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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
February 05, 2023, 03:34:22 pm
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Outlaws of the Marsh ?

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George
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« on: February 14, 2012, 11:38:04 am »

I think this is suppose to be a representation of Outlaws of the Marsh ?

Not sure if it could be Middle Period or not..  The actual bottle looks pretty new to me.




 

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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 12:18:20 pm »

George,

It looks contemporary to me.  Your initial thought on the theme my be correct, but I do not know for sure. My concern would be bottle size.  If it the bottle is 4 inches plus I would be less impressed.

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

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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 12:41:58 pm »

I agree with Charll,

And I am pretty sure its a contemporary bottle, painting style is totally different from middle period.the scene is from the chinese story "The 108 Heroes of The Water Margin" although the artist didn't paint all of them, I saw one bottle with all 108 heroes painted, very impressive.

Good bottle for sure.
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 01:12:01 pm »

Thanks guys..

Charll.. I do see it now.. Not finding a lot of bottles with this theme via Google though..

The sellers description says 3 1/4"..

I just sent off a reply asking if that is the overall height of the bottle including the stopper, or without..

I have the opportunity to purchase it for 120.00 .. Down a bit from the 200.00 they were asking.... Seem fair ?

Not entirely sure I like it enough to purchase it yet. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 01:19:58 pm »

I will go for it only if its signed by the artist...
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 02:16:15 pm »



I think that really is my biggest issue with it Steven. It is not signed. 

I'm going to pass on it..

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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 02:38:03 pm »

Actually its a popular theme from Shantong school, lots of battle scenes are from the story.

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 02:50:51 pm »

I did see that first bottle via Google... Nice one..
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 02:54:54 pm »

That one is painted by Master Li ke change at Shantong school.
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 01:19:30 pm »

The first Shantong bottle was actually a scene from the novel of "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".  The central character on horse is likely 張飛, Zhang Fei, one of the heros of Shu and the three sworned brothers, of Lu, Guan and Zhang.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 06:19:23 pm »

Hi George,

I must be  frank....  ( sorry )

Unfortunately  you  have not  ( yet)  had the chance  to visit  China

Bottles  of that  calibre  are  two-a-penny  in  any hotel  gift  shop

They are all  copy/ mass-produced

Actually  "two - a -penny"  is  not  quite correct.  Such bottles  would  be marked  at   US$300 (  about  RMB2,000)   but after loooong negotiation   would  finally be sold  for  < US$100   and  both  parties  are  very happy, because the  tourist  thinks he/ she  has a  real  bargain "I got this  bottle  for  only  1/3  the  asking price!"   and the  gift  shop  owner  would be  smiling even more  because he only  paid  US$10  for it  from the   factory  in Hengshui.

Sorry to be  so  candid.... but that's the   way  all  bottle  shops  work in China , whether  they  are    just hotel  gift shops or even specialist  bottle   shops  like the    one  I deal  with  in SH  near the   Yu Gardens.  The  Manageress there, Ms  Wang Hong,    does  not  display her  REAL  bottles, because  she  admits  that if    tourists see  them  they    will not  buy the   factory  grade   stuff she  has on her shelves, and on which  she  survives to  pay the  US$ 3,000  / month  rent  for   her
tiny  5  sq  meter   shop  which  she now has to  share   with  another  artisan to make ends  meet .  The  REAL  bottles   only come  out when  an occasional  collector  like  me  comes  in , and  she  pulls  out  a  dozen bottles,   for  which  I know  pretty  much the  real price, and I   finally agree  what I think is  a  fair   price +  RMB  300  - 500  for the   shop  on top .

And I think  she  likes to  deal  privately  in REAL  bottles  on the  side, because  she  does  have    some   deep  connections to  Hengshui  and   likes to  feel  she  is, with  some  real  pride,   an "honourable  dealer" and   "promotes the   true   art  of  VMIPBs"  in her  own   small  way  - which  indeed   she   does.

And  full   credit  to her, which  is  why  I have  bought  over  50  bottles  from her  in the  past  5  years, including some incredible  bargains  e.g   my  2  x  Nei  Lei  1000 x  character  bottles  , and my  very  first  Song Yiming  landscapes .  

I can  well imagine that  some  e-bay   sellers  have  some  kind  of  hot-line to the  Hengshui   factories  and  buy  this    class  of   high-grade  tourist -class bottles  for  < US$50 ( including  P&P)  and  then  hope to   re-sell  at >>  US$100.  Heck ...  I could   do that  kind  of business  tomorrow  if I wanted to  do  so .   I can  buy   superb bottles  from WXS's   Hengshui  Musuem/ Shop  for  peanuts  -   much better   bottles than  that  one   -   and  even by named / signed   artists   -  for   < US$50  and   re-sell  at  US$200  +  on e-bay  or  wherever.

Thinking  out  loud  ....very  good  source  of  income !   10  x    WXS  shop  bottles  per  month  sold  on e-bay  with  average  US$100 / bottle  profit   =  US$12K  per  year !  And  I can even  photo  the  bottles  in  WXS   shop    display  cabinets  as  proof of  origin , and  post   a  You-tube    video scan  from the  WXS  shop  entrance to the  display cabinet  to   double-confirm.  BINGO !  

