A Sandwiched Pink Glass 'Lotus' Snuff Bottle, Probably Imperial Glassworks, Beijing, 1740-1800. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2013

Of tapering ovoid form and supported on an oval foot, the bottle is carved through the semi-opaque white layer to the pale pink ground with rows of overlapping petals issuing from a curled lotus leaf. The petals and leaf are finely incised to simulate veining. 2¾ in. (7 cm.) high, rose quartz stopper. Estimate: $15,000 - $18,000

Provenance: Jade House, Hong Kong, 1986.

LiteratureJournal of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, Baltimore, Winter 1996, front cover.

Exhibited: Taipei Gallery, New York, Chinese Snuff Bottles, 1-29 October 1993, p. 5.

Notes: This bottle belongs to the well-known group of sandwiched pink glass bottles in the form of lotus flowers, probably made at the Court for distribution as gifts. They vary in form, from elongated ovoid as seen here, to shorter, spherical shapes, all finely carved with distinct details, suggesting the glass carvers were working from a general design idea, rather than a specific model. This is one of the most imposing of all the forms, with its elegant, elongated shape and the impressive use of the coloring of the layers of glass, leaving every petal in paler relief and the tips of the leaf around the base paler than the underside they overlap.

A related elongated oval bottle is illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol. 5, Part 2, Glass, Hong Kong, 2008, pp. 324-6, no. 818. For an example of rounded form see Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, Vol. II, New York, 1993, p. 597, no. 358, and the example in the Blanche B. Exstein Collection, sold in these rooms, 21 March 2002, lot 29

Christie's. The Hildegard Schonfeld Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles. 21 March 2013. New York, Rockefeller Plaza.