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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, 04:50:50 pm
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Five Dragons

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snuffmke
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« on: August 24, 2020, 11:26:21 pm »

Here's one of my favorites. I just love the colors of this porcelain. I especially love the nephrite stopper that so perfectly matches it too!

I haven't seen many bottles with five dragons before. Any one know of any special meaning behind that?

Enjoy!

Brian


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George
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 10:13:45 am »

Wonderful bottle Brian.

Kangxi I think. Are there any markings ? 

I can only guess about the five dragons. Perhaps they represent the five elements, Wood dragon, fire dragon, earth dragon, metal dragon and water dragon?
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Tom B.
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2020, 03:03:43 pm »

Another nice one Brian, probably from the second half of the 19th century.

On the stopper, I actually think it looks more like an organic material that was stained green to look like jade.

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Tom B.
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Tom B.

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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2020, 03:04:43 pm »

George, I was sure you knew by now that there virtually no porcelain snuff bottles, with a few notable Imperial exceptions, that date earlier that the Qianlong reign circa 1780.  The only porcelain "snuff" bottles that date from the Kangxi reign were actually made as small medicine bottles that were retrofitted with stopper with spoon attached.

Best regards,

Tom B.
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Best regards,

Tom B.

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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 12:46:07 am »

George, I was sure you knew by now that there virtually no porcelain snuff bottles, with a few notable Imperial exceptions, that date earlier that the Qianlong reign circa 1780. 

I am loosing my mind Tom..  Huh  Of course, and as hard as it may be to believe after such an error, I meant Daoguang.  But that is probably wrong if you think second half 19th.

Starting to think I need to stay off the internet for a while.. This is not the only dumb ass mistake I have made lately.  Maybe some meds are in order Sad
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2020, 12:50:37 am »

Wonderful bottle Brian.

Kangxi I think. Are there any markings ? 

Thanks George. Unfortunately, no markings.
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snuffmke
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 12:52:19 am »

On the stopper, I actually think it looks more like an organic material that was stained green to look like jade.

Hi Tom,
You might be right about the stopper, but I'm at a complete loss for what it might be if it isn't a jade of some sort.

I've seem stained ivory and similar things and it just doesn't strike me as that material. Anyone have any guesses?

Brian


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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2020, 01:52:50 am »

This uneven surface after sanding and polishing is called, orange peel. Caused when some of the material in the stone is significantly harder than the surrounding material.  I have had this happen most notably with varieties of chrysocolla, and Sonora Sunrise.

I can not ID the material for your stopper as any kind of stone I am familiar with that can resulted in this orange peel texture, so I think Tom is correct about it being organic.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 02:06:06 am »

Dear Brian,
Nice bottle. Five dragons of different colors is a relatively common motif on porcelain.
I had this motif on vases and a box.
I disagree just a bit (only a few years) with Tom B., in my opinion the dragons are typical Guangxu dragons.
I would also note that this bottle has not been handled too much, because the iron red enamel is still in almost perfect conditions.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 12:31:58 pm »

Hi all,

Brian, I agree with Giovanni, but I wanted to let you down gently that your beautiful bottle was not Kangxi by saying "probably from the second half of the 19th Century." 

George, the great condition of Brian's example is so good that it looks 'better' than almost all of the Guangxu that have come to market in the last few years. That is probably the reason you thought it was earlier.

About the stopper I had a couple of green stained bone and ivory stoppers and at least one that I think was a similar material.  I described it as "Mammoth" ivory, but it could have been something else. Stoppers were made from Walrus tusks, etc.  Huh

Best regards,

Tom B.

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Tom B.

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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2020, 04:04:03 am »

Hello,

I can not say nothing over the bottle, but for the stopper I have no doubt that it is made on Walrus stained Ivory. I have some items very well polished who have the same superficial texture.
Beautiful bottle and beautiful sttoper.

Albert.
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snuffmke
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2020, 09:32:00 am »

I can not say nothing over the bottle, but for the stopper I have no doubt that it is made on Walrus stained Ivory. I have some items very well polished who have the same superficial texture.
Beautiful bottle and beautiful sttoper.

Thanks Albert, that's good to know. I always thought it was a lovely piece of bright green jade, but walrus ivory is a lot more exotic...to me at least. I've always loved how well it matches the bottle.

Cheers!

Brian
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2020, 09:30:37 pm »

Thanks Albert,

Walrus, that makes sense since Charl already had explained Mammoth ivory in a different thread.

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Tom B.

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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 04:30:38 am »

Hello Brian,

That's quite a lovely five dragon bottle. Those colors are great and that stopper is something else! Just tossing this out there but I'm wondering if perhaps the stopper might be cast glass or porcelain that was enamelled to look like stone?
'Orange peel' is also used to describe ground glass enamels when they've just reached a high enough temperature to form a molecular bond, as indicated by a rippled texture, prior to reaching their state of flow where the enamels turn smooth.  It's the glossiness of the lid that leads me to my speculation. I may well be wrong, but it seems plausible.

Cheers,
Stacey
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2020, 07:31:10 am »

Dear Brian,

    I see I missed this bottle while I was incommunicado [i blame my new iMAC, though I love it].
George, you were partially correct - it is Guangxu period 'Kangxi Revival'.
 The Dowager Empress love Kangxi porcelains, especially the Famille Verte pieces; so they copied those a lot during the period of 1865 - 1908.

And the stopper is definitely  green-stained Walrus Ivory, and from the colour could be late 18th C.

Re. 'Orange Peel' glaze; the late Agatha Aronson of blessed memory, showed me B & Ws with bubbles in the glaze, and said that was a sign of the 'Orange Peel'.
Please don't ask me why. I never 'got' it, but do love Underglazed B & Ws with the bubbles... Oh the power of suggestion!  Roll Eyes Grin

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

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