An Overview of Qing Glass

16 most of the other monochrome glass bottles we have seen so far, which were blown. This one is carved from a solid block, like the aventurine glass bottle of figure 25 44 . The carving of glass blocks as if they were a hardstone was a common enough alternative to blowing the vessels and often reserved for glass imitating precious stones such as aquamarine, amethyst and, as in this case, beryl. This particular group seems to be from the second half of the Qianlong reign, and several are recorded with these typical chi dragon sides, their tails curled beneath the bottle to form the foot. Overlay techniques were obviously highly refined by the early Qianlong period and the reign saw the production, much of it by the Imperial glassworks, although we must assume private production to a high standard as well by this time. Figure 61 is probably from the first half of the reign, and the very rare combination of ruby red on a transparent, pale green ground allows us to link it to a group of bottles dateable to the first half of the Qianlong period, some of which bear Qianlong reign marks, while the famous one from the J & J Collection is marked Qianlong yuzhi [By Imperial command of the Qianlong Emperor]. 45 Figure 62 is a very courtly blue overlay which probably dates from the first half of the reign, or the mid- reign at the latest. Decorated with peaches, a suitable birthday gift, it has the panel of decoration and the mask and ring handles typical of courtly production and can be sensibly attributed to the Imperial glassworks. Figure 63 represents a broad group of superbly rounded, high-relief cameo overlays, which often have wide mouths. I believe they are an early group, possibly made at court, and probably from the early- to mid-Qianlong period, but it is impossible to separate private production from Imperial Fig. 61. Ruby-red overlay on pale green ground carved with mask and ring handle on each side, 1730–1780. Bloch Collection. Fig. 62. Sapphire-blue overlay on transparent milky glass ground carved to illustrate a bat and two peaches on each side, 1730–1770. Bloch Collection. Fig. 63. Pale sapphire-blue overlay on snowflake ground carved to illustrate a bat flying above a rising sun, 1730–1780. Bloch Collection.