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

Public Forum Categories and Boards => Gem, Stone, Rock and Fossil => Topic started by: George on October 15, 2011, 04:31:54 am



Title: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: George on October 15, 2011, 04:31:54 am
Richy shared a few bottles (http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php?topic=161.0) that were carved at this Suzhou School.

Do you Richy, or anyone else know of a direct link to the school, and or some means to check out bottles carved from there ?  Or maybe it is no longer ?

I am not finding anything online except this reference below to Jade carving. I am more curious about bottles similar to your agate bottles that were carved at this school Richy .

Zhiting School of Suzhou, c. 1730 – 1860
 
Considered the most prestigious of the jade workshops, the master carvers of the Zhiting School produced exquisite jade pieces for the emperor Qianlong, a Manchurian ruler of the Qing Dynasty who ruled from 1711 to 1796. Qianlong was one of China’s greatest art patronages, and jade pieces owned or commissioned by him are some of the most highly prized in the art world.

Yangzhou School, c. 1780-1860

Yangzhou is one of the most famous areas in China for jade production. The city has a long history in the jade trade. Historically, Yangzhou jade carving reached its zenith during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. When jade carving reached its peak in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Yanzhou was known for producing large jade pieces. There are still jade factories in Yangzhou today.
 
Chu Man-chi, b. 1910

Though retired today, Chu Man Chi is considered one of the great masters of jade carving. He was born in 1910 in Yang Chow and studied in apprenticeships under jade master Wang Song Lin and Shi He Shang during the 1920s. In the early postwar years, he escaped to Hong Kong and worked for a wealthy jade merchant, Mr. Ma, who later suffered a series of misfortunes in his jade business. Despite these setbacks, Mr. Chu continued his craft, carving both large and small jade specimens.
 



Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: richy88 on October 16, 2011, 04:11:29 am
Hi George

As far as I know, they are very few Suzhou school bottles that are signed or can the artist be identified.

However, they do share a common characteristics in their works, this school of carving tends to make us of all the inclusions or flaws in the material to form part of the motif, regardless of the material, be it agate, jade or others.

Regards.


Richard


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: George on October 16, 2011, 10:17:36 am


However, they do share a common characteristics in their works, this school of carving tends to make us of all the inclusions or flaws in the material to form part of the motif, regardless of the material, be it agate, jade or others.



That is good to know..

So there is not currently a school that any carved bottles can be traced to ?


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on March 03, 2012, 02:32:48 pm
George,
   The inventor of a 'Suzhou School' was Hugh Moss. It has never been proven there actually was a 'Suzhou School' of Jade carving or Agate carving. He claimed there was one in the 18th and 19th C. It was a way to sell snuff bottles he had.
   Then he misappropriated the term "Master of the Rocks" as a school of bottle carving. In reality, the acknowledged term "Master of the Rocks" refers SOLELY to a style of landscape PAINTING on Blue & White Porcelain Transitional Wares (Wares made during the transition from Ming to Qing dynasty styles, ca.1620s to 1660s).
   Proper Chinese Art Scholars laugh at snuff bottle collectors primarily, because we parrot Hugh Moss' BS misappropriation of  valid Chinese Art terms to flog his wares and sound scholarly.
  Sorry to disabuse you. There WAS Jade carving in Suzhou in the 18th and 19th C., but it was not organised into a 'school'; there were a number of different carvers, each with his own workshop, and you bought from the carver whose work you admired. Just like we buy IPSBs today, from Su Fengyi, or Liu Shouben, or Liu Yizi, etc.
  As well, Hugh Moss' improper misappropriation of the term "Lingnan School" to refer to the early IPSBs of 1800-1830 (Gan Xuanwen, etc.). Properly, "Lingnan School" refers to what, for simplicity's sake, I call 'Chinese Expressionism', which developed in South China ca. 1890 - 1950. Since the early 1900s, that is how the term has been used in China and in Chinese Art scholarship. Then, along comes Hugh Moss, and says,"It refers to early IPSBs painted in south China, ca. 1800-1830", and I guess, he reckons that since his wares he wants to flog are earlier than the accepted "Lingnan School" paintings, he can trump them for the name. A term's legitimacy in the art world is based on when a term was first used, not which objects are earlier.
  Hugh Moss has done the little backwater of CSB collectors a huge disservice by misappropriating terms, and misusing them.
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox, now! ;-) Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: George on March 03, 2012, 02:51:09 pm
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox, now! ;-) Joey

Please stay right there Joey !   :D

Hey, what an informative post !


