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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
November 30, 2021, 11:40:09 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 10382 times)
richy88
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« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2013, 10:04:20 am »

Hi All

Here is a chalcedony bottle based on the same theme but with a twist.

Instead of the normal depiction of the horse and the monkey, this bottle has two of each! Perhaps to indicate a 'double promotion'?  Grin

The chalcedony bottle of rich honey brown ground carved using the white skin of the stone to feature two horses, one lazing on the side with the other one chewing happily away. On one the horses are two monkey carved using the third greyish brown skin, one of them picking some fruits from a nearby tree carved in white, and another appearing to be supporting him. The other side of the bottle left plain.

This bottle is unusual not only in design but the material itself as well. If one notices, the stone comprises of three layers in different colours. The base is of a clear, rich honey brown colour with the white skin sandwiched as the middle layer. The top skin layer of greyish brown colour is used to carve the monkeys.

I called this type of stone, the 'amazing three layers' whereas Tom prefer to refer it as the 'triple decker'!

Enjoy!


Richard






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« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 10:07:00 am by richy88 » Report Spam   Logged

Richard from sunny Singapore
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« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2013, 10:45:19 am »

It is a beauty Richard.
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« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2013, 04:55:18 pm »

An incredible bottle dear Richard, thank you for showing it.
Giovanni
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« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2013, 06:51:49 pm »

Beautiful !
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« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2013, 10:03:13 pm »

Dear Richard,
   The carving is really good, and the shape is 'right', but i think it is modern. Which makes me wonder how they can do bottles as good as the old ones.
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2013, 03:05:46 am »

Thanks, guys!

Joey, in my opinion, it should not be too difficult for the contemporary artists to produce a good piece of work, if not better than their predecessors.

The reason is simple, they now have access to better tools and more advanced techniques. Therefore, if they can find materials of good quality, they should be able to produce pieces of the same standard, if not better.

What probably could be lacking may be the passion, pride, patience and persistence to produce such pieces. As in this fast moving world today, many want quick results, fast returns with minimum effort and time.

Just my two cents.

Regards.


Richard





« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 12:11:05 am by richy88 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #46 on: November 02, 2013, 03:52:47 am »

I am constantly amazed at these modern carved bottles..

My lapidary eye sees the neck, body, and the area where the neck meets the body, and recognize the extreme difficulty in working through those areas with the steps required to accomplish a final polish. There are several steps, and not a one can be skipped, or poorly done..

I would sure like to be a fly on the wall within a Chinese agate carving shop... ! They are using equipment/tools, and accessories that I bet would be completely foriegn to myself and any other lapidary I have known, and they are not sharing with anyone outside of China !  Cheesy

Then aside from the astonishing ability to create such beautiful pieces, they are using dying/coloring techniques that are very unusual, and do not apply to any known dying and or heat treating processes that I am aware of... They really do have a nice trick going on, and again, I would love to be a fly on the wall..

I see a great many of these cameo carved type bottles where the raised cameo carving is different in color ( usually white or black ) from the body of the bottle.. There are so many that I see that are completely unatural to what a natural stock piece of agate rough would look like.. Just not natural.. Some are, like the fan type inclussions talked about in another topic, but a great many are completely unatural.. Some folks want to attribute a raised colored cameo to the "rhine" area of the original rough..  Just not so... The rhine areas on the external part of the original chunk of agate, and most other mineral types is extremely soft and pourus... Completey unusable in terms of grinding, sanding, polishing etc..

Several years ago, prior to actually doing lapidary, I was buying gemstone cabochons from a wholesaler in China and reselling here in the States.. After asking him several times to give me a glimps into his shop, he finally reluctantly sent me a couple of snap shots... He asked me to be sure and not share them online.. Apparently he could get in big trouble with the local authorities.. He shared many fears with me of the local authorities.. 

Sorry for rambling on, but my eye sees both extremely interesting, and also unkown techniques being used..

I don't know if any of our Chinese members have had or might consider gaining access to one of these agate carver shops, but from a lapidary perspective, I bet it would be a real eye opener !!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 05:05:50 am by Bottle Guy » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #47 on: November 02, 2013, 04:52:38 am »

Another thought I want to add is that I suspect that a lot of the carved bottles that people think and claim are antique and 18th/19th century, and many that are in collections and claimed to be whatever, just are not, and were produced throughout late 19th and the 20th century with modern tools and techniques.  It is extremely dificult to prove age though provenance without reasonable doubt much earlier than the late 1800s, so I always take these ages with an extreme grain of salt.  If the bottles could only talk.  I am sure many of them would speak modern Putonghua. Personally, I am already quite happy to establish bottles as late 19th/early 20th century. I suppose that is why I like middle period inside painted bottles, signed and dated.  Regardless, to me, whether made new, recently, vintage or antique, these carved agates, jades, and other hardstones are pure works of art, and their creators deserve our utmost respect...

Richard makes a good point about the patience, in another discussion somewhere we discussed the lack of floater agates being made today, and since the 1970s. Takes just too much time and produces a lot of wasted bottles.  Think about it. If for display only, reasonably well hollowing and great carvings are enough.  I am not sure newer collectors would want to pay the premium to have a contemporary agate floater bottle.  It would be expensive.....
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« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2013, 04:57:50 am »

  Regardless, to me, whether made new, recently, vintage or antique, these carved agates, jades, and other hardstones are pure works of art, and their creators deserve our utmost respect...

Absolutely !!
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« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2013, 07:27:04 am »

Hi Richard,
   I love that last 'triple decker' you posted. Very clever use of the layers in the material, and with a sense of humour, too. The lazing horse is a gem.

George and Pat,
   I am sure there are many modern techniques for carving bottles better than the old ones, but most give themselves away by being a little too bold in showing off their skills....often in ways that a lapidary of bygone days would not. It is very difficult to put a finger on what makes one "feel" that a hardstone bottle is old or new, but, after handling many over a span of years, there is an intuitive sense. It's not infallible, but right more often than not. Having said that, I do admire the skill of the modern carvers who can produce work like that seen on Richard's triple decker.

Tom
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« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2013, 12:22:30 pm »

Pat,
   Like George, I also agree with you. They are true artists.
Joey

Richard,
   Of course you are correct.
With modern tools the artisans are capable of work equalling or even surpassing the 18th & 19th C. wares.
But they give themselves away by 'gilding the lily' [doing things that earlier artisans would not have], and there is no wear.
I agree with Giovanni, that there will be at least slight wear, even on a hardstone like Crypto-Crystalline Quartz [Chalcedony/Agate/Carnelian].
Best,
Joey
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 06:58:36 am by Joey » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2021, 08:17:40 pm »

Newbie reading an old post. I enjoyed this thread on 马上封侯. Thank you.
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