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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
November 26, 2022, 04:46:01 pm
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Blue and Red Mythical Sea Creatures Bottle

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Author Topic: Blue and Red Mythical Sea Creatures Bottle  (Read 314 times)
Luke
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« on: December 07, 2021, 04:09:45 am »

Dear All,

I have just obtained a similar kind of bottle to the superb bottle Charll posted recently in the sidebar. Belated Congratulations Charll!

This was one of those very lucky buys on eBay. I was browsing all the auction sites plus eBay etc etc and serendipitously this one had just been listed at a very happy buy it now price! It has 8 mythical creatures surrounded by breaking waves in red. It comes with what appears to be a green nephrite stopper and a nicely carved spoon.

After some initial research I found an almost identical example in the British Museum:
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/A_Franks-824

Interestingly the bottle was given to the British museum in 1877. I know the John Ault analysis is applicable here, but I donít appear to have the complete analysis as Iím unsure what these 2 dots equates to in terms of age. Itís probably time I purchased the book of his collection.

Best
Luke


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* B4.jpg (89.24 KB, 800x772 - viewed 22 times.)

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* B6.jpg (64.93 KB, 700x532 - viewed 22 times.)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 04:11:55 am by Luke » Report Spam   Logged

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Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2021, 06:35:42 am »

Dear Luke,
Nice bottle, but there is something that make me perplexed. Strange waves, strange type of blue (it looks like the Japanese blue), strange flat foot. Donít know exactly why, but I am not feeling at ease with this bottle. Let see what others think, I wish to be wrong.
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Luke
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2021, 07:21:26 am »

Dear Giovanni,

Thank you for your honest thoughts - much appreciated. I always put a lot of weight on member's comments here on this forum, because I know youíre addicted to snuff bottles like me, but with much more experience/knowledge Grin Here are a few other bottles that Iíve come across that I thought were reminiscent of this bottle of varying quality. The only bottle I could find that was most alike though was the British Museum bottle.

https://www.chiswickauctions.co.uk/auction/lot/133-A-CHINESE-BLUE-AND-WHITE-AND-UNDERGLAZE-RED/?lot=7741
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/524387950372050553/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/524387950372050560/
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/en-gb/item/110995177_chinese-blue-and-white-snuff-bottle-with-red-glaze

Here's a comparison photo with another blue and white - I see what you mean by the tone of the blue.

Best,
Luke


* comparison.jpg (172.76 KB, 900x886 - viewed 29 times.)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 07:40:05 am by Luke » Report Spam   Logged

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rpfstoneman
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 10:25:42 am »


Luke,

Very nice cobalt blue and copper red bottle, and one I would have snatched up as well.  Giovanni is right the blue has a greyish tone.  Not sure whether it is a firing issue or maybe a later copy.  I have seen this greyish blue tone on late bottle reproductions, but that does not seem to be the case here.  It appears to me the bottle has some good age to it. 

This neck motif could be as early as the Daoguang Period (1821-1850), but John Ault has correlated the two dots between the trefoils with bottles with known reign marks as first appearing during the Tongzhi Period (1862-1874).  As evaluated by your photos online, my initial thought was this bottle was from the last quarter of the 19th century.

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

Fiveroosters aka clayandbrush
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 12:07:28 pm »

Dear Luke,
I spoke too quickly, I hadn't check the bottle of the BM before writing my first impression. Please excuse me.
Congratulations!
Kind regards
Giovanni
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Joey
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 04:24:16 pm »

Dear Luke,

    After the destruction of Jingdezhen by the Taiping criminals in 1857-1858, it was not rebuilt or repopulated till 1865.
The Taiping had taken into slavery all who could be used, killed all the rest and destroyed the kilns and factories.
So there was NO porcelain production in Jingdezhen between 1857/1858 and 1865.
So I'd date it to Tongzhi, and ca. 1865-1874, or possibly early Guangxu [1874-1908].
So ca. 1865 - 1880.
Best,
Joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Luke
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2021, 05:40:28 am »

Dear Giovanni,

Thanks and no worries - I thought Iíd missed something! As the BM bottle is also a darker blue than my bottle. My wife also mentioned the tone of the blue when she saw this bottle, so I was guessing this may be a copy.

Dear Charll,

Thank you for clarifying the dates for the 2 dots design and sharing your thoughts on this one.

Dear Joey,

Thank you for narrowing the date down further. Itís great to have the exact dates of those events, which I can link to this bottle. Iíve read a few books on Chinese and Qing history, but Iím terrible with accurate dates.

Interesting that the acquisition date of the BM bottle ties in very well with the John Ault analysis and Charll/Joeys dating. Thanks guys  - very useful information for cataloging this bottle.

Best all,
Luke
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Wattana
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2021, 05:58:58 am »

Hi Luke,

That is an attractive blue and red bottle, by any standards. And I agree with Joey's dating range.

BTW, if you haven't yet opened it, in the forum's lefthand side bar is a link to 'Chronolgy in Perspective'.
This gives you a one-page summary of the active periods of several categories of snuff bottle production during the Qing dynasty.

Best,
Tom
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Joey
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2021, 09:37:44 am »

Dear Luke,

    Yes, isn't it interesting that knowledge of Chinese history and knowledge of Chinese art,
can help us decide the dating of the snuff bottle to within a 15-20 year period?
 It could be ca. 1865-1885, rather than 1865-1880.   
Best,
joey
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Joey Silver, collecting snuff bottles since Feb.1970

Luke
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2021, 04:27:31 am »

Dear Tom,

Thank you! Iím super pleased to get this bottle and Iíve always admired the mythical creature bottles. First bottle I have which is red and blue too.

I have seen the Chronology in Perspective previously but thank you for reminding me of that chart again. A really helpful tool to remind me of key dates at a glance. Now saved in my documents folder Smiley

Dear Joey,

Thank you, I will update the date range to 1865-1885. Yes, itís great the way we can use logic and historical record to get more insight into dating snuff bottles. Hopefully one day more research will enable even more clarity. I always find the tomb bottles fascinating but realise some must be fake tomb wear.

Best all
Luke
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Collecting snuff bottles since 2016

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