in mindset. An axe has only one purpose, to kill. A staff can be used for walking. I have learned from my training that there is no such thing as defense in a real fight. It does look like a monk in the picture.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 16, 2022, 03:40:11 pm
Dear John,

    I agree with Tom about the soft, painterly style of the last B & W bottle.
I'm keeping this short and sweet.
I just said goodbye to my 13 dinner guests for Shabbat [Friday evening dinner],
RC pilgrims from Gozo Malta, escorting my friend Fr. Antony, the new Bishop of Gozo.
This morning I accompanied them to a Mass in front of the Cenacle [Tomb of Jesus],
in the Rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 16, 2022, 08:28:11 pm
Hi John

Thanks for the additional photo.

There is one possible candidate for the motif of this bottle: Su Shi (Su Dongpo 苏东坡) and his friends.

Su Dongpo was a poet, painter, and calligrapher from the Northern Song dynasty. He is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished figures in classical Chinese literature.

In the first photo, we see Su in the middle. Su is known to have a big bushy beard. There is another man approaching him. The man was dressed in official attire and carrying a musical instrument wrapped in cloth, probably a Qin. He is probably Wang Xu (王诜), a high-ranking official and a painter.

In the next photo, we see a monk standing just behind Su. This is one of his best friends, monk Fu Yin (佛印).

One of the photos depicts a moon with a rock. So this may be the possibility that they are preparing for a trip to the Red Cliffs whereby Su wrote his famous poem, Ode on the Red Cliffs.

The above is just my guess so it may not be accurate.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 17, 2022, 01:38:45 pm
Richard, sounds pretty accurate to me. Again your knowledge impresses. The next bottle I am sure is the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove [67mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on September 17, 2022, 04:20:40 pm
John,

When it comes to B&W bottles I tend toward dragons, mystical creatures, landscapes, structures & pavilions, geometrics designs, animals, human figures, and lastly florals in that order of preference. I do like this last bottle of the 'Seven Sages'. 

Even though the painted space is very full and the pigment tones are dark, the lines are well executed and uniformly solid in texture.  That may be what I find so striking with this bottle.  Though it is a soft-pasted bottle and is what one should expect!

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 17, 2022, 06:41:16 pm
Dear Charll,

  My order of preference is:

Landscapes; Dragons; Geometric Patterns; Bird & Flower [Animals and Floral subjects] and lastly,
 Human fFigures.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 18, 2022, 02:00:04 am
Hi John

Yes, that is the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 18, 2022, 09:59:34 am
I have this subject [Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove]
on Middle Period IPSBs.
Bi Rongjiu especially painted this subject.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 20, 2022, 08:17:52 am
Another depiction of the Seven Sages on a more unusual shape [63mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 20, 2022, 08:25:19 am
A beautiful bottle.
See my bottle with The Seven Sages in the Bamboo Grove,
#33 in "Dragon" and possibly #29.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 21, 2022, 12:57:19 pm
The next is a nice small bottle [50mm] with men playing a game.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 21, 2022, 01:25:13 pm
Nope, they are scholars in a garden,
looking at a scroll with a Yin/Yang symbol on it.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 21, 2022, 01:29:09 pm
I thought I saw a Yin/Yang symbol.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 21, 2022, 02:00:32 pm
John, You did.
There was an overlay glass bottle with this identical subject matter,
blue overlay on camphor/snowflake as I recall,
sold in the Bob Stevens #1 sale in Honolulu in 1981,
at the time of the Honolulu convention.
I think the auction was on 1st November, 1981.
Mrs. Mary J. Morrison, a very sweet retired school teacher,
from North Pender Island BC Canada wanted it.
At the viewing preview, a real schmuck, Sydney Ashkenazi [z"l ±],
who was a dealer with a shop off the Fairmont Hotel lobby in SFO,
said to her, "That's mine. I'm buying it for a client."
I told him he was a 'schvantz' [worse than a 'schmuck'],
for speaking rudely to this little old lady.
I told him that he was totally free to buy whatever he wanted
 and had the cash for; but could he please behave like a 'Mentsch',
while doing it?
At the auction, the overlay, one of the early lots, started at US$1,000 as I recall.
Mrs. Morrison bid US$1K, then Sydney, ever the 'class act', bid US$3,000!
She bid US$3,500. He bid US$6,000 and she bid US$6,500.
Then he bid US$ 10,000, and she dropped out.
But he didn't get everything his own way.
A very generous then 24 year old collector from somewhere in the Middle East,
who will remain nameless, and who was buying drinks for a dozen friends,
offered to buy Sydney a drink.
He wanted Diet Pepsi.
He got it, after this nameless friend of Mary Morrison and many others,
spiked his drink with drops that one takes when one has constipation,
and needs to clear the blockage.
One usually puts 2 drops in a glass of liquid, but it seems 10 drops were added
to the Diet Pepsi.
Sydney bought the first 6 or 8 lots he wanted, but then kept running to the mens' room
next door.  He would buy a few lots, then run to the loo. Get back, buy some more,
and again off to the loo.
I promised my mom of blessed memory that I'd never do it again... ::) :o :-X :-[
And I never have.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 21, 2022, 09:52:33 pm
Hi John

The five sages depicted on the bottles were retired officials and writers. They were all age eighty and above and were from the Northern Song dynasty.

