Attributable to the Imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1760-1830 7.5cm high.
Treasury 5, no. 856
A yellow glass 'elephant' snuff bottle
Translucent and semi-transparent yellow glass, with scattered small air bubbles, some elongated; with a concave lip; carved in the form of an elephant, a vase set on its back emerging from a border of formalized lingzhi-heads that, in turn, is set on an tasselled, textile decorated with a formalized floral diaper pattern, the feet of the beast forming the foot of the bottle Attributable to the Imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1760-1830 Height: 7.5 cm Mouth/lip: 0.66/1.95 cm Stopper: coral; plastic collar
Condition: Workshop condition
Provenance: K. H. Chu Robert Kleiner (1986)
Published: Kleiner 1987, no. 76 Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 3 and front cover Treasury 5, no. 856
Exhibited: Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
Glass versions of elephant-form snuff bottles date from no earlier than the mid-Qing period, and many come from the nineteenth century. The most datable examples of the subject, with elephants usually reclining, are those made in porcelain at Jingdezhen, which first appear in the late Qianlong era. The predominance of yellow glass for these elephants denotes an Imperial typeno surprise, given their profusion in Qing palacesand the colour and texture of the yellow glass here allow an attribution to the Imperial glassworks. The colour, as lovely as any example that we can be reasonably certain was made at the court, is further enhanced by the form, which has dictated various thicknesses of glass resulting in greater translucence and, indeed, transparency in some areas.
The unusually large size of this bottle would be compatible with the late Qianlong era. One of the best carved glass bottles of the subject, it still fails to reach the standard of the finest earlier glass carvings of other subjects, and it is interesting to note the greater simplicity of the diaper ground here compared with the early Qianlong yellow glass bottle, Sale 3, lot 25. This is clearly from the phase of palace glass carving during which decorative intent took on greater importance than artistic intent, although it manages to disguise this fact rather better than some by virtue of its compact and sculptural form. With sculptural bottles of this sort, the delights of the form tend to divert attention from the detail, and as long as the carving is adequate, shortcomings are camouflaged. And, after all, the standard of carving here is as fine as one could expect of this series of elephants.
透亮及半透明柘黃色玻璃，含零星的小氣泡， 有的拉長； 凹唇；雕大象，背有如負寶瓶， 大象的腳形成壺底 推定為御用玻璃廠製的，北京，1760-1830 高﹕ 7.5 厘米 口徑/唇徑： 0.66/1.95 厘米 蓋﹕ 珊瑚； 塑料座 狀態敘述： 出坊狀態 來源: K. H. Chu Robert Kleiner (1986)