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Chinese Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum 中國鼻煙壺討論論壇
March 23, 2023, 06:57:53 pm
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wood and jade snuff bottle

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albert
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« on: September 10, 2020, 05:09:04 am »

Hello forum members,
I recently bought a set of jade pieces at a Spanish auction, where this bottle was. This is made of wood and, on one side, has a hand-carved inscription in Chinese. On the other side, it has a jade inlay. However, the quality of the workmanship and materials is quite good.
Does anyone know, where can it be made? or do you know any other information?

Thanks,
Albert.


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albert
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 05:11:03 am »

Jade inlay.


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Joey
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 06:38:20 am »

Dear Albert,
    In over 50 years of collecting, I've NEVER seen a bottle like that.
HOWEVER, the Nephrite Jade plaque is really finely done, and the incised calligraphy on the 'wood' side, also very well done.
It looks like the material holding the jade plaque needs some renewing, and I can't tell the bottle's age.
But that is a very interesting and appealing example.
Congratulations,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

albert
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 06:56:51 am »


Hi Joey,
As you said, the Jade plate is pretty well made, but the fastening material looks ugly.
It should be noted that the bottle is not emptied inside, that is, it is not made to contain tobacco. This makes me think that maybe it is an article for tourists, even though its quality is high.

Thanks for your opinion.


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Wattana
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 07:11:34 am »

Hi Albert,
I agree with everything Joey said, although I've ONLY been collecting for 49 years!
I have a couple of rosewood bottles of similar shape to yours, but without any inscription. And, naturally, without the jade carving.

Is the bottle behind the jade plaque solid (without any hollowing)? Do I understand you correctly? If so, what do you see when the stopper is removed?

Tom
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Joey
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 07:22:16 am »

Dear Albert [and Tom],

    If the bottle is totally solid, as Tom asked, then the calligraphy is beautiful but modern; and what you have is a really beautiful Jade plaque mounted on the bottle as a way of selling it.
I would see if the reverse of the jade piece is well finished. If so, I'd remove it from the bottle shaped block, get a little padded box, and keep it as a Jade plaque.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Wattana
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 09:03:18 pm »


If so, I'd remove it from the bottle shaped block, get a little padded box, and keep it as a Jade plaque.


Good advice.  Smiley
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albert
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 11:24:37 am »

Dear Joey and Tom,
The bottle is empty, but not very well. It could carry tobacco inside, but I don't think it was created to be used as an snuff bottle. Itís a curious bottle, and thatís why I wanted to share it. But obviously, itís not an ancient treasure.

Thanks for your comments.


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Joey
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2020, 06:47:47 am »

Dear Albert,

     I believe you meant 'hollowed', not 'empty'. The choices for this bottle are 'hollowed', well or poorly; and 'solid' or not hollowed out at all.
It could be core-drilled - drilled straight downward, so there is enough room to insert a spoon and cork.
By the way, I was able to enlarge the photo of the inscription by downloading and enlarging it.
The calligraphy is not that good, actually.
Unless you are determined to keep it a 'snuff bottle', though it really isn't, it is just shaped like one; if you remove the Jade insert, you will have a really good
pierced and carved work Nephrite Jade plaque. I would date it ca. 1780-1850. Then, all you need is to carefully clean the back parts that are dirty from the glue,
and put it in a padded box, and you can enjoy the beauty of the piece without the less attractive mount.
Imagine a beautiful villa in the middle of a disgusting junkyard.
Would the villa not be improved by being moved away to a more pleasing surroundings? 
Or by removing the junkyard and landscaping a parkland setting? But you can't improve the fake bottle.
You can remove the beautiful plaque.
Obviously, it is your choice. That is the beauty of a free culture which respects personal property rights.
No 'Commissar' is ordering you to do anything you don't want, with your property.
Thank G-D you don't live in Venezuela, or Cuba, or North Korea.
But if you decide to take my advice, I'm sure I have a padded brocade covered box i can send you as a gift, to protect your treasure.
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 07:19:35 am »

Hi Albert,

My thought on the wooden bottle is this :

It was originally likely a tourist piece carved to resemble a snuff bottle, but without any incised inscriptions and the studded jade piece. The collector later added the calligraphy ( I decipher it to be incised  in the winter of Gengzi year as appeared on the last column of the incised words, i.e. 1840 or 1900, 1960 or 2020 ? ) Could not quite decipher the carverís name, two characters ).

The circular panel where the jade carving sits doesnít seem to be well done and polished. My guess is that the collector pays a carver to do the calligraphy and he himself does the engraving of circular panel and studding of the beautiful jade piece in his own collection.

Inn Bok
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Joey
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 07:30:05 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

      The calligraphy is not superb, but  nice.
And wonderful that you translated it for Albert.
But why didn't the 'collector' have the bottle hollowed out better and have the Jade piece properly inset?
It is a pity. Personally, I'd rather have the jade piece on its own, where I could admire it without the jarring mounting.
But if he could find someone to fix the mounting, probably it might be worth preserving it as it is, due to the 'added value'
of the calligraphy. I would assume the correct date is 1960...
Best,
Shabbat Shalom,
Joey
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2020, 06:22:32 am »

Joey,

My guess is that the original collector is not skilled in carving wood.
I reckon the calligraphy face is done by a literati skilled also in wood carving. Whereas the collector does a poorer job in carving the round panel to stud in the jade piece. My wild guess, perhaps 😁😁

Inn Bok
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Joey
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2020, 10:51:46 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

     I understood what you wrote the first time. My response was that the calligraphy was nice, but still not the quality of the Jade plaque.
I really admired the carving on that plaque.
And your thesis has merit. Which is why I suggested because of the added interest, he just have the plaque better mounted on the bottle.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

albert
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2020, 11:03:10 am »

Hello,
Iím happy watching that the bottle is creating some discusion.
Dear Joey,
Related with your comment, yes, I wanted to say hollowed (I am helped by google translator). This bottles is more hollowed than only core-drilled, but not enought hollowed to carry a big amount of tobaco.
On the other hand, as you told, the jade plate looks very well made, and I will be happy removing it and watching it alone, but Iím not sure how to remove it in a safe way.

Dear Inn Bok,
Your teory of the origin is very interesting, and I believe that it could be very accurated. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Joey
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 11:21:37 am »

Dear Albert,

     I think Inn Bok's theory has a lot of merit, therefore I would suggest keeping the bottle together.
But is there a fine arts conservator, possibly at a local museum, whom you could pay to properly mount the jade plaque on the snuff bottle?
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

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