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on March 03, 2012, 02:58:15 pm
George, read my post in the other Suzhou School thread, then. Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: George on December 30, 2019, 06:07:23 am
George,
   The inventor of a 'Suzhou School' was Hugh Moss. It has never been proven there actually was a 'Suzhou School' of Jade carving or Agate carving. He claimed there was one in the 18th and 19th C. It was a way to sell snuff bottles he had.
   Then he misappropriated the term "Master of the Rocks" as a school of bottle carving. In reality, the acknowledged term "Master of the Rocks" refers SOLELY to a style of landscape PAINTING on Blue & White Porcelain Transitional Wares (Wares made during the transition from Ming to Qing dynasty styles, ca.1620s to 1660s).
   Proper Chinese Art Scholars laugh at snuff bottle collectors primarily, because we parrot Hugh Moss' BS misappropriation of  valid Chinese Art terms to flog his wares and sound scholarly.
  Sorry to disabuse you. There WAS Jade carving in Suzhou in the 18th and 19th C., but it was not organised into a 'school'; there were a number of different carvers, each with his own workshop, and you bought from the carver whose work you admired. Just like we buy IPSBs today, from Su Fengyi, or Liu Shouben, or Liu Yizi, etc.
  As well, Hugh Moss' improper misappropriation of the term "Lingnan School" to refer to the early IPSBs of 1800-1830 (Gan Xuanwen, etc.). Properly, "Lingnan School" refers to what, for simplicity's sake, I call 'Chinese Expressionism', which developed in South China ca. 1890 - 1950. Since the early 1900s, that is how the term has been used in China and in Chinese Art scholarship. Then, along comes Hugh Moss, and says,"It refers to early IPSBs painted in south China, ca. 1800-1830", and I guess, he reckons that since his wares he wants to flog are earlier than the accepted "Lingnan School" paintings, he can trump them for the name. A term's legitimacy in the art world is based on when a term was first used, not which objects are earlier.
  Hugh Moss has done the little backwater of CSB collectors a huge disservice by misappropriating terms, and misusing them.
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox, now! ;-) Joey


I have a question Joey, as I have a Suzhou bottle coming..

I see the big auction houses describe these as school of Zhiting, Suzhou, some of these are Hugh Moss listings.  Was there a workshop or "School of Zhiting" in Suzhou ?



Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on December 31, 2019, 12:04:27 am
Dear George,

    I must admit that I am not familiar with the different studios and workshops of Suzhou which did hardstone carving.
But I heard a lecture by 'Hugo Boss' at a convention, where he 'introduced' the
"School of Zhiting" into the discussion.

   So it could be another invention by HB, stealing a term he read somewhere and liked; so arbitrarily, he gave it a new context.
Who knows?
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Wattana on December 31, 2019, 06:44:52 am
Hi George,

Your first post in this thread (dated October 15, 2011) sums up what little is known about Zhiting. As Joey says earlier in this thread, there was no "school", as such; just numerous small jade ateliers, centered around the Zhuanzhu Lane area of Suzhou. Zhiting is the name of one particular jade carver from Suzhou, who (untypically) happened to sign a few pieces of his work. No one knows when exactly he was active, whether or not he developed a particular style, nor if he established a workshop in his name.

Happy New Year!

Tom


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: George on December 31, 2019, 11:00:09 am

 Zhiting is the name of one particular jade carver from Suzhou, who (untypically) happened to sign a few pieces of his work. No one knows when exactly he was active, whether or not he developed a particular style, nor if he established a workshop in his name.


Ah, ok.. I did not know that .. Good info , and thanks Tom. 

So the term, "Official School" is irrelevant as well ?


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on December 31, 2019, 03:34:54 pm
 Hugh Moss has done the little backwater of CSB collectors a huge disservice by misappropriating terms, and misusing them.
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox, now! ;-) Joey

Extremely important information to know, Joey. You do us all a great service in sharing it. Thank you.


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Wattana on January 01, 2020, 06:57:05 am

So the term, "Official School" is irrelevant as well ?


