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Modern Art of Snuff Bottle

3 Quick Tips to identify the " Fake painted snuff bottle"

Updated: Oct 3, 2021


As the inside painted snuff bottle grew more valuable in the past few years, some unscrupulous vendors had found ways to mass-produce "Fake inside painted snuff bottle "and claimed it was hand-painted by the artists. This technique is known as the "Technique of Photo Projected. " Some snuff bottle collectors were cheated by the dishonest, which is not supposed to be tolerated. As a result, this article aims to assist you in differentiating the "Fake Inside Painted Snuff Bottle."


Fake Inside painted snuff bottle.
An Example of Photo Fake Inside Painted Snuff Bottle, Resource from Internet.

The fake inside painting is hand-painted in some parts rather than printing it totally by machine. However, it is different in the process of how to paint. The fake inside painting uses the so-called technique, “Photo projected technique.” See details on the making process here. Following the tips below, you can avoid this problem.



First tip: Notice the Bottle’s shape and the ratio of the picture


Since the snuff bottle has a three-dimensional structure, the maker has to adjust the picture printed in the bottle according to the shape of the Snuff bottle. Every snuff bottle has its unique shape due to its all hand made by the crafts. Therefore, the ratio of the picture will not be natural, and the character line seems to be stiff. For example, if the human figure’s head is in a rounder part of the snuff bottle, the head will look larger than usual. In addition, the edge lines will appear blurred when the light passes through the photo negative. To be more explicit, it is like negative printing failed. The developed picture is not clear.


Second tip: Focusing on the inks


For the fake painted snuff bottle, the depth and shallow of the drawing lines are very consistent, and the ink does not have the features of brush transition. Moreover, the ink was lacking rich layering and appeared to be rigid, stiff, and lacks rhythm. The painting does not have an abundance of line variance when compares to hand-painted lines. Sometimes, the maker uses dim light to create an effect that the photo printed on the bottle is implicit and then painted by hands to modify the picture. By and large, this method creates a photo-like painting.


Third tip:Details from the Calligraphy


The calligraphy on the painting leaks the information. The handpainted brushwork can show the continuous movement and painter’s inner psychology by the ink variance in-depth and shallow. It creates the uniqueness of each work. However, the characters in the fake painted snuff bottle are very consistent. The characters are appeared to be wildly flowing, similar to the text printed on the paper. It is due to the painting is published by the level of the light. If the light is strong, then the picture will be deep; If the light is weak, the image will have a lighter color. It is challenging for the maker to imitate the original painting and, of course, the text.



Photo fake inside painted snuff bottle.
An Example of Photo Fake Inside Painted Snuff Bottle, Resource from Internet.

In conclusion


In modern times, some makers intently try to fix the problems with this method. For some high-quality fake-painted snuff bottles, the painters repeatedly draw to offset the imperfection and to replicate the original picture at their best. Sometimes, we have to use the magnifier to obverse carefully before taking the work home. Still, it is essential to think twice before making the decision and select only the artwork from the reputed collectors and galleries to choose your matchless treasures.