This is another example of an agate bottle belonging to the group as discussed in lot 445. This series was first discussed by Hugh Moss in Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Quartz and Silica Group, London, 1971, p. 74. For a further discussion of this group, please refer to H. Moss, V. Graham and K. B. Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle: The J & J Collection, New York, 1993, no. 164.
As with the former lot, this bottle bears the four-character inscription Qianlong yuzhi, indicating that this bottle was made by Imperial command.
The poem may be read:
From the terrace of the Immortals, for the first time, I view the five legendary cities, twelve slim towers shimmering in the sunset.
After the long rain, the sky has cleared, the crisp air washed clean and pure above the wooded hills.
The bluish haze around the cliffs merges, in the twilight, with the trees on the distant mountains of Qin.
Nearby, the music of water, flowing over stones, has an autumnal sadness.
Thin shadows from sparse pines fall on this meditation ledge;
Grass and foliage give off a pungent fragrance to permeate the secret cavern.
Why go to seek the land of the Immortals in the distant heavenly regions?
In this world, too, there is a holy hill!