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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.

Currently listed on eBay..

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


Friday, November 18, 2016

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 15, 2016

Chinese Snuff Bottles, The White Wings Collection by Robert Kleiner

Large 11 1/2" x 9", 300 page, book.. It's a nice book full of example from every medium.. 200 illustrated examples, including many rare examples made for Imperial use within the Palace workshops. It is a real nice book !


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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Black Glass Overlay Chinese Snuff Bottle

19th Century black overlay on snowflake glass Chinese snuff bottle.

             $ 350.00

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

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ye Zhongsan Chinese Snuff Bottle / Strange Stories Chinese Studio / Liaozhai Zhi

Painted 1913, Spring Month, Ye Zhongsan painted, and attributed to Ye Zhongsan the Elder

Ye Zhongsan had a preference for painting scenes from the "Strange Stories Chinese Studio ( Liaozhai zhiyi )", and the reverse is titled, "Master of West Lake" from Chinese Ghost Story Book. A rarely painted scene by Ye Zhongsan,


Ye Zhongsan the Elder may be considered the most prolific of all Middle Period artists in this IP medium. Below an example specifically dated “Xin Hai qui yue” for Autumn 1911 and it is one of the last IPSB that can be ascribed to Ye Zhongsan the Elder 1875 – 1945 since it was painted before Ye’s eldest son, Ye Bengzhen joined the studio in 1912. Even if Ye Bengzhen had joined his father by late 1911, he would not have immediately been able to paint such a complicated subject matter. So although this bottle was painted in 1913, when compared to other known pre 1912 bottles with same theme, it is easy to attribute this 1913 bottle to Ye Zhongsan the Elder. Here is a 1911 for comparison.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Chinese Snuff Bottle / Warrior Themes

These unsigned paintings are in the style of Yong Shoutian, but the ccolors are not what we see with Yong Shoutian.

After 100 years, it is nice to still be able and find paired bottles that have managed to stand the test of time and stay together.

The one side of both bottles ( first pic ) combine to theme "The Victory in Jun Shan" ( or Jun Mountain from story in Three Kingdoms )

Then the other side ( second pic ) combines both bottles for the "Story of Cao Fighting with Ma Chao from Three Kingdoms period" 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Amethyst Quartz Carved Chinese Snuff Bottle

19th Century Amethyst Quartz Carved Chinese Snuff Bottle
2 1/2" tall
"Star God of Longevity" Scene

Stars on deer could
represent the "Fu" character in place of a bat. The whole composition forms the rebus "Fu Lu Shou" (Happiness or Luck, generally represented by a bat "Fu" or "Bian Fu", "Lu" meaning wealth or profit and also the word for deer, and "Shou" referring to longevity and being represented by the God of Longevity "Shoulao" )
Also there is a myth from the Ming dynasty that a deer was the companion of Shoulao who owed his longevity to the deer. The deer had the magical ability to sniff out lingzhi in the forest and guided shoulao to the Lingzhi which was the key to extending life.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

18th / 19th Century Incised Glass Chinese Snuff Bottle

2 3/8" tall, mold blown, transparent ( po-li ) glass, 1780-1850.

Neatly incised ( kezi ) gilded poem in clerical ( lishu ) style script, orchids and butterflies with Qianlong nian zhi incised and gilded four character mark in seal script believed added at a later date.

Raised and shallow recessed foot with brecciated red jasper stopper.  

First two sentences/rows
Fragrance of spring suffuses the air,
enjoying the rare gem that you generously share.

Meaning.. The right amount of "envy" with no greed or coveting, is a great compliment to the owner. So this is praising the orchids and make the owner happy.

For the next two sentences/rows,
Noble and true friendship extended,
pure like the moon reflected in still water

Meaning.. The Angelica and Orchid signify noble characters, scholars, purity and friend. Interpreted as extending a friendship, as the writer is "showing" the beautiful/subtle progression of key guest to friend.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

18th Century Imperial Guyue Xuan Enamel On Glass Chinese Snuff Bottle

18th Century Imperial Guyue Xuan Enamel On Glass.

( ref. Mysteries of the Ancient Moon ), Spring 2006 ICSBS journal. This from a well known, and long accepted as a genuine decorative group of enameled glasswares from the later part of the Qianlong reign ( 1760-1780 ). The article labels these as, "Experimental Guyue Xuan Wares" ( pic added from article ). Typical Mid-Qianlong neck-bands and enamels. Decorated with the emblems of the Eight Daoist Immortals, incorporating dangling tasseled, and beaded cords suspended from the shoulder-bands. Decorated with the Baijixiang or Eight Buddhist auspicious symbols including the Buddhist "Wheel of Law." Guyue Xuan mark in iron red regular script.

The following from Peter Lam's scholarly research, "Studio Marks in Imperial and Court Related Snuff Bottles" within "The Imperial Connection: Court Related Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Humphrey K.F. Hui Collection." clears up that we can label these Guyue Xuan wares as Imperial.

"One of the key issue that authorities in the past found it difficult to attribute such marked pieces to the imperial household is that they failed to find any buildings in the imperial compound by the name Guyue Xuan."

"The two architects, He Chongyi and Zeng Zhaofen carried out a meticulous research project.  One entry within their paper talks about the purpose of the building, Changchun Yuan, according to the Qianlong Emperor was to prepare for his retirement life.  Guyue Xuan was located at the back of the main hall. It was linked to the Tuisheng Zhai, which was designed as the bedroom chamber of the Qianlong Emperor after his retirement."

"There had been a glass factory in the Yuanming Yuan since Yongzheng times, and the painting academy, Ruyi Guan was also situated in the Dongtian Shenchu in Yuanming Yuan. And therefore it is probably not too far fetching to theorize that the Qianlong Emperor had ordered glass wares to be used in this particular garden. The blanks of the glass objects were produced by the glass factory, and afterwards they were decorated by the court painters in the Ruyi Guan. Guyue Xuan would be the place where these glass wares were used, and from which it derived its name. It is therefore possible that in the late Qianlong through the Jianqing reigns, some glass pieces, including snuff bottles were marked with the studio name of Guyue Xuan. This early Guyue Xuan marked group all came from the Imperial Household Workshop, and should have the same characteristic as those earlier ones with Qianlong reign marks."


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Guyeuxuan / Yangzhou Enamel on Glass / Imperial Palace Workshop Snuff Bottle

Genuine eighteenth century Guyeuxuan bottle and extremely rare.

Guyuexuan ware made at the court, Beijing, palace workshops, circa 1775-1790.

Made as part of the Guyuexuan group from post 1767 period until 1799, where the enamels were made at Beijing or as a sub-group, Yangzhou. Typical paneled shape also a standard 18th century shape for the court.

The enameling style is related to a group of classic Guyuexuan wares made at the court, and probably Beijing, palace workshops, circa 1775-1790.

Reference, “Mysteries of the Ancient Moon” ( ref ICSBS Spring 2006 journal )