The Yin & Yang is the Tai Chi symbol. It symbolized the endless cycle of life.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 22, 2022, 06:37:45 am
Richard,

    Thank you for the information.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 22, 2022, 01:04:07 pm
Richard, thanks for the info. The Yin/Yang symbol is used in many Chinese martial arts, including mine. It is the balance between hard and soft, taking energy and delivering it back.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 22, 2022, 04:01:02 pm
Dear John,

    What you wrote was also very interesting, and illuminating.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 25, 2022, 08:09:31 am
The next example is a little bit unusual for an underglaze blue bottle [78mm]. Perhaps Richard can show the relationship between these objects....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 25, 2022, 09:57:26 pm
Hi John

The motif for this bottle should be items from the scholar’s studio.

It usually comprises of at least 4 items found in a scholar’s studio. These include books, incense burner, musical instrument (usually a Qin), flowers, Ruyi, painting, water pot, ancient cauldron (Ding), fan, rocks,  Bonsai, ink stone, etc.

I think there was a bottle of similar theme posted before whereby we were discussing whether it was the Nine Cauldrons (Nine Ding) theme or otherwise.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 26, 2022, 08:24:25 am
Dear Richard,

   On the first photo, is that a sword scabbard or a scroll in a carrying case?
It is situated below the mythological creature posed on a carved stand.
I thought it might be the 8 Daoist Objects, or the 8 Buddhist Objects.
But was not sure.
Best,
joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 26, 2022, 10:33:57 pm
Hi Joey

Thanks for your comment.

However, I don’t think these are Daoist or Buddhist objects.

The Daoist objects are associated with the eight vessels of the eight immortals. Sometimes known as the covert eight immortals.

Likewise, these are not Buddhist symbols either. The eight Buddhist symbols consist of the Endless Knot, Treasure Vase, Lotus Flower, Two Fish, Parasol, Conch Shell, Dharma Wheel and the Banner of Victory.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 27, 2022, 04:35:04 am
Dear Richard,

    I understood that these were not the 8 Daoist or 8 Buddhist symbols,
when I wrote the last message. Hence it was in the past tense.

   However, I do appreciate the listing of the 8 Buddhist symbols,
and wished you'd listed the 8 Daoist symbols, as well.

Could I impose on you to write a new post, listing the 8 Daoist Symbols
and then the 8 Buddhist Symbols [again]; this way they will both be on the same post,
and I can download and print it.
And it will truly be "for my reference"; and that of many others.  ::) :o ;D
Thank you,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 27, 2022, 08:10:05 am
Joey, from my book the Daoist symbols are the fan, sword, double gourd, castanets, basket of flowers, bamboo tube, flute and lotus flower. Richard can confirm....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on September 27, 2022, 12:55:17 pm
Dear Joey, you can look here:
https://gotheborg.com/glossary/eightemblems.shtml
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 27, 2022, 01:07:29 pm
Dear John and Giovanni,

   Thank you both. I copied the more detailed information from Gotheborg.
Could you give me a link from the site to the Eight Buddhist Emblems?
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on September 27, 2022, 02:47:01 pm
Dear Joey, here it is:
https://gotheborg.com/glossary/eightbuddhistsymbols.shtml
The Gotheborg's glossary is quite useful and you can navigate there, it is free. No need of being registered.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on September 28, 2022, 12:05:14 am
Hi Joey, Giovanni & all

Thanks for the links.

I will compose a summary of both when my computer is back.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on September 28, 2022, 08:22:33 am
Dear Giovanni,

     Thank you.
Best,
Joey

 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on September 28, 2022, 09:29:57 am
Richard, it will be a nice quick reference to have. Maybe you can figure out what is going on in this painting [70mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 05, 2022, 08:16:53 am
Richard, thanks for looking for the meaning of the last post. This next bottle is finely painted with an unusual shape [79mm]. The woman on the horse is being observed by a crowd of people. Maybe Richard knows the background on the bottle.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 05, 2022, 09:07:01 am
Hi John

The subject of this bottle is related to one of your previous posts: the young warrior with the battle axe.

https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1291.160.html (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1291.160.html) #165.