Why  don't I do that ?  I hardly  need   answer  that  question ! (   Answer - in case  you   don't  yet understand  me : Because  it  would  forever   darn my  personal  reputation , which I value  more  than  anything)

That's the   VMIPB  world

Cheers  Peter

PS  :  David  Osborne  is NO  wheeler- dealer. He  offers  bottles  in his  residual  collection  for  auction  ( with his  own  unique - and very  fair system  / winner  pays  US$0.50  more than the   second  highest bidder)  at  a base price  of  what  he paid  several years   ago, and so he  does  not inflate, which he  could  so  easily  do.   I think that  speaks a lot  for  David's  integrity.     Bill  Patrick  is the  same - if possibly  even more  so . In order to  whittle  down his   shelves  he  has recently been offering some  totally  superb bottles  which he  bought several   years  ago   at basically what he  paid  at  that  time .  Every one a  bargain !   I have  bought  several   bottles  from Bill.   Beautiful !   And  totally  good  value  for  money .  So if  you want to  build  up a good modern collection,  get  on David's    Snuff Bottle Club  email  list  and  also   look on Bill's  website  under  the  section of "Collector  bottles  for  sale"

PPS:  In due  course, when  I finally  get   round to  photographing my collection  and  mounting  it  on Bill's site  under  new "themes"  of   Chinese  Landscapes,  Spiders,  Birds, Cats   there  will be a   few  bottles  flagged  "for  sale" . But  those  such  flagged  bottles  will be  < 10%  of my  300+   VMIPB  collection,  because  I'm   delighted  with > 90%  of my collection  and I have  no wish to  sell  any of  them ( except maybe a  few  Bird  IPBs  which I  over-enthusiasticly   collected)


« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 06:24:49 pm by Peter Bentley 彭达理 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 07:33:02 pm »

Have to disagree .. the bottle George posted was very well painted and even though it is not signed, should not be so easily (well, it was long for sure lol) dismissed as tourist/two in a penny. In my view, there is no indication at all of it being mass-produced.  Also, the rest of us here did not react as such, which I think is a pretty good sampling of collectors in other themes and styles as yours, Peter.   Furthermore, the shape and type of bottle probably date it anywhere between late 70s-90s, not later, so a vintage bottle in any case.  My half penny worth...  Grin Wink

PS and FYI. For those of you that have "A Modern Look of Inside Painted.." (J.H. Leung), the book is full of these themed bottles, and quite a few I would even say are less in quality than the one George posted.
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 08:42:06 pm »

Hi  Pat

I have  to  disagree  in turn....

Painting standards  have  increased   10 x   since  J. H . Leung's   collecting days.   Some  ( of  course  not  all) of the  bottles  in his  book "New  Look"   I would   (almost)  dismiss as   factory  produced  stuff  if  it   were not  for the   signature and the  provenance /  dating , because they are so  simplistic

Some  of the  factory- produced  stuff  coming  out   these  days  is  totally amazing  in both   skill and  quality.  I have several  samples  which  I have  collected   as  what  I call " Gift  Quality"  bottles  -  ones I can give  away to  visiting friends ,   for  which  I  pay  max  US$ 60  (  RMB500)  - and that's   a  shop  price, so the   shop  owner  cannot  have paid  much more  than  US$30  max  , because these  are   the  best-of -the best  in  his   shop (  list priced  RMB2,000 + )

If  that Outlaw  of the  Marsh  bottle  is  old  (  pre-  1990)  it's   quite  rare, because that was state of the  art  in the  1980's.  But  if  it's  recent,  it's  really only    high  class  tourist    stuff,  copied  from one  of  many  theme  templates

IMHO

Cheers  Peter
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 12:32:35 am »

Hi Peter and pat,

I agree with both of you, like Peter said if this bottle is 80s-90s it's quite valuable, if it's after 2000, its a just High end tourist bottle worth $50.00.
But painting style of the bottle does looks 80s-90s to me, I think pat was right about it's age, so the price is not so off it's value.

I also want to say, when we collect, we collect the beauties, at same time we also collect a part of history, we can't simply compare the current painting techniques with 20 years ago, or 200 years ago.

P.s. I totally agree with peter that Bill's bottles can be a very good choice for the beginner like me and George , top quality ,very fair price. I am watching some bottles there, I personally think it's much better than most of ebayer seller from china.
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2012, 04:12:26 am »

It is a 80s/90s bottle for sure, AND indeed it does not make sense at all to keep comparing painting quality and style from ANY time before 2000 with what is being produced today.  And yes, some of us collect for different styles, themes, and historical value/merit.  Enough said, I don't want to get into another long-winded ping pong conversation on this.
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2012, 07:53:38 am »

Forgot to reply on the idea of going for Bill's overflow.  I highly recommend it.  His bottles are part of IPB history, whether or not the artists went on to 'greater things' or became famous in their own right.  His prices are more than fair..  and frankly I really feel bad for how little they fetch...
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