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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Chinese Snuff Bottle / Zhou LeYuan 1892

Chinese Snuff Bottle / Zhou LeYuan

The first line can be read, jen-ch-en 1892, Middle Autumn,  followed by a Poem.

Falsely Signed, Zhou Leyuan

Mountain/Landscape with an exceptionally detailed tree painting. 

2 1/2" tall

Saturday, July 28, 2018

19th Century Famille Noire Chinese Snuff Bottle

19th c, famille noire snuff bottle, with coral and jade stopper, and ivory spoon.
3" tall not including the stopper.

These famille noire bottles always have the most unusual paintings.

The scene is the artist's creative perspective for a mother looking in on her child inside the saddle bag..

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chinese Snuff Bottle by Wang Ru Ting

One side panel reads "painted by Wang Ru Ting". 2nd side, "painted in the winter of 1931" Xin wei nian..

Scenes are from Dreams of the Red Chamber.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Chinese Porcelain Snuff Bottle / Imitating Rice Wine Jar

This porcelain bottle stands just 2" tall less the wood stopper wrapped in cloth and glued to the porcelain top with wood spoon. Decorated with a little green enamel.. Thin wall with wide mouth. Also completely glazed interior.
Made to imitate a jar of Chinese rice wine. A few of the many scripts around the bottle can be read as follows:
1) 福兴老店...... Fu Xing Lao Dian, meaning an old shop with the name FuXing
2) 绍淅陳酒....... Old rice wine
3) 加重...... Literally means weight is added, or "the container has more wine"


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Ndiani Snuff bottle from East Africa, Tanzania of the Gogo and Maasai tribes

Ndiani snuff bottle made of beeswax from East Africa, Tanzania of the Gogo and Maasai tribes.

The meaning of Ndiani is "bottle of tobacco"

Original tribe used is Gogo from Dodoma central region in Tanzania. The Gogo (or mgogo singular and Wagogo plural ) are ever-happy, dance-loving and agriculturalist Bantu ethnolinguistic group living in the Dodoma Region of central Tanzania.

Special thank you to Radhidi Lukali who helped me identify this. This Ndiani is about 100 years old.  It is extremely difficult to acquire a Ndiani now days in the Gogo tribe.

This Ndiani is a hair over 3" tall..
Enjoy !

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Li Shou Xun Studio Chinese Snuff Bottles / Jia Yi

These two bottles are from Li Shou Xun's studio and the artist  is Jia Yi ( 佳 艺 ). He is one of Li Shou Xun's students. Both bottles were painted in the year of 2011.

I especially like the mill scene !

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wang Tiemin Calligraphy Poems Snuff Bottle

This is my first ever commissioned snuff bottle.  Painted by Wang Tiemin, a young artist who has spent the past few years perfecting calligraphy..

This first poem I picked out is by T'ang Dynasty poet, Chang Feng called, "Written on My Wang River Retreat after a Steady Rain"

Late summer on the river the sun and wind are mild
the little birds below the eaves are grown
sun drenched butterflies dance among the flowers
newly spun spider webs brighten every room
threadbare curtains invite the moon's reflection
a pillow made of clay echoes with the current
my long graying temples recall the frost and snow
let me pass this life chopping wood and fishing

The retreat Wang Wei ( 701-761 ) bought on the Wang River was sixty kilometers southeast of Chang-an and once belonged to the poet Sung Chihwen. Although Wang rose to the post of deputy prime minister, he was a lifelong Buddhist and a vegetarian, and toward the end of his life he spent more time meditating at his retreat and hiking around the mountains than working in the capital. Hibiscus glowers only last a day, or two at most, and mallow leaves a best picked after the dew dries. Hence, Wang Wei is to hungry to wait. In Chuangtzu: 27 the arrogant Yang tzu Yu returns to his inn after receiving instruction from the Lao Tzu. But where he was once waited on hand and foot, he now has to fight for a place for his mat. "Seats" here also refer to positions of authority, concerning which poet no longer has any interest. In Liehtzu: 2.11 the author recounts ho seagulls flock around a man, until he conceives of a plan to catch them.