Mu Guiying (穆桂英) is a legendary heroine from ancient China's Northern Song Dynasty and a prominent figure in the Generals of the Yang Family legends. She is the wife of Yang Zongbao.

Yang Zhongbao
is the grandson of Yang Ye and the son of Yang Yangzhao. The legend of the Yang family started with Yang Ye (杨业) from the early Northern Song dynasty. The family is well known for their loyalty in defending the country against the Liao northern intruders at that time.

In the classical novel, Generals of the Yang Family, it records the story of how the four generations of the Yang family fought and sacrificed their lives for the country.

Yang Ye had seven sons and two daughters who were all well trained in martial arts.

On a mission to fight the enemy, he and his seven sons were ambushed. Yang Ye and four of his sons were killed in the battle.

The three survivors are his fourth, fifth, and sixth son.   

The fourth son was captured by the enemy and later married a foreign princess. The fifth son later became a monk at Mount Wutai.

The sixth son, Yang Yanzhao continued his father's ambition as the commander in chief and continued to fight the northern intruders.

His son, Yang Zongbao, the husband of Mu Guiying also joined his father to defend the country.

In a series of battles with the Northern tribes, the Yang’s army suffered many setbacks as they were unable to break thru their Heavenly Gate Formation.

Mu Guiying then came to their aid and managed to break their battle formation. With that, they finally won the war against the Northern tribes.

Brave, resolute, and loyal, Mu is the cultural symbol of a steadfast woman in Chinese history.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 05, 2022, 11:23:22 am
Richard, again I am impressed at your knowledge of Chinese history. Would the painting on this bottle be a celebration for Mu Guiying after winning the battle?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 06, 2022, 08:57:28 am
Hi John

Personally, I think the event should be before the battle.

This scene is a show of military skills for the selection of the appropriate personnel to be enlisted to the frontline.

In this case, she is showing off her riding skill as well as her archery talent on horseback. You can see the pouch of arrows at her side near the saddle. With her hands clapped, she is celebrating her shot of hitting the bullseye.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard




Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 06, 2022, 12:18:57 pm
Richard, now I see the pouch of arrows but I do not see the bow. What do you think of the mark?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 07, 2022, 02:04:44 am
Hi John

She is probably done with the shooting, so the bow may already be handed to an attendant.

The mark is Kangxi Nian Zhi but the calligraphy is not well executed.

Regards.


Richard



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 08, 2022, 11:20:26 am
Richard, thanks for the information. The next example is painted with the 4 noble professions and has a beige crackle glaze. I have several bottles with this type of glaze and I do not know if it has a specific name [72mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 09, 2022, 02:25:50 pm

John, I believe that this glaze type would be categorized and would be referred to as a "Golden Thread".  Not the same as Ge or Ko ware which has a large matrix of black-iron crackle with an intra crackle matrix of finer gold color crackle (a double crackled glaze form).  Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 10, 2022, 02:23:53 am
Dear Charll,

    Interesting, but I don't like this type.
The coloured crackle looks 'dirty' to me.
I love regular 'Soft Paste' [which might not exist, pace Giovanni!].
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 10, 2022, 08:11:12 am
Charll, thanks for the clarification. I am more familiar with "G" ware. Another bottle with "Golden Thread" glaze painted with the same motif [80mm]. I found this at a small auction in 2007.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 10, 2022, 08:17:41 am
Beautiful painting, John.
As I expect from 'Soft Paste' B & Ws.
But I just don't like the stained cracks.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 10, 2022, 11:27:08 am

John,

This is another of your bottles that is to my taste and quality.  Love the varying degree of tonal use and intensity of the cobalt blue, and the clarity it provides in the design.

Though I agree with Joey, I would like it even more if it was a traditional soft-paste glaze.

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 10, 2022, 12:03:51 pm
Joey and Charll, I do agree that the "Golden Thread" glaze is slightly distracting from the painting.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 10, 2022, 04:06:49 pm
John,

    And I must admit that, other than the coloured crackling,
the bottle is really wonderfully painted in blue and the shading is
top rate.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 13, 2022, 01:17:37 pm
Joey, I do think the bottle is exceptionally painted. These next 2 bottles share the same motif. The man at the bottom of the picture looks like he is break dancing. Maybe Richard can figure this one out. [68mm]. I will post the copper red bottle in the other thread. Nice smooth flat bottom on this one.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 13, 2022, 04:11:01 pm
Two very interesting bottles.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 13, 2022, 10:52:42 pm
Hi John

The motif of these bottles is the story of Wu Song (武松), a major character in the Chinese classical novel, Water Margin (aka All Men Are Brothers).

In the story, Wu killed a tiger at Jingyang Ridge who had been hurting the villagers nearby. He was offered a job as the chief constable which he accepted. One day, he surprisingly runs into his long-separated brother Wu Dalang, Wu Dalang brings Wu Song home and introduces him to his wife Pan Jinlian (潘金蓮).

