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Subject:Snuff bottle, Xuantong?
Posted By: Sally Sat, Feb 16, 2019 IP:

This snuff bottle or miniature vase is about 7cm/3" high. I'm not sure if it's a 20th century reign mark or a copy of something much earlier. I'd welcome any thoughts and opinions. Thank you

Subject:Re: Snuff bottle, Xuantong?
Posted By: Mark Adams Sun, Feb 17, 2019

Your miniature vase is very modern. It lacks dimensional/fluid style. Has been painted in haste.
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Subject:Re: Snuff bottle, Xuantong?
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Feb 17, 2019

Actually, it says 'Made during the Xuande Reign' (Xuan de nian zhi - 宣德年製), which was the Ming period from 1426-1435. A noteworthy clue to age is how the "De" character in period marks would have been written without the horizontal stroke above its 'heart' radical, as in '徳'. Also, the form of the bottle, when combined with its famous base-mark and decoration that doesn't match period norms, is usually a red flag to be heeded. Historically, its also a fact that the habit of smoking tobacco wasn't introduced in China until the 1570s, and its use as snuff didn't come along until after the Qing Dynasty was founded in 1644.

However, it's a perfectly good decorative item, so if you like it, enjoy it.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Snuff bottle, Xuantong?
Posted By: Sally Mon, Feb 18, 2019

Thank you Bill and Mark, that clarifies things. I could see similarities to the 15th century mark but also to the 20th century mark. I'm learning, thanks to all the shared knowledge on this site. I do like it, for someone with limited house room tininess is a definite advantage.
Thanks again
Sally | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |