Lot 3639
  • 3639


2,000,000 - 3,000,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • glass
with a flat lip and slightly recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim, delicately painted with a continuous landscape depicting a scholar looking back towards his attendant carrying a qin, standing in a mountainous landscape with flowering trees and a gushing waterfall, the reverse with a pavilion nestled amongst cragged mountains by the riverbanks with tall pine trees, the waisted neck encircled by a blue-enamelled floral scroll and a ruyi head border repeated above the foot, the foot rim painted with a band of blue dots, the base incised with a four-character mark, gilt-metal stopper with integral collar


Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Etude Jutheau, 5th/6th March 1985, lot 68.

Catalogue Note

This extremely rare enamelled glass snuff bottle is a legacy of the Imperial Glass Workshops in the Forbidden City at the height of their glory in the Qianlong period, and one of a select group of bottles successfully decorated with a continuous landscape that stretches around the exterior. It was a triumph of the skills of the enamellers to achieve such a feat on glass, requiring a deep combination of technical precision and artistic flair to render the precise details of the landscape with such intricate precision, while retaining the vivid sense of perspective in the landscape.

Another bottle of identical size, form and decoration was sold at Christie’s New York, 19th March 2008, lot 307, from the Meriem Collection. See also a closely related example previously sold in these rooms, 4th November 1996, lot 30, later in the Lutz Franz Collection, and now in the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection. Both were recently included in the exhibition Imperial Passion, Hong Kong, 2014, and are illustrated on e-yaji.com, nos 21.3.1207 and 21.3.754. 

Amongst the small number of extant Qianlong enamelled glass pieces of this quality in private hands, similarly enamelled with precise and minute attention to detail, is a Qianlong reign-marked enamelled glass bottle vase, decorated with pheasants and bamboo, sold in these rooms, 11th April 2008, lot 2846. This relates closely to another enamelled glass vase in the Palace Museum, Beijing, decorated with flowers and birds, included in Luster of Autumn Water. Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshops, Beijing, 2005, pl. 84; a pair of vases painted with pheasants and flowering peony blooms, from the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, illustrated in Emily Byrne Curtis, ed., Pure Brightness Shines Everywhere. The Glass of China, Burlington, 2004, pl. 9.10.