Wu Dalang, who is a dwarf selling flatbread for a living, is widely taunted by the locals as "Three-Inch Nail Tree Bark" (三寸丁谷樹皮) for his short stature. The harassment got worse after he married Pan, as he looks starkly incompatible with his young and attractive wife.

Later, Pan has an affair with a local rich merchant Ximen Qing (西門慶) and they murdered Wu Dalang by poisoning his medicine when Wu Song was away on duty.

Upon his return, Wu Song investigated and found out the truth. He then invites the neighbours to his brother's house for a belated wake for his brother. At the wake, he forces Pan Jinlian to make a full confession of the murder and then killed her in vengeance.

After that, he rushes to Lion Restaurant (獅子樓), where Ximen Qing is dining with his friends at the upper level of the restaurant and kills the man after a brief fight. Wu then goes to the county office to surrender himself.

These bottles depict the scene whereby Ximen Qing fell from the second storey of the restaurant after receiving a kick from Wu Song.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard

 

 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 14, 2022, 11:19:51 am
Richard, again your knowledge of Chinese literature impresses me. I have a porcelain bottle with Wu fighting the tiger but I did not know the rest of the story. In the 1st picture there is a white figure in both backgrounds [Wu Dalang?] Is the woman in the painting Pan?  Also what is above the female figure? It looks like a cat.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 15, 2022, 12:26:10 am
Hi John

Yes, I think so too.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 15, 2022, 11:41:22 am
Richard, thanks for the confirmation. The next bottle features the strange undersea creatures. I think Charll has a similar example [71mm]. From a small auction in 2014.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 15, 2022, 12:08:24 pm

John,

Another bottle to my taste.  I do not have a bottle with this exact motif and have been on the lookout for one for sometime.  The bottle of mine that is likely coming to mind is the one posted in the left boarder of Forum depicting "NeZha combating the Dragon King amongst a rolling sea of blue and eight mythical sea creatures".

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 15, 2022, 12:17:48 pm
Charll, your bottle is very similar and possibly by the same hand....John


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 15, 2022, 12:47:55 pm
Guys, What’s a NeZha or Nezha?
Best,
Jory


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 15, 2022, 12:58:18 pm

Joey,

See Forum Link for the story of NeZha: https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,2850.msg58927.html#msg58927

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 15, 2022, 02:12:11 pm
Thank you, Charll.
I had totally forgotten those posts.
Probably because the 3 + year gestated ‘meatball’
Reslly grosses me out.
Best,Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 15, 2022, 09:36:22 pm
Hi John

This is the theme of the eight sea monsters (海八怪), normally seen on porcelain objects.

The mermaid is also a common creature found in Western mythologies.

The other creature, which is a calm lady, is also often featured in battle scenes involving sea creatures, such as in Lady White Snake and the Big Flood.

The other creatures are less common.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 16, 2022, 08:10:37 am
Richard, thanks for the information. Some of the creatures looked a little scary. The next bottle is tall [86mm] and features a fisherman. I found it at a small auction in 2004.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 16, 2022, 08:39:01 am
Dear John,

   First, I’d describe this bottle design as a Landscape scene with a
fisherman.
Superbly painted !
The six character Da Qing Qianlong Nianzhi mark doesn’t look
Right, to me. But I’m not an expert on calligraphy.
But an especially well painted example.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on October 16, 2022, 09:21:54 am
Hi John

This bottle reminds me of a typical Chinese landscape ink painting.

I have to agree with Joey that the base mark is poorly executed though.

Regarding the last bottle, that is why they are called monsters!

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on October 16, 2022, 12:09:55 pm

Quote
Regarding the last bottle, that is why they are called monsters!

Exactly, that is why I prefer mystical creatures motifs.   ;D   Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 17, 2022, 08:11:38 am
I agree with Charll that mystical creatures sounds better than monsters. Another landscape with a fisherman on the bottom [71mm]. Purchased from a small auction in 2009.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 17, 2022, 08:50:06 am
Another wonderful painterly B & W landscape.
Beautiful.
Thank you for posting.
Best,
Joey a


