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Charll shared this beautiful Xianfeng (1851-1861) dated bottle depicting NeZha combating the Dragon King amongst a rolling sea of blue and eight mythical sea creatures.


Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
December 04, 2022, 03:12:58 pm
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Snuff Bottle or Miniature Vase?

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Author Topic: Snuff Bottle or Miniature Vase?  (Read 792 times)
Mat
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« on: June 17, 2020, 04:10:43 pm »

Dear all, would you consider this to be a snuff bottle? Height is 8.5 cm.
Best, Matthias


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« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 01:25:25 am by George » Report Spam   Logged

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George
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 01:26:57 am »

Resized the images for you, and my vote is vase Smiley
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Mat
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 02:13:11 am »

Thank you George!
Sorry, I did not realize that there was a problem with the photos. Hm, I guess you are right that this is a vase.
Regards,
Matthias
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Wattana
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 03:28:39 am »

Thanks for posting.

My vote is VASE too.
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Mat
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 04:10:50 am »

Thank you very much, Wattana!
Matthias
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 08:19:15 am »


Matthias,

It is a vase to me as well, but you could turn it into a snuff bottle by adding a stopper and spoon.  Cheesy   I have a couple of miniature vases in my collection where that was done sometime in the past.

Charll
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 12:43:40 pm »

Dear Matthias,
sorry for bringing bad news, but this is a poor object, the decoration is not handmade, it is printed.
Because of that, it is not worth to be collected in my opinion. Just my opinion.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Mat
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 09:33:39 am »

Dear Charll, thank you, I put a stopper on it just to see how it looks like, but I think I will leave it as it is.
Dear Giovanni, thank you for your comment, too. You can question the quality of this item of course, but it is definitely decorated by hand, not printed. If something is collectible or not is another question, and I think depends very much on everyone's style of collecting, taste and many other factors.
Best, Matthias
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 05:09:31 pm »

Dear Matthias,
I do not have your small vase in hands, but the black and red lines are, with absolute certainty, printed.
There is not the slightest doubt about that, you can be sure.
This is evident on every small areas of the surface. If you do not believe it, try to send just a minuscule detail like the one here below (less than 1 square centimeter, perhaps?) to the expert of one of the major auction houses and he will tell you that it is a detail of a printed decoration.
I said that it is not worth to be collected only because of this. You are right that tastes are individual, but I would be surprised in seeing somebody interested in collecting sloppily printed objects like this one, considering that, probably with the same money, one could buy an hand made object that, if although of low quality, is at least an individual piece.
If you are among those who feel offended when somebody tells him the real nature of what he has in hand, then I am sorry, but my comment is aimed only to try to show you what you are not seeing. It is matter of education; calling things with the proper name is not going against its owner, on the contrary it is meant to help him.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2020, 05:16:54 pm »

PS: I forgot to say that by the paste, type of glaze and enamels it is very very recent.
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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 11:29:04 am »

Matthias,

When it comes to evaluating porcelains Giovanni has likely has the greatest experience then most on the Forum, so I would tend to consider his assessment before discarding it.   You have the item in hand and are in the best position to conduct a physical examination of the work.  That being said this appears to be a 20th century piece made for export, and though quickly and somewhat sloppily done, the underlining black design and red dotting with an overlaying of enamel appears to be painted to me. 

I believe I understand the point Giovanni raises in that there is no fluidity in the brush strokes on the black design, so a closer inspection with magnifying loop may provide clarity.  In regard to the 'fluidity' of the black design, it appears to be there in areas from what I see in the photos.     

Charll
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Charll K Stoneman, Eureka, California USA, Collector Since 1979.

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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 03:07:09 pm »

Dear Charll, I am sure that you know the following.
Hand painted lines are drawn individually, hence two crossing lines are drawn in different times. The result is that in the crossing points the lines remain neat, they do not vary the width in the crossing point, the corners of the crosses are sharp.
Printed lines are all printed at once, so in the crossing points the inks of each line are mixed in a single layer of ink, like a film. Because of the surface tension of the ink, the borders of the lines in the crossing points are “pulling” each other and this result in rounded corners.
We clearly see this feature on the bottle in question, including at the corners of the many short lines that are seen in each small rectangle.
In the picture below, a comparison with hand painted crossing lines.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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Mat
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2020, 04:14:29 am »

Dear Giovanni,
I am not offended by your comment and I understand all the reasons you give why this piece must have a printed decoration. it is just that the decoration is fitted on the surface of the vase in a way I usually only see with hand oainted decoration. So does the size of the rectangles vary in every line so that they fit on the vase. Also one of the leaves around the neck is significantly smaller than the others, obviously because it would not have fit otherwise. But still, maybe you are right and it is printed. Certainly it is not the best decoration, it has a "smudgy" look indeed. 
Thank you for explaining,
Matthias
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2020, 02:50:37 am »

Dear Mat,
I did look for a similar decoration among what I have in my collection and found a dish with something similar on the border.
The eight of the decoration shown in the picture below is 28 mm, and since you said that your bottle is 85 mm in total, I took a detail of what should be the same size.
So they are directly compared, with the same size. Despite being the squared areas on my dish smaller, you can clearly see the overlapping of the strokes both on the black and the red enamel, while what we see on your bottle is more uniform.
Kind regards
Giovanni


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Mat
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 12:41:45 am »

Dear Giovanni,
I can see what you mean, so you must be right that mine is printed in some way.
Thank you very much once again!
Regards,
Matthias
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Joey
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 03:21:47 pm »

Dear Matthias,

     I've learned over the last 8 years that Giovanni is rarely or ever wrong in Asian ceramics.
And considering the fact that he is totally self-taught, and also has a background in practical mechanics and science,
he is my 'go-to' person for anything and everything.
Steven Li, and other native Chinese readers, writers & speakers, are my source for translations.
George, Charll and Tom are very good for minerals, along with Giovanni.
And I have been active in the ICSBS for 46 years, and remember a lot of what I've been taught or heard from more veteran collectors and from dealers,
and share it on request.  Roll Eyes Shocked Grin
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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