This second poem picked out is by T'ang Dynasty poet, Ch'eng Hao called "Summer Day"

When I'm at peace I let everything go
I wake by the east window long after sunrise
viewed without passion everything is fine
seasonal glories hold true for man
the Tao fills the world the formed and the formless
out thoughts are in the ever changing wind and clouds
not troubled by wealth content in poverty
the person who reaches this is truly noble

Ch'eng Hao ( 1032-1085 ) taught thousands of students at his home in Loyang and served briefly in the nearby capital of Kaifeng. But due to his opposition to the policies of Wang An-shih, he was banished to South China and died before he could return. Still, with his younger brother, Ch'eng Yi, he was among the leading lights of neo Confucianism. This poem reflects his philosophy whereby all things are seen as part of the Tao and also as part of the mind. Thus, man shares the same nature as Heaven and Earth and all creation. The harmony of this nature is easily upset by desire and ignorance, but it can be restored through the cultivation of such virtues as kindness and equanimity. The last two lines paraphrase Mencius: 3b/2.3.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

1920 's Shandong School Chinese Snuff Bottle With Poem

A 1920's Shandong school bottle with poem in xingshu script by Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei. Titled High Plateau.. Thank you Samson.


The peaches’ red holds the night’s rain,
The willows’ green is wrapped in spring mist.
Blossoms fall, the house boy has not swept them yet.
Orioles sing, the mountain guest is still asleep.
2 5/8" flat rectangular bottle.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Terracotta Fertility Effigy Medicine Container of Prehistoric Eurasian Designed

Terracotta Fertility Effigy Medicine Container of Prehistoric Eurasian Designed  by Modern Pare Group, Tanzania East Africa
The Pare (pronounced "Pahray") people are members of an ethnic group indigenous to the Pare Mountains of Northern Tanzania, part of the Kilimanjaro Region.

This 7" tall medicine container bears a striking resemblance to (fig 2.8a) a female effigy of a pregnant woman that is described as a child's doll from the Beta Israel potters of the 1960's (ref 2.3.1). The container is unique as it is ceramic with thick patina from years of use. Where the majority of containers in the region are normally made of calabash or gourds. Also unique is that the head and body are one piece with a simple bamboo stopper as compared to ones made of calabash/gourds where the head is a separate stopper. This head has a long nose, round ears, and piercing eyes that typify figures made by the Kisi or Pare.

Small pottery containers and figurines are among the ritual objects made throughout northeastern Tanzania for use in sacred practices, called ughanga, that are important in healing physical and psychological afflictions and misfortunes. Ughanga is, in fact, a multifaceted and adaptive institution that pervades much of society in northeastern Tanzania, and ughanga objects such as this receptacle hold medicines and in some cases embody spirits that can be called upon to aid in treatment. The medicines are made by traditional healers, called waghanga, who are expert herbalists and the keepers of cultural knowledge, history, and custom. They may administer their mixtures in a straightforward fashion or in conjunction with prayer, with the singing and dancing of spirit songs, and in ritual performances that unite all of these facets and allow the healer to engage with spirits and ancestors.

Special thanks to Carlos Regueira and the "Great or Fake? Discovering African Art" group.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

20th Century Carved Soapstone Chinese Snuff Bottle

20th Century Carved Soapstone Chinese Snuff Bottle

The carver creatively used the lighter colored areas to for the pine tree, and egret on one side and I think tried as well to use the same for the rocky landscape on the lower reverse side with rising sun, and a eagle perched on rocks, and what I can only guess may be some kind of sloth, but the two tails throw me off..

2 3/8" tall...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Late 18th to Early 19th Jingdezhen Porcelain Chinese Snuff Bottle

Late 18th to Early 19th, soft paste, dark underglaze blue, crackled glaze, and 3" tall.

Certainly the most fragile porcelain bottle I have ever handled. Really thin wall. The scripts can be translated, "德勝門" which means Gate of Triumph and "旗旗德勝" means triumphant in every battle. Gate of Triumph is located on the East side of the ticket gate floor of Deshengmen Watchtower, a city gate that was once part of Beijing's Northern city wall.

The previous name of this gate was  得勝門   得勝 means to get victory by simple violent force ; while it changed to name  德勝樓 the meaning get deeper, since 德勝 means to get victory not by force anymore , but Morality

The style of painting is very unusual. I know of only one collector who has one, and also a reference within Bob Stevens book, #267 dated Late 18th, Early 19th.

Hairline kiln flaw on neck. 

For additional pics please see forum discussion

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle

It could be quite some time before I am able to figure this bottle out in it's entirety. I believe it Middle Period, but because both paintings are so unusual, it could be quite some time before I can confirm a Middle Period artist.

