In 1767, the Jian Yuan was completed in the Changchun Yuan complex (a series of Imperial gardens to the west of Beijing. One of the halls within the Jian Yuan was the Guyue Xuan (Ancient Moon Pavilion). The Changchun Yuan was intended as a retirement home for the Qianlong Emperor, although he never took up full-time residence there. The Guyue Xuan was completed in 1767, prompting the Emperor to order a group of wares, mostly enamels on glass, bearing the name of that particular pavilion. Hugh Moss dealt with these intriguing mid-reign enamels and their evolution in "Mysteries of the Ancient Moon", Journal of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, Spring 2006, pp. 16-33.
Despite their functional efficiency, simplicity and symbolism of fertility, and the all-important continuation of the family line in the Confucian belief system, snuff bottles in the shape of eggs, without any compression of the form, are extremely rare. A white glass bottle of similar shape, with almost identical mark, and decoration of cockerels, was sold at Christie's South Kensington, 9 November 2012, lot 1096. An undecorated white-glass egg-shaped bottle, attributed to the Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1700-1780, from the J&J Collection (Part III), was sold at Christie's New York, 29 March 2006, lot 49.