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 17, 2022, 08:55:10 am
I understood that both soft paste and hard paste B & W underglazed wares
Were fired once.
The blank is made, and allowed to dry.
Then it is painted on with the cobalt, which goes on a chocolate brown.
Then after that dries, the vessel is coated with clear glaze and the clear
Glaze is allowed to dry.
And then the vessel is  fired.
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 17, 2022, 11:20:17 am
Joey, is the only difference between hard and soft paste porcelain the firing temperature?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 17, 2022, 01:58:07 pm
John, I’m not sure.
I was told by Dr. Steven Little that Soft Paste porcelain is
pure Kaolin clay and has a lower firing temperature.
While Hard Paste porcelain is 90% Kaolin clay and 10% Petuntse
(A Calcium Carbonate compound).
But this might not be accurate.
Both Giovanni and Charll know more about porcelain than I do.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 17, 2022, 02:04:38 pm
Dear John,
I do not know where you have read that the difference between soft and hard paste is the level of the temperature.
We talked about soft paste porcelain a few days ago, I do not remember if even within this same thread or another one, related to blue and white bottles.
As said there, soft paste is not a well-defined matter, it is not completely clear. It seems that it has an higher content of kaolin, thus requiring an higher temperature than hard paste, but as said it is not clear.
The big difference between the two is the almost vitrification of the body, which does not happen for soft paste, hence its opacity to light.
Dear Joey, before firing, the cobalt is not chocolate brown. You are probably mismatching it with cobalt not covered by the glaze, which turn out dark brown/black instead of blue.
The raw cobalt in powder state is dark gray, then it is mixed with liquid clear glaze and brushed onto the body, which can either be in dry state, or in biscuit state. The biscuit is less absorbing, allowing for a finer painting.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 17, 2022, 02:17:13 pm
Dear Giovanni,

 I must correct one point.
I saw cobalt being painted onto porcelain blanks in Jingdezhen.
It was chocolate brown in colour.
I was told that it was cobalt and would change to blue in colour,
once covered with a clear glaze and fired.
Is this not correct?
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 17, 2022, 04:02:27 pm
Dear Joey,
Then I do not know, maybe are there different types? I have seen several times a grey color, sometime very pale, sometime darker.
But I am not a potter, I do not know if other blue colors are called cobalt even if not cobalt, only because of being blue? Now I found a video where it says that the lady was painting with cobalt, but it was a pink liquid!
At this point, I don’t know.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 17, 2022, 04:23:33 pm
Dear Giovanni,

  Oh, that IS confusing!
Is it possible that the  cobalt material which changes to blue
Under clear glaze in the firing, could have different colours?
I was amazed to be told thst this viscous deep chocolate brown material
Turned blue when fired under a clear glaze.
And you saw a pink coloured liquid and was told the same thing?!
Charll, do you have anything that might clear this up?
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 19, 2022, 11:41:59 am
Joey and Giovanni, I always thought that the cobalt was dark grey or black as in this unglazed example. Also in all my searches on the internet on "soft paste" porcelain has one thing in common, that it fired at a lower temperature so that the body is opaque.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on October 19, 2022, 01:25:06 pm
Dear John,
in other places it say that it needs an higher temperature, which to me suggests that, not being fired higher, the body is not fused hence opaque.
What is clear is that, as said before, it is not a well known matter.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on October 19, 2022, 03:35:27 pm
Giovanni, I agree there is a lot of bad information out on the web. The next bottle is matching to my last post on the dragon thread. It came from the same auction, same neck decoration and the same size.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on October 19, 2022, 11:16:28 pm
Beautiful  John.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 03, 2022, 02:11:54 pm
This bottle [76mm] and the next bottle in the B&W& copper red section are from the same masters hand. The detail is unbelievable. Maybe Richard knows if anything special is going on in this drawing.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 16, 2022, 08:07:57 am
The next example is kind of bulky, but I like the painting [66mm].


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on November 16, 2022, 08:56:22 am
Dear John,

     The potting looks to be Daoguang [ca.1821-1850],
but could be earlier.
But the mark looks like the correct Qianlong mark from 1795,
when the Qianlong Emperor abdicated, till 1799, when he died.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 16, 2022, 01:05:09 pm
Joey, the bottle does remind me of Daoguang workmanship. I do not know why they would put a reverse "S" on a Daoguang bottle.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on November 16, 2022, 10:47:42 pm
Hi John

Are you referring to the right character on the base mark?

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on November 17, 2022, 12:31:40 am
Hi John

Coming back to your previous bottle. (https://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1291.0/msg,61268.html)

I think the subject is Diao Chan (貂蝉), a beauty in the classical novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Diao Chan was a court singer in the residence of a high-ranking official, Wang Yun (王允). During that time, the Han emperor was held hostage by the warlord, Dong Zhuo (董卓).

Being a loyal supporter of the Han court, Wang was very worried of the situation.

One night, he saw Diao Chan praying to heaven asking for help to relieve Wang's worry. Upon seeing that, Wang was moved and took Diao Chan as his daughter. The subject on this bottle depicted that scene.

Later, Wang offered Diao to Dong Zhuo. Diao has a secret mission. She is to create conflict between Dong Zhuo and his foster son, Lu Bu (吕布), a powerful warrior during that time.

She managed to succeed resulting in Lu Bu killing Dong Zhuo in the end.