Hi George,

I believe this is another term first coined by a well-known dealer/collector. But I see it is widely adopted by other dealers and auction houses to describe bottles (mostly agate/chalcedony) which cannot claim an 'imperial', 'palace workshop' or Suzhou attribution, yet are of high quality, and conform to conservative taste (i.e. NOT literati style). It is hypothetically assumed the mandarin class of court officials would have patronized private workshops in the Beijing area to produce these bottles for their personal use. Hence the term 'official'. But again, there was no school as such.

Tom 
PS: Some dealers refer to this type of bottle as 'Beijing School'.


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on January 02, 2020, 01:21:43 am
Dear Brian,

     Thank you. Though I must admit that most of the attendees to ICSBS conventions seem to ignore my warnings. Wesley Kirkhom, a serious collector and good friend, agrees, and a few others, but very quietly.

     The Chinese experts agree with me; or more accurately we agree with each other - Yang Boda from the Gegong [Forbidden City Palace Museum] in Beijing, put down the 'Shunzhi Bronze bottles' [attributed to the Shunzhi reign in the 1640s & 1650s] as 19th C. fakes, made to sell to rich Westerners just off the steamboats from England etc. This was during the Beijing part of the 1996 Beijing & Hong Kong convention of the ICSBS.

    Until then, 'guess who' was selling them, at US$12K - 15K each, as genuine Shunzhi? You guessed it.

    In 1982, Prof. Schuyler Cammann [the doyen of Chinese Art scholars, retired from Princeton, I believe] decried these as mid-19th C. fakes. He was giving a lecture in the auditorium in the Newark Museum, during our NYC convention that year.

    He was laughed off the stage by the same dealer and most of the attendees to the convention.

   I had agreed with him on that point, but was not that impressed with him otherwise, since he'd been quite arrogant and supercilious before the lecture, and also gratuitously bandied a few anti-semitic comments as well.

   Best,
and a belated Happy New Year!
Joey
   


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on January 11, 2020, 09:35:41 pm
Joey,

As a marketing professor, part of me has to admire the chutzpah of creating "schools" out of thin air and then becoming the expert on them. Kind of like how DeBeers created the diamond engagement ring idea and then marketed the hell out of it.


   I had agreed with him on that point, but was not that impressed with him otherwise, since he'd been quite arrogant and supercilious before the lecture, and also gratuitously bandied a few anti-semitic comments as well.


Shame. Best to separate the art from the artist. Or at least in this case, the knowledge from the knower.

Brian


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on January 12, 2020, 04:50:03 pm
Dear Brian,

      Yes, very much the way De Beers made up the allure of diamonds, so that they could flog them to the public.
Or the way Christian missionaries to Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific Islands, convinced the newly converted Islanders that they needed to cover their bodies, and a few weeks later, the missionaries' cousins arrived, ready to sell them clothing....
Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on January 12, 2020, 05:26:35 pm
Or the way Christian missionaries to Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific Islands, convinced the newly converted Islanders that they needed to cover their bodies, and a few weeks later, the missionaries' cousins arrived, ready to sell them clothing....
Joey,

Oh that's good. Who says business and religion can't work well together. [SMH]

Brian


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on January 13, 2020, 01:19:47 am
Dear Brian,

    There was a saying in Hawaii, " the Missionaries came to do Good; and did very Well for themselves!"
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 13, 2020, 05:08:15 am
Dear all,
I will be very frank, and frankly I do not mind at all if this will be sound as an offence to anybody, regardless who is.
I start to collect snuff bottles only a few years ago, after collecting for much many years Chinese porcelain.
On Chinese porcelain field, what is believed is based on historical records, documented hand down examples, archaeological excavations. Then, most of what is believed is supported by documentation.
Instead, almost all what I have seen in the few years of collecting snuff bottles is not documented, but based only on what is said, with no evidence, by a small bunch of dealers. Whom, of course, are acting solely in their own interest. What is very evident to me instead, based on some facts, some occurred to myself, some seen at the major Auctions, is that these supposed expert dealers are often making ridiculous mistakes, really gross, stupid at times, ridiculous mistakes, out of any logic or evidence.
Despite such situation, that is evident to anyone who has a minimum capacity of critics and not “drink” everything is said to them, the real problem is that all the relevant actors of this circus, i.e. the major Auction Houses and many among the bunch of rich collectors do blind believe them and everything is gravitating around them.
I have no other words for describing all this than BUFFOONERY.
My conclusion, being this the situation, is to collect what I like, or what I judge good based on my judging capacity, regardless what said by X or Y, or regardless the results of the Auctions.
I am convinced that any of us, if he will honestly admit, has surely seen junk bottles sold at absurd prices at the major auction houses, while at the same time having had good bottles refused by such same auction houses.
Ah, there is a small difference between what I am saying here and what said by those “experts”, and is the fact that what I am saying is supported by evidence. I can prove what I am saying to anybody, anytime.
Regards,
Giovanni


