This bottle is one of a group of Imperial wares produced at Guangzhou during the Qianlong period. The Guangzhou enamelers regularly employed techniques of the Palace workshops, particularly the use of stippled areas where a series of minute dots provides graduation in the colors, or a ground color, as seen here in the green trees. These stylistic similarities arose for two main reasons: Guangzhou enamelers were occasionally seconded to the Palace workshops for a number of years, and Jesuit enamelers often spent lengthy periods in Guangzhou awaiting permission to proceed north after their arrival, spending time demonstrating their skills to local craftsmen and imparting some elements of their style to Guangzhou workshops. The current snuff bottle reflects the fascination of the Qianlong Emperor with Western subjects, which appear on both porcelain and metal enameled wares produced during his reign.
For other Guangzhou enamel bottles decorated with a variety of subjects, and a discussion of the origin of the art form in Guangzhou, see Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, the Mary and George Bloch Collection, Volume 6, Part 1, Hong Kong, 2008, pp. 276-309, nos. 1124-1137.