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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
January 28, 2022, 10:01:46 am
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Raymond Li.

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Jungle Jas
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« on: March 20, 2020, 10:26:01 am »

Hi one and all,

does any one know anything about the author of snuff bottle books, Raymond Li,  is he a respected in the Snuff bottle world. I am particularly interested if any one has read Chinese Snuff Bottle Themes, Popular Stories & Fables.

Thanks Jas.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 10:34:29 am by Jungle Jas » Report Spam   Logged

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Wattana
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 11:04:12 am »

Hi Jason,

Raymond Li was a Hong Kong based collector and dealer, who altogether wrote five books on snuff bottles and one on the miniature arts of China. I have all six books. They are a very good reference source, especially for some of the more obscure themes and rebuses seen on snuff bottle which are not covered by other books on Chinese symbolism.

Whether or not he is respected in the snuff bottle world, I cannot say. Some academics would perhaps argue that his books are a little amateurish. But I think that criticism may be due to poor translation and lack of professional editing. Personally, if you put aside these shortcomings, I find the information in his books quite charming, often revealing a folklore perspective not found in the more high-brow publications. That's my two-cents' worth!

Tom
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Jungle Jas
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 03:24:42 pm »

Hi Tom, thank you for the information I have enjoyed reading the copy of the one book of his I have of his. However  that my be because like me he believed that bottles described glass imitating Jasper were in fact glass  imitating Realgar.  Wink

Regards Jason.
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Wattana
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 10:34:54 pm »

Hi Jason,

Indeed, I like his books because many of his comments do go against the academic norm. The other point to note is that 5 of his 6 books are snuff bottle specific, not generalizations about Chinese art. He often offers a different perspective on themes and rebuses, opening fresh leads for the amateur bottle collector like me.

For your reference, here is the full list of Raymond Li's books in order of publication:

1. A Glossary Of Chinese Snuff Bottle Rebus - Re-discovering the Hidden Internal Beauty in Snuff Bottles (1976)
2. The Medicine-Snuff Bottle Connection (1979)
3. Snuff Bottle Terminology - Chinese and English Equivalents - Part 1: Glass - Agate - Quartz (1981)
4. Chinese Snuff Bottle Themes, Popular Stories & Fables (1983)
5. The Art Of Imitation In Chinese Snuff Bottles (1985)
6. The Miniature Arts In China - Toggles, Pendants & Other Accessories (1988)


All worth having!

Tom
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Jungle Jas
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2020, 05:42:55 am »

Thank you for the list Tom, I have number 3 on your list an am considering buying number 4.

Kind regards Jason.
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richy88
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 03:42:38 am »

Hi Jason & Tom

As Tom pointed out, Raymond's books are not 'scholar' in nature, but he uses a simple and no-nonsense approach to explain the subject and to help the westerner to understand a bit more of the Chinese culture and tradition. Not all his bottles are great but he does have some excellent examples.

Although I was unable to meet him in person as he has already passed on when I visited Hong Kong. However, I managed to contact his son, Paul when I was there. I have visited his house and view his bottles. I bought some bottles from him and a few of them were illustrated in his books, which many of them remained my favourites till this day.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard
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Richard from sunny Singapore
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Jungle Jas
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 06:57:25 am »

Hi Jason & Tom

As Tom pointed out, Raymond's books are not 'scholar' in nature, but he uses a simple and no-nonsense approach to explain the subject and to help the westerner to understand a bit more of the Chinese culture and tradition. Not all his bottles are great but he does have some excellent examples.

Although I was unable to meet him in person as he has already passed on when I visited Hong Kong. However, I managed to contact his son, Paul when I was there. I have visited his house and view his bottles. I bought some bottles from him and a few of them were illustrated in his books, which many of them remained my favourites till this day.

For your reference.

Regards.


Richard

Richard thank you for the extra information, I think it is the fact his books are simple and understandable that make them attractive.

Regards Jason.
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Joey
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 08:43:52 am »

Dear Jason,

     I met Raymond Li at the 1978 HK convention and can assure you that he was well respected by Hong Kong collectors who respected Chinese culture.

      There were some collectors who loved the esthetic beauty of some snuff bottles, but had no interest in Chinese culture per se. They tended to only buy from the English dealers, not from the Chinese dealers in Hong Kong. When they did condescend to buy from a Chinese dealer in Hong Kong, they were very proud, as one late Toronto collector bragged to me [!], of "jewing down the Chinaman dealer on a bottle from US$100 to US$80".
Suffice it to say, 'We' were not amused...
By either derogatory term.

But most collectors, and all the dealers I knew in Hong Kong, and even English dealers, highly respected Raymond Li of blessed memory.
Possibly not as much as everyone respected Y.F.Yang of blessed memory. But pretty close.

Best,
joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Jungle Jas
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 09:45:45 am »

 Grin Jewing down! That's a new one on me Joey. Can you remember when he died?

As an aside, I know you do a lot of traveling, did you manage to get home before the troubles or are you stranded somewhere?

Kind regards Jason.
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