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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
November 26, 2022, 04:15:04 pm
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pair of dragons

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Rube
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« on: July 27, 2018, 10:50:23 am »

Happy Friday everyone,

I'd like to share with y'all a pair of bottles my brother and I just successfully bid on from Bonhams.
They were catalogued as "two enameled and sgraffito decorated porcelain "dragon" snuff bottles, and dated nineteenth century. I think if I've understood Giovanni's past posts on the subject, they should actually be described as "graviata" and not "sgraffito"? Both have nice incised wave patterns, but the rectangular bottle also has a greek key pattern around the neck.  I haven't come across bottles exhibiting marks on the base such as these and was hoping someone could comment?

As some of you know, my brother and I both collect snuff bottles, and from time to time, we will bid on lots together, usually double lots, and play a friendly game of cribbage to determine first and second picks. So, for fun, I thought I'd let you play along, again, this time.  Which bottle would you pick?

Cheers,

Rube.
ps- I forgot to mention that the ovoid dragons bottle measures 2 3/4" and the rectangular bottle with dragon and mythical sea creatures measures 2 1/2" and both bottles came from the Dr. Sylvan and Faith Golder Collection.



* sfg dragon pair 1.jpg (131.14 KB, 480x640 - viewed 80 times.)

* sfg dragon pair 2.jpg (130.38 KB, 480x640 - viewed 68 times.)

* sfg dragon pair 3.jpg (80.08 KB, 480x640 - viewed 62 times.)

* sfg dragon pair 4.jpg (127.19 KB, 480x640 - viewed 54 times.)

* sfg dragon pair 5.jpg (101.1 KB, 480x640 - viewed 71 times.)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 11:03:48 am by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

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Joey
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 05:49:50 pm »

Dear Rube,

     They both look to be Guangxu period [1874-1908], and which one to choose is a personal opinion.
They are basically same quality level as well as same time frame.
Great provenance, too.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 01:50:00 am »

Dear Rube,
nice bottles! Very nice and Guangxu as Joey said.
Quality higher than usual, and I particularly like that the base too has a dragon decoration.
I would not have the slightest doubts about which to choose: the square bottle, besides being very nice, is surely rarer because of the decoration.
As I have shown in another thread, the wave pattern has been made by scratching the white glaze, so it is sgraffito (graffiato in Italian means scratched, and the name belongs from the medieval sgraffito ceramics).
Graviata is an incision but it is covered with a colored or uncolored enamel.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Joey
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 03:48:26 am »

Dear Giovanni,

    Your choice is interesting to me. I looked at the shapes, not at the symbolism. And while the squarer shape might be rarer in Guangxu reign, it basically dates back to the Daoguang reign. While to me, the other one is a more typical Guangxu example.
And I like to have examples which are more purely of their period, as well as examples which are rarer.
So I'm still not convinced that the square one is the better choice.
Possibly, I should go back to the literature and see why you are so definite in your choice...
But I'm too lazy.  Roll Eyes Grin  I'll let you explain it to me live, in a few days. Wink Grin
Incidentally, Rube - I'd trust Giovanni's judgement over my own, at least in this case. Wink Grin
Best to all,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 05:42:21 am »

Dear Joey,
the reason for my personal choice is the decoration, where you can see that there is not just a dragon; there are mythological animals also, and that is a much less common motif than the dragon. I for example has never found a bottle of that type.
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: dear Joey, currently I am now hosting an unexpected guest, a grandnephew of Betty from Brazil.
He will leave the day before your arrival, so at your arrival I will be trained in guesting😊
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 06:30:29 am »

Hi Rube,

Both lovely bottles but I'm with Giovanni in (just) having a preference for the squarer bottle.

Regards, Adrian.
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Rube
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 08:40:37 am »

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for playing!  Keep the votes coming!

Actually, I'm quite fond of both bottles and don't care to give either of them up, so I hope my brother wins, and he has to make a pick.

Giovanni,

I'm confused about the graviata vs. sgraffito classification.  On your thread titled "Incised, sgraffito, graviata, anhua" your images labeled graviata look similar to this bottle.  I read two of your threads describing the difference, and I guess I'll reread them to clarify. (I don't know how to block out text from another thread and show it in a box for reference.)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 09:26:13 am by Rube » Report Spam   Logged

Rube, 4th Generation Collector

Rube
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2018, 09:33:27 am »

Giovanni,

I've reread all your posts regarding the differences between graviata and sgraffito.  I finally get it!  And you are indeed correct. They are sgraffito.  There is wear on the sides of the bottle where the glaze has rubbed off.  Where the glaze has rubbed off, the scraped pattern is also gone, indicating a sgraffito technique.  For some reason, I thought the difference had to do with which color glaze, either clear, or colored, was used.  Thank you for the clarification.  One question I have is about the dragon seal and mythical seal on the feet of the bottles.
Did this begin as early as the Duoguang? Or did it not start until Guangxu?

