|The catalogue for Snuff Bottles from the Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VI is now online
Click here to view the lots
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- Snuff Bottle Sales
The improvements fall into three main categories:
Snuff-bottle sales (let’s keep real here - something has to pay for all this effort).
A new system for selling snuff bottles at auction.
Chinese Snuff Bottle ManifestoThis website was designed with the intent to create a medium uninhibited by distance and schedule to enable those with serious interest in snuff bottles to enjoy the experience at their own leisure and privacy. We will offer a regularly changing selection of Chinese snuff bottles to collectors all over the world with sufficient photographs and description to bring the experience as close to having them 'in the hand' as possible. These will cover the full range of snuff bottles, including many lesser but less expensive examples. The governing principle being that they are all significant works of art, at varying levels of quality, and each appropriately priced. Alongside each will be the full description, together with any appropriate commentary, which, with photographs, will appear on our invoice in the event of a purchase.
We have complete confidence in what we are selling, based on our years of experience and best understanding at the time, and believe the prices to be both reasonable and, perhaps more importantly, sustainable. We do not price bottles on the basis of what one rose-tinted enthusiast might possibly pay, but on the basis of what several people, properly informed, would agree is a fair market price. By doing so, we expect to create continuing satisfaction in the transaction and avoid the disappointments of returns.
Understanding that fancy photographs and lengthy commentaries are not a perfect substitute for holding the bottle in the hand, no sale is considered confirmed until purchases have been handled by the buyer and approved, hopefully with some enthusiasm. Thereafter, you may fall back upon our guarantee. Should any material aspect of the information contained in the invoice and commentaries prove false, or even reasonably questionable, the item may be returned for a full cash refund, at any time, with no statute of limitations. Equally, anyone is welcome to trade back bottles at the original cost and take the amount as a credit against other purchases. We are always happy to see our bottles again. This gives collectors an unprecedented way of disposing of the results of their 'early eyes' in collecting and the understanding that they may constantly 'trade up' without loss of money. If a bottle has increased in value, the collector has any number of other options in disposing of it. One of which is to quote us a price, and see if we are willing to pay it.
We want to create a medium where you can view and collect without pressure, but with as much information as we can reasonably make available to facilitate your diligence and care in selection.
We would, of course, welcome any suggestions you may have for making this site more user-friendly.
A new system for selling snuff bottles at auction.
We believe that in a mature, rising market the best interests of the collector are served by selling on the open market through auction, and we offer a service acting on behalf of collectors to achieve the best results by working closely with major auction houses worldwide.
Apart from the Bloch sales 1-5 working with Bonham’s, Hong Kong, we worked with Christie’s, Hong Kong and New York, on the J & J series of auctions (ongoing), and are working with Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, for the continuing Bloch sales, 6 – 10. We also worked on the Reif (October 18, 1993), Blanche B. Exstein (21 March 2002) and the Schonfeld (21 March 2013) collections at Christie’s, New York, and with the Robert and Molly Hsieh collection at Sotheby’s, New York (March 23, 2004).
If you are interested in disposing of your collection in a cost-effective way, taking advantage of our snuff-bottle expertise, contact us and we’ll be happy to give you more details of the logistics, options, and costs.
Here the sky is the limit – well, actually, our capacity to input information is the limit, but we’re working on that. Here are just some of the ideas:
We will have a section for exhibitions, which, once up, will remain permanently. This will include education exhibitions curated by collectors or anyone else who is interested and by ourselves, including exhibitions of individual collections (although we reserve the right to edit or decline such exhibitions). One such exhibition which intrigues me at present is one of my ideal collection, if I had access to infinite funds and could select any known snuff bottle. This may be conflated with an exhibition of the entire history of the snuff-bottle arts. Bear in mind that with the web, one can continually add to and edit content, making it a far more flexible medium than print.
We will also provide a platform for collectors who want to publish their collections, or other related books on snuff bottles (written by themselves or others) but would rather not go to the expensive (and often tiresome) option of printing and distributing individual books.
We will try to make much of this content inter-active to allow feedback, so that we can continually add to and improve the information available.
Part of our plan is to gradually employ academics to help us with existing content and provide additional content (funded by the new auction set up, in theory), so hopefully we can make a good deal of the content bi-lingual and provide translation and research facilities to anyone who is interested. We envisage the possibility of undertaking for other dealers or collectors the cataloguing of exhibitions on a commercial basis.
We will scan in old, difficult to find publications on snuff bottles so that they are accessible to all, and, eventually, perhaps even aspire to having all known works (of merit) on the subject included, but I shall be long-dead by then!
A snuff-bottle bibliography will be posted, which we will add to as new books appear. We will also try to provide useful listings: dating systems with charts, lists of artists, research encyclopaedia, etc.
We will also have links to other useful sites.
One of the great advantages of the web is that it is always a work in progress, so we are not bound by the need to get everything right before we publish, as we would be in the world of print.
We will constantly be open to new suggestions for improving the site, and will provide a feedback option for comments on the site, its construction, and uses.
So, log on regularly – we will.
Hugh Moss, in the Water, Pine, and Stone Retreat.