The front shows two beggars. They are so poor that we can see the one has his toes hanging out of the one worn out mismatched shoe. Both in clothing made from sewing patches together. I like the detailing, and color palettes for this side very much. The beggars are painted within a 1" x 1 1/2" area of this panel..

The reverse shows what I believe is a scholar's garden. The chrysanthemums are not potted so I think likely a garden.. And no scholar's garden is complete without an extra large contemplation rock ( Xiao shan meaning little mountain ). A perplexing painting for the rock, but I have found real large garden contemplation rocks with this unusual flat edging.

The goldish/brownish color is unusual. It can not be seen in the pic, but there is some light blue mixed in areas like the heads of the chrysanthemums, and also mixed in with the contemplation rock. It can be seen best within the chrysanthemum at the very top left.

Both side panels are also painted with chrysanthemums.

Shandong ( from Boashan ) style bottle at 2 5/8" tall ... Coral and possibly variscite collar stopper with beautiful wood spoon..

If you stumble onto this post, and have an idea for an artist, please do reply :)

Enjoy !

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Chinese Snuff Bottle, Gui XiangGu or Ma Shaoxuan Painted

This has been a tricky bottle for me to figure out.  What at first thought might be Ye Zhongsan, found myself choosing between Gui Xianggu and Ma Shaoxuan as possible candidates.

Natural quartz crystal with natural inclusions through out. Flat bottle, rounded sloping shoulders, and raised foot rim at 2 5/8"

I tend to believe it can be attributed to Ma Shaoxuan family/studio painted.

For More Details and Additional Pics, Read Forum Discussion Here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Zhou Leyuan Signed , Attributed to Tang Tzi Chuan

Signed Zhou Leyuan, and dated 1891, attributed to Tang Tzi Chuan.

The one side shows fisherman wearing a fibre rain cape. The front, shows kite flying boy riding water buffalo.

The date means not much in the case of this falsely signed bottle when it is easy to attribute to TTC.

For More Details and Additional Pics, Read Forum Discussion Here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Zi Yizi Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle

Zi Yizi painted from 1892 to 1907, only 12 years. He did not produce a huge body of works, and only produced thirty one examples that are known to exist. This might be one of the 22 known undated examples, or might be a 23rd example. My guess is that this is a newly discovered #23.

For those familiar with Joseph Silver Collection, "Worlds In A Bottle", you can compare with D2.  Another nice example is this Archiac and buffalo themed bottle.

His style is up with the very best works of, and also influenced by, Zhou Leyuan, his pier.

Ultra rare, and a real thrill to have had this in my possession, even for such a short time. It is destined to an extensive and wonderful collection where it will stand by other familiar Middle Period artist's works , and now call home.  A real treasure, and a special congratulations to a friend and fellow collector, Joseph Baruch Silver who is adding this to his collection !

Thursday, March 17, 2016

19th Century Carved Jet Chinese Snuff Bottle

19th Century Carved Jet Chinese Snuff Bottle

 I like to use the term "opaque" to best aid in describing the black appearance. As it reminds me very much of the Shantong artist's overlay bottles they purchased from Boshan glass shops for their inside painted works. It feels very much like the lacquer overlay on those bottles. 
  So.., opaque black Jet decoratively carved from just below the shoulder, and extending to foot rim, cylindrical "hard" as compared to "soft jet" bottle tapering slightly to the rounded shoulder with short neck. Which for lack of a better description seems almost a signature form for other Jet bottles, as well as similar formed, and carved glass bottles in overlay, ranging from 1780 to 1850. Raised narrow foot rim with recessed base. 2.65 inches tall, 1.12 inches (2.8cm) diameter, and a light 33 grams. Although I am leaning towards this bottle being Early to Mid 19th rather than 18th. The bottle is very light, so it made perfect sense to me that the carver left the lower 1/4 of the bottle non hollowed in order to give this light bottle at least a little weight at the base to keep a soft breeze from blowing it over!  The walls are carved thinner than any bottle I have ever handled.. All the way up and completely into the corner of the shoulder. 
  The carving includes scholar and apprentice crossing bridge, and also what appears to be an acrobat and or child dancing. With dragon rising from the waters below, and what I believe are chrysanthemums at top.

  To see more pics, and learn about the organic composition of this rare Jet material, visit the forum discussion at,1367.msg39705.html#msg39705