Cheers,

Rube.
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2018, 10:21:40 am »

Dear Rube,
sorry I am not really sure if I have to correct or understood something.
I am in a very hurry now and will be back later.
Just one question: do you see if the bottom of the incised lines has the same exact looking of the bare foot or do you think that there is a transparent enamel over the incision, and not on the foot?
Giovanni
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Rube
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 04:23:03 pm »

Giovanni,

Again I'm sorry for the confusion, but I'm pretty sure I understand now! (I misinterpreted your pictures from a prior thread which are indeed "graviata", as you correctly stated.)  Here are two more pics of my bottles which are "sgraffito, as you, and Bonhams indicated. Where there is "wear" the scraping is not visible, proving that the scraping waves were part of the glaze.

Cheers,

Rube.


* sfg porcelain dragon 12.jpg (75.9 KB, 480x640 - viewed 39 times.)

* sfg porcelain dragon 13.jpg (76.04 KB, 480x640 - viewed 47 times.)
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector

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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2018, 08:12:01 am »

Dear Rube,
I am back finally. It is clear I think, but I found strange that there is a so heavy wear on your bottles. I think it strange that there are parts with heavy wear while the parts decorated with overglaze enamels looks in so good conditions.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Joey
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 09:27:27 am »

Dear Giovanni,
   
     I believe you meant 'in hosting' [as in "hosting a guest"]; newsflash, Giovanni: you and Betty are already top quality hosts, if my previous visits are anything to go by. Roll Eyes Shocked Grin

    I  now understand why you prefer the squarish bottle over the other one.
Thanks,
Joey


Dear Joey,
the reason for my personal choice is the decoration, where you can see that there is not just a dragon; there are mythological animals also, and that is a much less common motif than the dragon. I for example has never found a bottle of that type.
Kind regards
Giovanni
PS: dear Joey, currently I am now hosting an unexpected guest, a grandnephew of Betty from Brazil.
He will leave the day before your arrival, so at your arrival I will be trained in guesting😊

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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 03:11:58 pm »

They are both very nice bottles.  I am drawn to the squarish bottle because of the decoration. It is a bit unusual. I already have two in my collection very similar to the first bottle so that would be my choice.  You can not go wrong with either in my opinion.  Do let us know which you choose!

 How much fun that must be for you and your brother to collect together! 
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Rube
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 04:55:59 pm »

Jo,

Thanks for playing along! The mythical creatures do amuse me, but Ill be sure to let you know how it ends up.

Cheers,
Rube
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Joey
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2018, 05:43:09 pm »

Dear Rube,

    Do you already have a Guangxu enameled porcelain with dragons? If so, possibly the square one is better for your collection.
If not, I'd go with the dragons. But I love dragons...
And I thought I saw a centipede on the squarish one, and I HATE centipedes...
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2018, 01:26:18 am »

Hi Rube,

Nice bottles, my choice would be the mythical beasts, but then I am a lover of the bazar / unusual. Thanks for sharing.

      Regards Jason.
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snuffmke
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2018, 10:57:21 pm »

Rube,

You have a difficult choice. I can see why you'd want your brother to win.  Smiley

How does that work having your brother collect the same thing? My older brother (by four years) is a big time collector too, just not of snuff bottles...yet. I would have really mixed feelings about it. On the plus side I'd have someone to talk with about the bottles and we'd share a passion. But on the downside, I'd have to have one more person to compete with for bottles as I'm sure he and I would have very similar tastes. Only time will tell I guess.  Smiley

As for my vote, I'm leaning toward the square one, but both are super nice. Good luck!

Brian
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Brian A third generation collector with champagne tastes and a beer budget.

Rube
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2018, 07:34:23 am »

Brian,

Nothing the occasional fist fight won't solve! lol. 
Thanks for playing,  we still haven't played yet, ourselves.

Cheers,

Rube.
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Rube, 4th Generation Collector

Rube
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2018, 05:01:31 pm »

Hey everyone,

My brother and I finally played for the bottles, and I ended up with the one that was more square, with the mythical beasts.

Thanks for all your input!

Rube.
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2018, 04:54:00 pm »

Dear Rube,

    Now that I've met you both, I just hope that both you and JR are happy with your respective choices. It was great to finally meet you and also to meet JR. Is he going to join the Forum?
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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