Cicadas are among the earliest motifs already found on archaïc bronzes and Han jades, they represent rebirth and immortality because they can hibernate in ground up to seven years.
Cicada-form bottles were popular at the Court during the eighteenth century. See H. Moss, V. Graham, K.S. Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle: The J & J Collection, New York 1993, nos.7 and 8, and H. Moss, V. Graham, K.B. Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Hong Kong 1995, vol.1, Jade, nos.58 and 59, for comparable jade cicada snuff bottles. See also a white jade cicada bottle still in the Imperial Collection and illustrated in Masterpieces of Snuff Bottles in the Palace Museum, Beijing 1995, p.136, no.128. and another one illustrated in Snuff Bottles - The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, vol 47, Hong Kong 2003, no.217.