Sometimes called case bottles or gin bottles- their shape recalling that of taller German and Dutch bottles that were held within a fitted box- it is unclear whether the glass was imported from Europe, but accepted that the painting is purely of Indian origin.
In his discussion of a group of three of these bottles in the Al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait, Stefano Carboni remarks on a close Dutch connection with this type of bottle. Dutch influence remained strong in Gujarat well into the 18th century, and several other examples are capped by a Dutch coin that was minted to identify produce imported from abroad (see Carboni, Stefano, Glass from Islamic Lands: The Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum, London, 2001, pp.388-90, cat. 106a-c). One such bottle in the Victoria & Albert Museum, catalogued by Susan Stronge, is published in The Indian Heritage: Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, London 1982, no. 396, p.126. Stronge says that three other examples in the Victoria and Albert Museum, all acquired in 1867 from the same collection, are also capped by the same Dutch coin.
Carboni recounts that a Gujarati craftsman named Ram Singh Malam had learnt his glassmaking skills during three separate trips to Europe, the first being to the Netherlands, and was encouraged by Maharao Lakha, the ruler of Kutch (r.1741-60), to open a glassmaking factory in the town of Bhuj on his return (Carboni, 2001, p. 389)
These bottles are made in two-part moulds, that is to say, two parts of triangular cross-section, the seams being in opposite corners which were then painted over to conceal them. (Jenkins, Marilyn, Islamic Glass: A Brief History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin Fall 1986, no.51, Carboni op cit 2001, p.389). With the other two corners likewise painted and a cusped arch linking each with its neighbour, the four sides become separate panels for decoration within a continuous arcade, with the standard pattern for decoration being that figural scenes alternate with panels of floral decoration. The bottles were probably intended to be in sets of six or eight, and it is likely the painted scenes within such a set related to each other (Carboni, op cit, p.389).
The technique used is similar to one of those in the Al-Sabah Collection (Carboni, op cit 2001, cat.106a, LNS 82 G) and the one in the Metropolitan Museum (Jenkins op cit 1986, no. 51, inv.no. 21.26.11) in that after the paint and gilt being applied directly to the surface of the glass, the bottles were probably fired at low temperature to fix the decoration, with the effect being close to that of cold painting (Carboni, 2001, p.390).