This was the plan schemed by Wang Yun.

Diao Chan was considered one of the four great beauties in Chinese history. (Joey, here we go again!)

For your reference,

Regards.


Richard




Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 17, 2022, 11:52:04 am
Richard, I am even more impressed that you were able to get all that information from the painting. In the first photo it looks like the woman is holding a baby? Can that be correct?


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on November 17, 2022, 04:23:53 pm
Dear Richard,

     BAZINGA! [A "Big Bang Theory" reference... ::) :o :D],
Beautiful bottles, John.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on November 18, 2022, 02:07:58 am
Thanks, guys!

I am just making a wild guess here as there may be other possibilities. The reason is that Dian Chan is usually depicted together with her lover, Lu Bu.

John, I cannot confirm what she was holding in her hand but if it was a baby, then I am probably barking up the wrong tree!  ;D

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 18, 2022, 11:35:09 am
Richard, I did enlarge the photo and it does look like a child. Now that you mention that Dian Chan and Lu Bu were lovers the story makes more sense.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on November 18, 2022, 08:00:56 pm
Hi John

I think you are right.

So, this is not the story of Diao Chan after all.

The search continues...


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 20, 2022, 07:31:47 am
This next example [66mm] features two doves looking at a Pekinese dog [Daoguang?] in a garden setting. I found it at a small auction in 2015.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on November 20, 2022, 01:40:19 pm
John,

   It has a Ming Dynasty Chenghua mark on the base,
probably an homage to the wonderful B & Ws of that reign.
I'm not sure what the dating should be.
Nicely painted.
It could be ca.1821-1854.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 21, 2022, 07:18:30 am
Joey, I would agree with that dating. The next bottle is an unusually small [47mm] bottle with roundels. Some of them are very dark, so I think this is a later bottle.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on November 22, 2022, 06:23:55 pm
John,

    Japanese-style mons [floral medallions], as illustrated on your latest B & W,
are actually often found decorating Imperial wares from ca.1715 to 1900.
The quality of your bottle is not as fine as #102 [ca.1760-1820]; #105 [ca.1851-1855];
or # 110 [ca.1820-1855], all in "Dragon".
I'd reckon your bottle is ca.1865-1900, and not necessarily Imperial [as indeed #110
is possibly not Imperial].
Re. the bottle with the doves and the Pekinese. A lot of bottles with a Pekinese subject
were made to honour the love of the Dowager Empress Cixi for this breed.
And
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 23, 2022, 08:05:50 am
Joey, I would agree with the dating on the mons bottle. I think the Pekinese bottle could be earlier as the dog is paired with the 2 doves. The next bottle is an unusual miniature [41mm] with a lotus scroll over a wave ground. The neck is surrounded by 8 flower heads. Part of a B&W collection I bought out of N.Y.C. in 2015.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on November 23, 2022, 02:03:30 pm
Dear John,

     You are right. The bottles made to eulogise the Pekinese who died usually
display a pair of the dogs, or so I understand.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on November 25, 2022, 11:53:45 am
The next bottle [83mm] is the second of my foo lions examples. This one features the early neck decoration. From a small auction in 2009.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 09, 2022, 08:03:42 am
This next example [86mm] has the "Golden Thread" type of glaze. Maybe Richard knows the story of this figure looking at the man in the boat. From an internet auction in 2012.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 09, 2022, 03:08:01 pm
Dear John,
What is coming out of the brazier in the bow of the boat?
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on December 09, 2022, 08:45:18 pm
Hi Joey

I think he is burning incense.

But I cannot figure out what is on the right of the man in the third photo. Anyone?

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 10, 2022, 08:04:58 am
Joey and Richard, those are 2 things that I could not figure out. The incense burning makes sense. Near the other figure it almost looks like a basket with something growing in it has tipped on its side.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 10, 2022, 06:03:01 pm
Guys, That is a bamboo fish or crustacean trap.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 11, 2022, 07:36:16 am
Joey, that could be a bamboo basket [unfinished of course]. The next bottle [68mm] I showed at one of our meetings. Very imaginative painting and a more unusual shape. It looks like 2 boats with masts and rigging and further down a lookout pole. From a B&W collection from NYC in 2015.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 14, 2022, 07:36:40 am
Recently I found a bottle [66mm] by the same hand as mine in the Barron V sale #304. I noticed the calligraphy is different. Maybe Richard can explain. From an internet auction in 2015.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on December 14, 2022, 02:00:01 pm

John,

Now this is a very nice bottle!  Artistically well done, balanced design, great use varying blue tones, detail and clarity in the painting. NICE!!!!!

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 14, 2022, 02:14:37 pm
Dear John,

    This one is a stunner!
Congratulations,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on December 14, 2022, 06:16:14 pm
Unique...I like it very much!


