Be sure to stop in at the Snuff Bottle Discussion Forum. If you are a collector, hope you will stop by and join in the fun !
Contact email ..

Back To Main Blog Page

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."

Small chip repair to neck rim professionally restored to museum grade..

Complete Slideshow.......... 


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 )


Famille Rose Enamel on Blue and White Porcelain Snuff Bottle / Jiaqing

Was a wonderful day to "go on the hunt".. This one arrived, and am very happy !

Imperial, Jingdezhen Kilns, Jiaqing four character iron red and of the period (1796 - 1820).
This style of decoration began in the late Qianlong period at the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen and continued well into the Jiaqing period.

Researching similar bottles, could not help but notice that "Romance of the Western Chambers" scenes like the one painted on this bottle were very popular among the famille rose enamel on blue and white porcelain type bottles of this period..

2 1/8" tall.....

For More Pics Via Slideshow....  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Underglaze Blue and Copper Red Porcelain Chinese Snuff Bottle

Porcelain with rounded shoulders painted in underglaze blue and copper red. Trefoil border on short flared neck.

Mark on base is the pig Zhu bajie, and the theme is Pan si dong (  盘丝洞 script on shoulder ) or Pan si cave, there are lots of spider witches living in the cave, and they all want to eat Tang Monk who is monkey king and the Pig's master, those ladies on the bottle are all the spider witches.

Spider witches are the spiders from the heaven, and they have spell magics to turn into human being and trick the Tang xuanzhang, the Tang monk traveled to the "Western Regions" during the Tang Dynasty to obtain sacred texts , during the Journal he had to face all kind of tests the buddha gave him, spider witch in silk cave or twist silk cave are on of them, so there are all kind of witches in that fairy tale.

Early to Middle 19th Century

3 1/8" tall

For additional slideshow pics....


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cobalt Blue Underglazed Porcelain Snuff Bottle

Finally !

My first truly nice porcelain bottle .. !

Been a long time coming.. Nice bottles like this are usually out of my price range.  I got lucky in negotiating a price with the seller that I could actually afford..

This porcelain of cylindrical shape, painted in underglazed cobalt blue. Theme is of scaly dragon in flight among clouds, chasing a flaming pearl.  A second dragon rising from the waves below.  Supported on a raised glazed footrim.

Couple of things noted from "In Search Of A Dragon", The Collection of Joseph Baruch Silver.. Example # 14 page 34 :

The dots on the band around the neck were first seen during the Xianfeng reign ( 1851 - 1862 ) and continued into the Tongzhi period ( 1862 - 1873 ).

This bottle marked Yung Cheng (1723-1735) , but believed to have been created 2nd half to 3rd quarter 19th Century..

Click Here To See Complete Slideshow

Sold .....

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Inkplay in Microcosm, Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Humphrey K.F. Hui Collection

"Inkplay in Microcosm, Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Humphrey K.F. Hui Collection"..
Extra large, 333 action packed pages covering a comprehensive selection of 156 inside painted bottles of 31 artist spanning from Jiaqing of the Qing to the Republic. There is a pretty cool part in the beginning that talks about and gives examples to paintings, seal stones, and carvings that most are not aware that ding Ezhrong was well versed in.. Also sketches by Ye Zhongsan..
If your familiar with Peter Lams article about Gan Xuan within the October 2002 Arts of Asia magazine, this book has parts of that, but goes much deeper covering Gan Xuan to the fullest..
A must have book if your passionate about Early and Middle Period IP artists.. I am thrilled to finally have a copy..

The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle: The J & J Collection

Another Christmas at the Post Office today ! "The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle: The J & J Collection", and Wow !! So glad I decided to get this two volume set .. Fabulous !

Monday, November 17, 2014

Famille Noir Porcelain Chinese Snuff Bottle

19th, Daoguang, 1821 to 1860. 

Tengu Demon Motif
The earliest pictures of Tengu show him with an avian beak and feathers and these two versions of Tengu persist today as “dai Tengu” or “great tengu” and “karasu Tengu” or “crow Tengu” who is a “lesser Tengu” and still in training.

2 1/2" tall.. 


