The color and form of this elegant glass censer are inspired by two different materials. The turquoise color was almost certainly inspired by the gemstone of the same name, which was much appreciated in Qing dynasty China. The shape was inspired by bronze prototypes, particularly those of the Xuande reign (1426-35), which were greatly admired by the Qing court.
A small number of glass censers of this form in different colors are known in international collections. An opaque pink glass censer of similar form, which still retains the metal liner, which would have protected the glass surface when the vessel was in use, is preserved in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing (illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji – Gongyi meishu bian, 10, Beijing, 1987, pl. 254). Two further glass censers of this form, one in opaque yellow and one in opaque bluish-turquoise, from the Andrew K.F. Lee Collection are illustrated by The Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Elegance and Radiance, Hong Kong, 2000, pp. 182-5, nos. 54 and 55 respectively.
An opaque turquoise glass tripod censer from the Shorenstein Collection, of similar form and size to the current censer and also bearing an incised four-character Qianlong mark within a double square, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 1 December 2011, lot 2919.