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on December 14, 2022, 10:47:47 pm
Hi John

Yes, very well executed.

The inscription appears to be a name, Zi Jiu.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 15, 2022, 07:18:30 am
John,

   Is that a peach on the base?
This really is a special B & W.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 15, 2022, 07:30:24 am
Joey, that is a peach. It is the same on the Barron bottle. Richard, thanks for the translation and I thank everyone for their comments. The next example is for Joey, a soft paste bottle [62mm] with a landscape and a fisherman. It is from an auction in 2007 and from the Collection of Saint John's University.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 15, 2022, 08:47:32 am
John,
 
   It looks like the exact same scene as illustrated on #59, 60, and 61
 in the Landscapes Section of "Dragon"!
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: joearp on December 15, 2022, 09:21:52 am
Lovely landscape bottle John.  I am particularly fond of the soft paste bottles.  Have a similar one I purchased from Robert Kleiner in Jan of 2013. 


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 15, 2022, 09:42:02 am
Jo. I also really like the soft paste bottles. They all seem to be of high quality, except for that one example I posted in an earlier thread.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 17, 2022, 01:50:59 pm
This next example [67mm] is from an internet auction in 2016. There is a nice depth to the painting for a smaller thin bottle. Unusual miniature landscape on the bottom.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 17, 2022, 03:02:57 pm
Dear John,

  The thinner potting tends to be more typical of post 1865 Jingdezhen
wares.
But very nice painting.
I have B&W bottles from ca. 1890-1900 [by Suyundaoren
{Suyun Retired Follower of the Dao}],
as well or better painted as those from ca. 1770-1820.

I fly to Dubai tomorrow morning, so probably I'll not
be on the Forum till 26.December, after my return to Israel.
Happy Hanuka [Starts tomorrow evening],
and A Joyous Christmas to all who celebrate it,
And My Best to all,
Joey
Best,
Joey



Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 18, 2022, 07:19:59 am
Joey, I agree that the bottle is post 1865. Good luck on your trip. You should be able to access the forum from your laptop. The next example [61mm] has nice painting on a more unusual shape. From an auction in 2007.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 27, 2022, 08:06:42 am
The next example [71mm] has that "Golden Thread" type of glaze. I believe the figure is the general from the Peking Opera? Maybe Richard can confirm. From an internet auction in 2005.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 27, 2022, 08:45:55 am
Dear John,

   The porcelain looks to me like the regular crackling one sees on
Soft Paste porcelain. I don't see the yellow colour in the cracks.
And it does indeed look like the general from the Beijing Opera.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on December 27, 2022, 07:53:17 pm
Hi John & Joey

Yes, this a typical Chinese opera costume for a general

Joey, there are many different types of Chinese operas and there are different depending on the region. Beijing opera is popular in the North and especially so after it became a favourite with Empress Dowager Cixi.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 28, 2022, 09:38:27 am
Dear Richard,

   Thank you, but in October 1988, on my first visit to the PRC, we were taken to a
program of short sections from assorted Beijing Opera shows, put on by a travelling troupe
from Beijing. The short segments, together still too long at almost 2 hours, was presumably
for 'Foreign Friends'.
I told our National Guide, Yao Ti, that English-Speaking Westerners have
very short attention spans!
I pointed out that one French movie had a scene with a couple smoking and talking,
that went on for over 5 minutes [I timed it; it was like watching paint dry!
And not even nice coloured paint.
Like that nauseous green paint one finds in prisons such as HM Prison Belmarsh in London].

But the average length of a scene on an American TV program, is 27 - 37 seconds!

I further said that watching something in a foreign language is FASCINATING for the first 5-10
minutes. After that, it gets really old, really fast. ::) :o ;D
Best,
Joey




Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 28, 2022, 11:17:33 am
Joey, there should be a way to differentiate between the soft paste of the last bottle and the more standard type [next post]. The next three bottles all show wrestlers. After Richard's post #221 on contemporary stone bottles showing the Emperor watching a wrestling match, I thought these bottles were more important. The center soft paste bottle [80mm] is very well done. From an internet auction in 2010.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 28, 2022, 05:44:10 pm
Dear John,

    I'd never seen a bottle with wrestlers, and you've 3!
I've got one multiple, 8 compartment snuff bottle, #43 in "Dragon",
with 2 men fighting in a river. Robert Kleiner wrote "wrestling",
but they are fighting. One is half-naked.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on December 28, 2022, 09:16:54 pm
Hi John

I agreed with Joey that this is an unusual subject.

Wrestling was not part of Chinese martial arts before the Qing dynasty. It was a fighting skill for the Mongolians and Manchurians. They held an annual competition to pick the best and the champion will earn the title of "Ba Tu Ru" which means the brave one or hero.