Reference/Dating, "The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection"

Tongzhi or Guangxu Famille Rose on Porcelain

2 3/4", enamel on porcelain, variation of longevity symbol in iron red overglaze  ( 3 x's ) around this round ovoid body with key pattern, also in iron red on a short neck. Formalized lingzhi around shoulder, with lozenge or paddles around base with recessed foot, and Qianlong Nian Zhi mark in iron red regular script. Glazed inside and out..

Tongzhi or Guangxu, circa 1862-1900.

Special thank you to forum members, Giovanni, and Tom B.  An especially informative post by Tom B can be read here..  


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chinese Snuff Bottle by Zhang Yu

It is rare, but sometimes an extra nicely painted Modern bottle is signed by an artist real name, or art name that there is absolutely no record of.. An artist that in this case is of a much higher caliber than a student. Perhaps not that of a Master, but not far from it.. These painted bronze vessels are signed Zhang Yu, and also signs off as, "Master of the Fine Craft Studio" ( 精艺轩主人 ) which I learned means nothing more than it came from a small, maybe even a one person studio. It is not dated, but estimated as recent as ten years. The date and all the info above was shared with me by a couple of collector friends.. Thank you Steven, Richard, Peter, and Inn Bok.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yong Shou Tian Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle

Yong Shou Tian 永寿田 sometimes signed 永受田 like this bottle..  Same pronunciation.

The front side of this 3 3/8" tall bottle depicts "Demons of Blackwater River Carrying Away the Master", The legend tells the story of how the Monkey became a god.

One day the Master suddenly exclaimed: “What is that noise?” Sun replied: “You are afraid; you have forgotten the Heart Prayer, according to which we are to be indifferent to all the calls of the six senses—the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind. These are the Six Thieves. If you cannot suppress them, how do you expect to see the Great Lord?” The Master thought a while and then said: “O disciple, when shall we see the Incarnate Model (Ju Lai) face to face?”

Pa-chieh said: “If we are to meet such demons as these, it will take us a thousand years to get to the West.” But Sha Ho-shang rejoined: “Both you and I are stupid; if we persevere and travel on, shoulder to shoulder, we shall reach there at last.” While thus talking, they saw before them a dark river in flood, which the horse could not cross. Seeing a small boat, the Master said: “Let us engage that boat to take us across.” While crossing the river in it, they discovered that it was a boat sent by the Demon of Blackwater River to entrap them in midstream, and the Master would have been slain had not Sun and the Western Dragon come to the rescue.

This reverse side is painted warrior scene

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle / Yi Fan / Guo Zonggen

Not a big collector of Very Modern ( VM ) painted bottles. Although the exception are those painted using the same fundamentals applied with traditional methods as used by the Great ancient Master artists of scroll/silk paintings.. I will likely purchase more of the same landscape themed bottles in the future.

Like these landscape scenes painted by Guo Zonggen, and signed using his art name, Yi Fan, dated 2004. 

The actual painting surface/area is only 1 1/2" X 1" ..

Script reads in part, "visiting a friend, a retreat/place to stay in Autumn".

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yong Shoutian / Liu Qiao Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle

This 2 1/2" tall flattened rectangular shaped, warrior theme bottle, although signed Yong Shoutian, is not likely.. Not really Yong Shoutian's style. This is the first bottle of this shape and smaller size I have ever seen signed/painted by him..

With Stevens help on forum, we believe it is painted by  Liu Qiao.  Little is known about Liu Qiao except he is an artist pre 1950's.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tang Tzuchuan Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle

Painted during Tang Tzuchuan's first year 1892, of his five years ( 1892- 1896 ) painting..  Truly a Master painter, even in his first year !

There are 5 different kind of fish painted, 4 great Chinese river fish. A Li gui nian yong ( carp ), and catfish both painted with quite a whimsical sense of humor.. Also mandarin fish, Hypophthalmichthys ( silver carp ), and goldfish.

2 1/2" tall..

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle / Poem

The one side is from a painting by Ma Yuan called, "Scholar By A Waterfall". Although have also seen it called, Watching the Deer by a Pine Shaded Stream".

The reverse side shows three court ladies that appear to be painted at the same waterfall/stream, but not sure the connection..

The poem written by Tang Poet Du Mu, it can be translated "The stone footpath is tilted on the upper distant cold mountain, in between the white cloud there appears a household" ( Thank you Steven )..

2 3/4" less stopper..