Snuff bottles formerly in the Mary and George Bloch collection (lots 100-146)
A lavender-blue glass snuff bottle
Qing dynasty, 1730-1830 Of elegant near-meiping form with a flat lip and recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim, the glass of a variegated, lavender-blue colour. 6.2cm high.
Provenance 來源: Robert Hall (1984)
Illustrated 出版: Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Volume 5, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 690.
Exhibited 展覽: British Museum, London, June-October 1995 Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July-November 1997
Lavender-blue glass is a relatively rare colour, sometimes appearing undecorated, as here, but elsewhere carved with relief designs. It is a possible candidate for the 'azure- blue' (or 'blue sky after rain') designation found in early Chinese sources and recorded as a colour produced at the imperial glassworks as early as 1708 by imported Guangzhou glassmakers. The colour also appears in the archives published so far for 1715, 1721, 1725, 1726, 1727, and 1728. Even if this were the colour, however, it need not imply a Kangxi period for this example. Once established, any colour could be repeated at will.
As to its provenance, the same problem is faced as with so many glass bottles: the imperial glassworks is a likely source, but there is little in the way of corroborating evidence. The shape is a modified meiping ('prunus- blossom vase'), which was popular at court, a fact that might nudge the bottle towards a palace provenance and, perhaps, a Qianlong date.