Zhong Kui is one of the most popular Chinese mythological figures. According to legend, he appeared to the Tang emperor Minghuang in a dream, promising to protect the emperor from demons he had been suffering from. To celebrate Zhong Kui's exorcizing the demons, the emperor ordered the famous painter, Wu Daozi, to paint his dream, and ordered the image of the demon-queller reproduced and distributed all over the realm to ward off evil spirits.
See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 5, Glass, no. 1023, for a cinnabar-red overlay on blue glass snuff bottle carved with a design of Zhong Kui, seven demons and a procession of entertainers, attributed to Li Junting; and H. Moss, Snuff Bottles of China, no. 212, for red overlay on white glass example, also attributed to Li Junting.
Other design elements on the bottle are auspicious symbols. The radish (laifu) signifies the arrival (lai) of good fortune (fu); and the spider and pomegranates stand for fertility.