An Overview of Qing Glass

22 we believed the Li School to be late nineteenth century, a fake Qianlong mark seemed reasonable, but from the early nineteenth century it is not. From a point of view of dating, the Li Junting School is a cornucopia of joy. There are dozens of precisely dated bottles ranging from 1786 to the 1830s, and from these we can see that the evolved, early-nineteenth century painterly style was produced as early as 1805 and continued until at least 1836. It is represented by figures 84–87 . Figure 84 is signed by Li Junting and dated to 1820; figure 85 , also signed and dated 1819; and figure 87 is of the type with carving in the ground color, found on some of the finest works of the school. Figure 88 is a very rare glass version of the standard crystal bottles copying a Spanish coin of eight reales. In this case the coin was minted in 1796 and we can safely assume it could not have been made prior to about 1797 allowing for its passage from the mint in Mexico to a Chinese glassworks, probably in Beijing. It probably dates from the first decade or two of the nineteenth century. This helps to establish the denser sort of snowstorm ground as a feature of the mid-Qing period, and confirms the continued skills of the lapidaries who carved glass. A realgar glass bottle bearing the hallmark of the first Prince Cheng, Yongxiang, who died in 1823 ( fig. 89 ) can be confi- dently dated to some time within the thirty or forty years preceding that date, while a particular shape can be associated with the first half of the nineteenth century, represented by figures 90 and 91 . The first is identical in material to a bottle bearing the hall name of the fifth Prince Ding, who died in 1854. 47 In this example the shape is distinctive, with its horizontally ridged shoulders, and we find Fig. 84. Red overlay on a white ground carved to illustrate Princess Shouyang asleep on a bench beneath a prunus tree with an inscription to the side, the reverse with the Hehe Immortals in a long boat and a seal, Junting , dated 1820. Bloch Collection Fig. 85. White overlay on a turquoise ground carved to illustate a boy tending two horses with two swallows above and an inscription, the reverse with an old man and a walking staff, his servant standing next to a crane while another flies above, seal Junting , dated 1819. Bloch Collection Fig. 86. Green overlay on a white ground carved to illustrate a scholar asleep under three plantains with an inscription on the right, the reverse with two boys paddling a boat with an inscription and seal of the artist, Weizhi . Bloch Collection