A REALGAR-SPLASHED DOUBLE-GOURD GLASS BOTTLE, 18TH- early 19TH CENTURY
Transparent brown glass bottle with scattered realgar inclusions. Some air bubbles. Intense colors.
China, 18th – early 19th century
The bottle is of elegant double-gourd form made of transparent deep amber-tone glass accented with brilliant splashes of ochre and orange. 'Realgar' glass is assumed to have been developed at the Imperial glassworks during the Kangxi period (1662-1722), when production was under the directorship of Kilian Stumpf and his fellow Jesuits, who set up the glassworks for the Emperor in 1696. Plain realgar glass snuff bottles were made in large numbers throughout the 18th century and a large proportion of them were apparently produced at the court to be distributed as gifts. By the mid-Qing period, carved realgar began to take fashion among the glassworks and many fine examples were produced with this style of decoration.
Shape: Double-gourd form.
Mouth, neck and lip: Short sprawling neck with slanted lip and flat top
Base: Round convex base
Stopper: Incised metal on a black platelet, good old spoon.
Height of the bottle with stopper: 6,8 cm.
Width of the mouth: 6,4 mm.
Width of the neck: 14 mm.
Weight: 66,5 grams.
Provenance: Hungarian private collection.
Literature comparison: Moss, Graham, Tsang, in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol. 5, Part 1, Glass, Hong Kong, 2002, pp. 138-9, no. 703, refer to a set of ten' realgar' glass cups in Denmark that were purchased in Guangzhou and brought back to Europe aboard the Kronprins Christian in 1732 (for an illustration of the cups see Ethnographic Objects in The Royal Danish Kunstkammer 1650-1800, Nationalmuseet, p. 218, nos. Ebc 71-82).
Auction result comparison: The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II. Christies, New York, 19 March 2008, lot 203. (for a related bottle) THE BLANCHE B. EXSTEIN COLLECTION OF CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES. Christies, New York, 21 March 2002, lot 18. (for a related bottle, also with splashed-realgar, dated 1740-1820)