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on January 13, 2020, 05:21:09 am
Dear all,
I will be very frank, and frankly I do not mind at all if this will be sound as an offence to anybody, regardless who is.
I start to collect snuff bottles only a few years ago, after collecting for much many years Chinese porcelain.
On Chinese porcelain field, what is believed is based on historical records, documented hand down examples, archaeological excavations. Then, most of what is believed is supported by documentation.
Instead, almost all what I have seen in the few years of collecting snuff bottles is not documented, but based only on what is said, with no evidence, by a small bunch of dealers. Whom, of course, are acting solely in their own interest. What is very evident to me instead, based on some facts, some occurred to myself, some seen at the major Auctions, is that these supposed expert dealers are often making ridiculous mistakes, really gross, stupid at times, ridiculous mistakes, out of any logic or evidence.
Despite such situation, that is evident to anyone who has a minimum capacity of critics and not “drink” everything is said to them, the real problem is that all the relevant actors of this circus, i.e. the major Auction Houses and many among the bunch of rich collectors do blind believe them and everything is gravitating around them.
I have no other words for describing all this than BUFFOONERY.
My conclusion, being this the situation, is to collect what I like, or what I judge good based on my judging capacity, regardless what said by X or Y, or regardless the results of the Auctions.
I am convinced that any of us, if he will honestly admit, has surely seen junk bottles sold at absurd prices at the major auction houses, while at the same time having had good bottles refused by such same auction houses.
Ah, there is a small difference between what I am saying here and what said by those “experts”, and is the fact that what I am saying is supported by evidence. I can prove what I am saying to anybody, anytime.
Regards,
Giovanni


Amen Giovanni! if I tried I couldn't say it any better, as it reflects my long held belief.  Some bottles sell for 5-10 times or more than what their realistic value is, completely ignoring similar and in some cases, almost exact copies of the same bottle, just to pretend that the item for sale or auction is unique or rare.

To illustrate my point, I own about a dozen Yan Yutian bottles and at one point I considered selling some of them.  I was shocked to see them refused by the auction houses, even though some of mine were better quality than what they had sold before.  I am just appalled by the whole protectionist attitude and dealer scams.   


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 13, 2020, 05:28:34 am
To be precise about what I meant by referring to some of the rich collectors:
One of the more prestigious sales has been the Bloch collection. In that collection, some bottles are ridiculously new or fake.
Now, is it one of those bottles an important one because it belongs from a prestigious collection? No, it was ***t and it remains ***t, regardless the provenance.
This is why I suggest to buy with a grain of salt.
Giovanni


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 13, 2020, 05:33:14 am
Dear Pat, I havent seen your post while posting my last one.
That's exact! For example, I ahve seen a bottle at auction claimed to be very rare. Shown to them the same bottle, not accepted, and no reason added for that.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on January 13, 2020, 05:57:46 am
Dear Pat, I havent seen your post while posting my last one.
That's exact! For example, I ahve seen a bottle at auction claimed to be very rare. Shown to them the same bottle, not accepted, and no reason added for that.
Kind regards
Giovanni


I am sort of in a unique position in my field of collecting (mostly MPIP, or at least my number one priority), so in this area it is not complicated, nor does provenance make any difference, or hardly:

1. is it a genuine MPIP bottle?  Plenty of corroborating evidence to prove
2. is the signature and author authentic?  same answer as above
3. are there plenty of comparative samples?  mostly true

So then, why would auction houses reject items for auction?  I think we all know the answer. They don't want to flood the market and protect their lifeblood of supply(known collections and shady dealers)

I rest my case 


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on January 13, 2020, 09:56:01 am
Giovanni and all,

I find this really interesting. Of course it makes complete sense for dealers to create mystique around specific bottles or "schools" to help flog their inventory, but I hadn't thought about the protectionist attitude of auction houses to limit "flooding" the market with similar bottles and devaluing (read:properly valuing) recently sold lots.

