This bottle depicts the mallow which is associated with the successful scholar or official. Its Chinese name gui is also a homophone on the word gui for "honor". As such, the mallow flower is often depicted on a variety of bottles made from different materials.
The flower was also a symbol of loyalty to the emperor as the head of the mallow follows the path of the sun all day, and the sun is associated with the emperor. This motif was ideal for bottles presented by the emperor to his officials, reminding them of their duty of loyalty.
The particular version of the design on the pink overlay white glass bottle is known as fengjuangui, 'mallow curling in the wind', and is characterized by the wavy petals and cross-hatched center.
A number of bottles with this design are known, including several in different colors of glass in the Marian Mayer collection, illustrated by Robert Hall, Chinese Snuff Bottles II, nos. 86-90 and 93; and some others in Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 5, Glass, nos. 889, 964, 975.