See two related examples with green-enameled surrounds: one in the Imperial Collection is illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, no. 320, while the second is illustrated in B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 950. The gold ground on this lot is in imitation of the gilt-metal surrounds on Beijing enamel snuff bottles, while the green-enameled surrounds imitate the enameled copper examples.
The type of reign-mark, with the reversed 'S' element in the lower left quadrant of the character Qian is known to have been used very late in the Qianlong period - possibly even as late as the period between the Emperor's abdication and his death in 1799, since it has been suggested that this strange reversal of a well-established format for writing the character in seal script may indicate the continued use of the Qianlong reign title while his successor was on the throne and producing other wares under his own reign title, Jiaqing.
As a genuine example of the late-Qianlong period, this would fit in comfortably with a revival in interest at the Palace workshops of these European subjects (see Sotheby's, New York, 23 March 2002, lot 435, where a bottle previously considered to come from Guangzhou is re-established as a late-Qianlong, Beijing product and others are cited). This late Beijing group was inspired by the early-Qianlong Guangzhou style, including turbaned men and topless women. The present lot appears to have a southern-style design on a Jingdezhen porcelain bottle, suggesting that it was probably painted at the Imperial kilns after a Guangzhou original.