For your information.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 29, 2022, 08:11:10 am
Richard, thanks for the background on the Chinese wrestling. The remaining bottles I find very similar. The wrestlers look similar, as does the watcher. I do not know what is on his head and face or what he is holding. The figure on the bottom is a nice touch. From an internet auction in 2017.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on December 31, 2022, 08:12:00 am
The last of the wrestler bottles [70mm]. I find this very similar to the previous one. The watcher's face has something on it and he is holding something in his hand. Even the bottom has a painted figure. Maybe George knows why the pictures are so far down.













































































































































































































































































































































































Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on December 31, 2022, 07:23:43 pm
Yes, that is odd.

Happy New Year 2023!
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 01, 2023, 11:35:18 am
The next bottle [76mm] has multiple dots but still is a fine soft paste example. Maybe Richard knows what is going on in this scene. The face of the large male figure is kind of scary. From a small auction in 2007.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 06, 2023, 07:35:37 am
The next bottle [70mm] again has multiple dots on the neck. Good quality porcelain and nice painting. Maybe Richard can place the scene. From an internet auction in 2009.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: George on January 11, 2023, 01:55:45 am
I tried to fix the post with the big space John, but no luck.

I can't explain it.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 11, 2023, 11:30:04 am
George, thanks for trying to fix that. A new find [81mm] and I do not know what is going on in the painting. Maybe Richard can figure it out from the calligraphy.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on January 11, 2023, 03:42:28 pm
Dear John,

   I looked at the bottles in posts 393 and 396, and can't figure out either.
Hopefully Richard can. The bottle in 396 doesn't look to have a lot of age to it.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on January 11, 2023, 08:27:34 pm
Hi John

The two characters on the bottle are from the classical novel, Water Margin aka All Men are Brothers.

They are two of the 108 heroes in the story, Qin Ming and Shi Yong respectively.

Joey, I think you meant posts 293 & 296.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: rpfstoneman on January 11, 2023, 08:40:15 pm
All,

I was just in the process of responding to John's bottle is a Hero's of the Water Margin theme, and Richard just beat me to it.  Attached is a similar bottle in soft paste with a concentric ring base.

Charll


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 12, 2023, 12:15:13 pm
Richard, thanks for the explanation. Charll, that appears to be from the same hand as mine.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: richy88 on January 16, 2023, 10:05:26 pm
Hi John

I am coming back to your bottle in post #246. the woman carrying a baby in a garden scene with a man at the other end onlooking.

This appears to be the story of "The orphan of the Zhao family".

The Orphan of the Zhao family is based on historical records. The orphan was born during the Spring-Autumn Period – a time when imperial power was being eroded by the growth of numerous aristocratic family-states.

The story is as follows: schemed by the evil courtier Tu An Gu, the Zhao clan was all killed except for the Princess who was the Jin Ruler’s sister and was pregnant. After the baby was born, he was smuggled out by a loyal follower and doctor, Cheng Ying. Having realized that the baby boy had escaped, Tu An Gu gave the order to kill all the newly born boys in the country. Finally, Cheng Ying decided to give up his own child for the Zhao orphan.

The scene on the bottle shows Cheng's wife trying to carry their baby away. But she eventually agreed with her husband's plan.

Meanwhile, Cheng Ying and his friend, a retired minister Gongsun Chujiu made a plan. Cheng would report to Tu An about Gongsun who had the Zhao orphan in his house. Actually, the real Zhao orphan was hidden in the deep mountain while Cheng’s own baby son was with Gongsun. Tu An killed both Gongsun and the child. In order to reward Cheng Ying as a loyal reporter, Tu An took both Cheng Ying and his son (but actually Zhao’s offspring) to his house and Tu An made himself the foster father of the boy.

Sixteen years later, Cheng Ying revealed the true story to the young man. The orphan of Zhao took revenge on Tu An, for his parents, his clan, and for Cheng Ying.

This is an archetypal Chinese story of loyalty, honesty, sacrifice, friendship, evil, revenge, bravery, and justice.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 17, 2023, 01:21:48 pm
Richard, I can not believe you were able to figure that story out. Impressive as usual. I am posting 2 B&W& copper red bottles with the same motif as a follow up. I note the differences in the painting and colors from bottle to bottle, possibly by the same hand.


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: Joey on January 17, 2023, 03:28:25 pm
Amazing story, Richard.
And very similar to some Greek stories.
Best,
joey


Title: Re: Blue & White Porcelain Bottles
Post by: bambooforrest on January 23, 2023, 11:58:22 am
Richard, this story is very similar to some of the early Kung Fu movies I have seen. This next bottle [74mm] has the "Golden thread" glaze which seems to be pretty common. A purchase from one of my earliest in person auctions in 1999.