For my own education, I'm very curious about which Bloch auction bottles you feel are s**t? Please share if you are comfortable. I'm still developing an eye for all of this and sometimes feel like I'm standing in the middle of a minefield too cautious to take a step in any direction, which is why I've been collecting some Very Modern IPBs where provenance and painter are less an issue. I feel blessed that my grandfather had a good eye and found some top notch bottles, but I know that even he was conned a few times. One a Ma Shaoxuan bottle that Michael Chu unceremoniously dismissed as "fake" when I showed him a pic and another the very bottle he had commissioned of he and my grandmother that was supposed to be painted by Dong Xue (and likely paid for commensurately) that Wang Jinpeng verified was not authentic either. Enough to make you pull your hair out.

Why do snuff bottles attract such shady dealings?

Brian


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Pat - 查尚杰 on January 14, 2020, 01:27:55 am
Giovanni and all,



Why do snuff bottles attract such shady dealings?

Brian

Opportunity and people too rich for their own good, lazy to do proper research or apply common sense, gullible, or a combination of all ...


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 14, 2020, 06:38:23 am
Dear Brian,
Sorry I am not going to share that particular bottle of the Bloch collection that is absolutely laughable, because that story irritates me very much, and I am not willing to let it pass so unpunished.
It is my intention to build up a proper documentation and then make public on the Net to anyone who is who, or to be clear call incompetents as incompetents and call ignorant as ignorant. With the appropriate documentation.
It is a scandal that some personages are universally considered as being entitled to be respected while indeed they are missing the more basic common capacity of analysis. And on top of that making money.
As for your question, why all this happens, Pat has perfectly answered. What happened to your grandfather and you did report here, is a further example. It si more than evident to anybody with a grain of salt, that these personages are unscrupulous buffoons, but yet they still have credit.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on January 14, 2020, 09:15:16 am

Opportunity and people too rich for their own good, lazy to do proper research or apply common sense, gullible, or a combination of all ...


Sounds about right...


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: snuffmke on January 14, 2020, 09:16:06 am
Dear Brian,
Sorry I am not going to share that particular bottle of the Bloch collection that is absolutely laughable, because that story irritates me very much, and I am not willing to let it pass so unpunished.
It is my intention to build up a proper documentation and then make public on the Net to anyone who is who, or to be clear call incompetents as incompetents and call ignorant as ignorant. With the appropriate documentation.
It is a scandal that some personages are universally considered as being entitled to be respected while indeed they are missing the more basic common capacity of analysis. And on top of that making money.
As for your question, why all this happens, Pat has perfectly answered. What happened to your grandfather and you did report here, is a further example. It si more than evident to anybody with a grain of salt, that these personages are unscrupulous buffoons, but yet they still have credit.
Kind regards
Giovanni


Giovanni,

I, and I'm sure many on here, look forward to you exposé!

Brian


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on January 15, 2020, 01:24:40 am
 

Dear Giovanni,

    I've explained this to you a number of times.
1. 'Hugo Boss' sold the 'fake' to Bloch, and then 'curated' the sale.
Do you honestly believe he would describe a bottle he sold at a high price, as a fake?
Incidentally, I believe the bottle is genuine 18th C. But the calligraphy incised, is modern.

Having seen both yours and the Bloch bottle, I can categorically attest that yours is genuinely Qianlong, and Palace Workshops,x both bottle and incised inscription.

Sadly, you are 100% right, and 100% wrong.
The latter because you insist on ignoring the power of the Market.
Best,
Joey

Dear Pat, I havent seen your post while posting my last one.
That's exact! For example, I ahve seen a bottle at auction claimed to be very rare. Shown to them the same bottle, not accepted, and no reason added for that.
Kind regards
Giovanni



Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Joey on January 15, 2020, 02:10:48 am
Dear Pat,

    According  to Peter Bentley, there are many fake modern IPSBs, signed by master artists,
but painted by their students.
So authenticity can be a problem.
And since  the artist is claiming bottles painted by students as his own,
Provenance can be a problem.
It is a money issue.
Best,
Joey


Title: Re: Suzhou School Of Carvers
Post by: Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush on January 15, 2020, 02:33:06 pm
Dear Joey,
thank you. I think that you are understanding that I was not including you in the bunch of wealthy collectors with low knowledge. The fact that you believe that my bottle is genuine, going against the opinion of “big calipers” (sic) is clearly saying that you are on another planet compared to them.
I am writing you privately because we are on a public Forum here and some issues are sensitive.
Kind regards
Giovanni