Posted 5 months ago
My third post today - clearly a day off!
This a modern Chinese snuff bottle, and as a piece of glass the bottle does an absolute injustice to the painter. The bottle has been "inside painted" , that is, after the bottle was produced an artist, using a very thin brush, painted the scenes on the inside of the glass.
Inside painted snuff bottles were first seen in the 1820s when beauty became more important than the contents, and they were rarely used to hold snuff. This bottle was probably made as a souvenir in recent years and was possibly relatively inexpensive, but I am still amazed at the skill of the artist.
After researching this a bit (just a little bit, not much) I have learned that these snuff bottle painters train for many years and each bottle can take from days to weeks to complete. I can believe it. They often use single filament brushes to complete these fine works, and the detail in this picture is absolutely extraordinary. All painted through a 4mm opening. As I said, it's a pity the bottle itself is so ordinary.
When I purchased this a customer nearby, of Chinese origin, explained that snuff bottle painters are considered amongst artistic elite, and that even as a souvenir item like this one was a great deal less than what she could buy equivalent in China. At $12 I was pretty happy .