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Details
A SANDWICHED GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1720-1820
Molded from the inside with four recessed panels and with a slightly convex foot, the gold-speckled layer of glass sandwiched between a transparent green inner layer and a transparent blue outer layer, stopper
2 1/8 in. (5.32 cm.) high
Provenance
Arthur Gadsby, Hong Kong, 1978
Literature
Chinese Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong Museum of Art, p. 39, no. 54
Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J&J Collection, vol. 2, no. 328
Exhibited
Hong Kong Museum of Art, October-November 1977
Christie's New York, 1993
Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1994
Museum fur Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt, 1996-1997
Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, 1997
Naples Museum of Art, Florida, 2002
Portland Museum of Art, Oregon, 2002
National Museum of History, Taipei, 2002
International Asian Art Fair, Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, 2003
Poly Art Museum, Beijing, 2003

Lot Essay

Blue glass flecked with gold, which may have been an attempt to imitate lapis lazuli, was already being produced in the Palace workshops by the early eighteenth century.

The coppery or golden flakes of mica found in this bottle trapped within a layer of sapphire-blue glass and sandwiched between two layers of clear glass is known as biotite. It is quite possible that sandwiched glass decorated with biotite was familiar with Kilian Stumpf, the Jesuit missionary who directed the Beijing Palace workshops from 1695 until his death in 1720. This type of sandwiched glass was apparently a staple product at the Imperial glassworks, which remains a likely source for this fine bottle.
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