Although unsigned, this bottle can be confidently attributed to the master glass carver, Li Junting, who is believed to have worked at Yangzhou and was one of the most important and innovative of all Qing glass-carvers. He is also one of the few we can identify by name. A bottle bearing his signature and carved with a similar subject in identical style is illustrated by B. C. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 239.
The seal Hanqing ('Chinese Official') is probably a hao, or art name, and appears on another bottle attributed to Li Junting, sold at Sotheby's, London, 7 June 1990, lot 14.
Although often referred to as black glass, a good deal of the apparently black material found on Chinese snuff bottles is, in fact, a very dark brown color which appears black when sufficiently dense. With Li Junting, however, with his low relief carving and exquisite use of shading through varying the thickness of the overlay, it is revealed to be brown.
For a blue-on-white version of a similar subject, also by Li Junting, from the collection of Count Bl,cher von Wahlstatt, see H. Moss, Snuff Bottles of China, p. 107, no. 193. For another similar subject, in red on white, signed by one of Li Junting's alternative names, Weizhi, see G. Tsang and H. Moss, Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, p. 127, no. 241; see, also, nos. 242 and 243, for further examples of Li's work (all three are dated sixty years too late, as was thought to be correct at the time). See, also, B. C. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, nos. 239-40 and 242-51 for a range of Li Junting's works, and R. Kleiner, Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Denis Low, nos. 125-32. A range of his works are also illustrated and discussed by H. Moss, V. Graham, K. B. Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, vol. 5, part 3, Glass, nos. 1021-44, where no. 1028 is a brown on white example also carved on one main side with magpies and a blossoming prunus tree.