This bottle is part of a group of incised bronze or brass bottles made by an artist who signed himself Cheng Rongzhang. They are mostly inscribed with apocryphal dates ranging from 1644 to 1653, the first decade of the reign of the Shunzhi emperor. Their bases tend to bear precise dates, and their shapes vary from rectangular to rounded ones, such as the present example. Most of them are decorated with slender, incised dragons (see R. Kleiner, Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, pp. 270-71, no. 228; and Zhongguo biyanhu zhenshang, p. 15 and no. 389). For one incised with a female figure on a terrace, see Moss, Graham and Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 261.
For a reassessment of the Shunzhi bronze bottles, see H. Moss, "A Brief Update on Shunzhi Bronze Bottles and Ye Family Enameled Glass", JICSBS, Spring 2007.