Chinese Snuff Bottles. Wilf. P. Pond

506 OHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES. I \ the Ohinese with the knowlellge of SllnIT long It figllr8 a quarter of an inch long all the llJicl'O– years before Sir Walter Rnlsigh at' Ohristopher 00- scopic variations of expression and draping of lnmbus "discovered." the fmgrant weed in Amer- clothing, giving inealcubble tiUle and. patience ica or Onblt; and. it is this mark which identifies to the qnestion of accnracy in small things, worked beyond question the age of the two specimen bot- the snuff-bottle mahr, reproducing in picture tIes mentioned previously, for it is a mark which writing th'e bbles and. folklore of his yonth, anll to the eyes of the expert collector is' as plain as perpetuating the touching reverence of the chilel printed worels, lind not to be duplicated by mod- for the parent, peculiar to the Chinese nation, ern art. During the ,T'and dynasty, extending He cared not if, whell finished, they were Bold or from A. D. 618 to 90G, the mannfactnre of porce- not; it was snfficient to the artist that he made lain spread with ginut strides all ovel' the empire, them, knowing that in the years to come succeeil– and we find bottles, in the private Ohinese collec- ing generations of Ohinamen w.ould take np his tions" of the Hung chon-yao, or yellow black; the dainty work, and, with their childre'n on theil' Shon-yao, QI' yellow; the Yo-yao} or pl'l.le-green knee, point ont to them thepicttlre, and tell blue; the Ynch-yao, or blue (very fine ancl rare), them in simple words the old-time fable of" '1'he and the Shu-yao, Ot' Szechumen porcelain, snow Hundred Ohildren," and numberless others, as . white, ha.ving a Clear ring to it, alld ranking 'as our parents have explained to us the fairy tale ou j'ac'/:le prh.ceps among the prodllctions of the pe- the willow-pattern plate. Ourious as the Chinese 'riod. It was in A. D, 954 that there was intro- method of art appears to I1S, with its plain per- dnced a bottle of sky-ulno color, on porcelain thin spective, to t,hem it is a thing of beauty, and by RR paper, of a clelu' ring tLUa brilliant sl1rface, its <1, slight stretchof fancy one can imagine the CJhi– only defect being a blLse disUgnrofl by the l\dher- ilese artist holding up his beantiful creation to the ing of coarse sand, on which it lmclrested in the light, and forestalling by untold centuries C'yl'1's , fll1'uace.· This was the royal blne, made in obecli- Blen1ce'rn in "The .Middleman " by exclaiming: ·en·.ce to an imperial order' that all porcelain for "lVloney? Anyone'dan make money! But only the palace shol1ld be "blue as tile clear sky after I oltn make tbis [" nin"; it is knowJ)'RsYn-yaa, 01' imperial por- rrhese snnil b0Wes' nre generally abotlt three 0\' celain, and· it is ,said thlLt not a particle of the fonl' inches in height by oue in diameter, n,nd genuine WMe is ;in existence. '. range in valLIe from $15 to $~50 each, tIle maxi- During the following Sung dynasty, 960 to mum }1vice asked to-day in OhiJllt for the.rarest 1259 A. D., the designs, became more and more spoci mells Oil sale being ~l;l,OOO; bnt there are artistic, departing frOlil"the models of ancient mm.1Y illpl'ivate coll.ections whose estimated vall1e bronzes, following It tree or' flower, with the de- is 'simply' inCltlcnlable. Theil' coloring is very sign broken here and tllCl'e,by dragons' 0\' lions' diversified, the geneml rnn being in royal blue on heads ill bold relief, wit,h 'an elaboration and a white gronnd, blue and red, and varions ariel wealth of ornam en t hithei'to nncl reamed of. Prior bea.n tifnl n10saics. rfbey are genemlly ~i beron , to now the external color had been decided by the form, ovoid, cylindrical,' or four-sirted, with. It glaze, l\nd almost entirely mOllochrome, bnt now gl'!\cefnl taper to the neck; some are of a mo:re , color bands, lelives, veins, etc" ltppeal' to reach decided bott1e shape, 01" vase, with exquisite . high excellence'; ·and in the Ming dynasty, about "COIOI' glazes," and these al'e,in lapis lazuli, rllby, 1400 A. D." first 11.pIJeared the arabesques, lal1d- opal, yellow, turquoise, mallLchite, etc.; otherB scares, etc.~· in several colors. ltl'e of jade, some specimens in existence being' It was clni'iug the following dynasties, 1'{23 to decorated wi tIl cameos, eyiden tly copied from, 1796 A. D., after the accession of Y l1ng-¢heng and some article in the possession of the Mission Kicnlnng, t411.t the true golden age commenced :B'athers' to Obina. Soft paste specimens are the for the sllnff-·oottles forming the greater part of most highly prized, and have webby cracks, and om modeI'll collections, and all the artistic ancl pimply appeamnce of gloss known as " crackle" ; teclJnical ski1l'of, the poriad was lavished upon a specimen in this city of this type elating back to these gems, which. are certainly among the mas- the Sl1llg dynasty, about 1300 A. D., bearing on tel' pieces, if not actnally the masterpieces, of Ohi-' its side the mark of that period, and is ill 00101' a nese ceramic art. '1'he detail repays minute study; curious gray tmquoise. In all is to be fonnd the the effective ground work, the soft coloring, the greatest beauty of finish amI detail, sncb as can harmony, the tender telling of aIel-time legends iu only be bestowed upon a small article to which picture writing, the arrangement of flowers and an immensity of timealld loving work bas been i 11 trod nction of foreign detail, evidence the high- given; and the dogged, impassi ve, nerveless natlll'8 est skilJ.;Like Meissonier, in tireleSil, painstaking of the Mongolian artist, not overlooking the pos– elaboration of the illioIHl test details, crowding into sible ({ star in sight" which by, a gleam may