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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
February 05, 2023, 01:33:23 pm
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Snuff Bottle with the theme: May you be promoted to a Marquis

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Author Topic: Snuff Bottle with the theme: May you be promoted to a Marquis  (Read 11508 times)
richy88
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« on: October 23, 2013, 02:48:24 am »

Hi All

As most of us know, most of the designs in Chinese arts are used to convey a message with an auspicious meaning. Sometimes, the components used have hidden meaning and significance. One common practice is to use object with the same Chinese pronounciation to represent the underlying meaning.

One popular theme is to wish one a speedy promotion, using the term "Feng Hou" (封侯) meaning Promoted to a Marquis. The animals used in this subject is usually the bee (蜂) which has the same pronounciation as promote (封) and the monkey (猴) which sounds like marquis (侯).

Sometimes, the horse is added if the rebus "Ma Shang Feng Hou" (马上封侯) which means "May you be promoted to the rank of Marquis immediately" is used. The characters (马上) in Chinese means right away or immediately and hence, the horse (马). It is an auspicious expression to wish someone speedy success. 

Here is a typical example:

A shadow agate bottle carved using the dark inclusions to depict a bee with a monkey on a horse for the rebus, "Ma Shang Feng Hou" (马上封侯). The reverse carved with a bird diving down towards another bird standing on a rockwork using the dark inclusions. Height: 60 mm.

Enjoy!


Richard


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« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 08:32:27 am by richy88 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 05:46:02 am »

Very nice bottle. Dear Richard, I am always impressed by the quality of your collection. Thank you for showing it.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 08:33:33 am »

Thank you for your kind words, Giovanni!

Wishing you a full recovery!

Regards.



Richard
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 11:18:21 am »

Another beautiful bottle Richard !
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 09:57:52 pm »

Indeed! 

Richard

Do you have any suggestion for a book to uncover these hidden meanings other than the Raymond Li book?  Thanks!
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 12:24:20 am »

Indeed! 

Richard

Do you have any suggestion for a book to uncover these hidden meanings other than the Raymond Li book?  Thanks!

Excelent question and I would love to know any others than my one C.A.S. Williams, Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs book .. !
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 02:24:16 am by Bottle Guy » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 12:40:55 am »

Hi Pat & George

As far as I know, unfortunately no. The other literature on these subjects are written in Chinese.

I understand from some past postings by Joey that there is a book in symbolism in Chinese arts which I have no access at present. Therefore, I am no sure how relevant it the information.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard

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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 12:43:30 am »

All these books have been mentioned on the forum recently...

Terese Tse Bartholomew. Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art. 2006.

C.A.S. Williams. Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives. Dover Publications. New York, 1976.

E.T.C. Werner. Myths and Legends of China. London, 1922 [reprint by Dover Publications, New York, 1994].


Plus, of course, the six Raymond Li books:

Raymond Li. A Glossary of Snuff Bottle Rebus. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong, 1976.

Raymond Li. The Medicine-Snuff Bottle Connection. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong,1979.

Raymond Li. Snuff Bottle Terminology. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong, 1981.

Raymond Li. Chinese Snuff Bottle Themes. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong, 1983.

Raymond Li. The Art of Imitation in Chinese Snuff Bottles. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong, 1985.

Raymond Li. The Miniature Arts in China: Toggles Pendants and Other Accessories. Nine Dragons. Hong Kong, 1988.

If there are any others out there (in English), I'd be interested to know too.

Tom
PS: there is another book on Chinese symbolism by an Americal lady (her name escapes me). She gave a talk at the Siam Society in Bangkok 3-4 years ago to launch her book. But from what I recall from a quick browse, there was nothing more in it than the Bartholomew book. I didn't buy it.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 12:47:46 am by Wattana » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 01:02:38 am »

Thanks Tom! 
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 01:07:17 am »

Hi Tom

Thanks for compiling all the relevant sources. It's good reference.

Regards.


Richard
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 01:21:57 am »

Hi All

Here is a variation to the theme. It is known as Wan Dai Feng Hou (万代封侯) or Dai Dai Feng Hou (代代封侯) meaning "May you (and your children) be a marquis for many generations". Wan (万) is ten thousand in Chinese and Dai (代) means generations.

In this example, the pebble shape white jade bottle of even translucent tone is carved with a monkey on the top left hand corner clinching to a pouch fastened with a ribbon/strap. In Chinese, the word for pouch, Dai (袋) and ribbon/strap, Dai (带) has the same pronounciation as Dai (代) and hence, the design.

Enjoy!


Richard


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* smt27a.JPG (210.3 KB, 540x720 - viewed 30 times.)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 01:28:00 am by richy88 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 01:32:31 am »

George and All,

In my opinion some of the recent posts explaining the symbolism and alternative rebuses are better than any of the English books on the subject.  They are also "snuff bottle specific", unlike all the books except for Raymond Li's publications.

I think it would be a good idea to transfer these posts into a new thread dedicated to Symbols and Meanings in Snuff Bottles.

Tom
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 02:04:21 am »

.

I think it would be a good idea to transfer these posts into a new thread dedicated to Symbols and Meanings in Snuff Bottles.



I really enjoy having a good reference book or two in front of me...

I really apprecaite those Raymond Li references.. Going on a hunt right away..

As for plucking posts out of existing topics.. Sort of hate to loose those posts for fear a breaking the harmony of the topic..

Would be best to create a whole new topic dedicated to "symbolism and meanings" within this same Themes, Scenes, Scrolls and Paintings board..   

Actually, I think will do that right now..  Then will copy and paste some of information from within these early posts to the new topic..

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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 02:12:23 am »

Good idea, Tom and George!

Thanks!

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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 02:12:41 am »

Changed my other mind  Cheesy

Decided on a new board...

Again, very strange how things happen around here..

I was searching for a specific landscape theme earler this evening, and kept looking at my C.A.S. Williams, Chinese Symbolism and Art Motif book thinking about starting to post some from that book to the forum..

Then Tom comes up with this idea just a couple of hours later !
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2013, 02:25:24 am »

Great minds think alike......  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 08:11:32 am »

Dear Richard,
for an easy cross reference, this motif has been discussed in the following thread, related to one of Tom’s bottle:
http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1649.0.html
Also, in the following thread of mine a similar theme has been discussed. It is not clear if it is the same or not, by the way it is an uncommon one:
http://snuffbottle.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,1186.0.html
Dear Tom,
I agree with you that Therese Tse Bartholomew’s book is a must, a really good book on the matter. In the list that you have provided there is also “The Art of Imitation in Chinese Snuff Bottles”. I am looking for that book but the copies that I found up to now are a bit expensive. Is it a valid book?
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 09:41:34 am »

Hi Giovanni

Thank you for taking the trouble to search and compile the relevant threads together.

Appreciated.

"The Art of Imitation in Chinese Snuff Bottles” by Raymond Li does not contain much information on symbolism. Rather, it focus on bottle imitation other material, for example, porcelain imitating jade, glass imitating stone, etc. There are many photo illustrations in the book but with little text.

If you wish to get a book on symbolism, his other title: "A Glossary of Snuff Bottle Rebus" may be more relevant.

Regards.


Richard
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 12:03:35 pm »

Thank you dear Richard. I have not been clear. I was asking if it is a good book on its own matter, because I do like glass bottles imitating other materials.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2013, 09:24:50 pm »

Giovanni,

Here is a contribution for sharing from me.

The jade bottle was carved, on one side, a monkey riding on a horse. This is to wish the receipient
" very speedy promotion to the Marquis ". The Chinese expression from the carvinig would be
" 马上 ( immediately ) 封侯 ( be knighted ) ". The reverse side was carved with the traditional three goats ( 三羊 ) with the sun on top. And 羊 has the same sound as 阳 which is the sun.

Inn Bok


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