An Overview of Qing Glass

24 Fig. 92. Blue-green monochromatic glass in tear-drop shape. J & J Collection. Fig. 94. White and black overlays carved to illustrate animals and birds amidst pine trees. Fig. 93. Teal-blue monochromatic glass in polygonal shape with Daoguang mark. marks from the nineteenth century. 48 There are one or two glass pieces with Jiaqing reign marks including the standard, faceted octagonal form which we saw in figure 18 49 . Although they are rare, and several with Daoguang marks ( figs. 91–93 ), the last of which confirms the ongoing popularity of the octagonal faceted form, but also the trend to make them larger and gradually evolve the style. Later Qing examples seem mostly to have narrow sides not of rectangular or square panels, but of circular, slightly lazier panels. Figure 94 is of the general group of multiple cameo overlays which were so popular during the mid- to late-Qianlong reign, but seems to represent the early nineteenth-century version which is a little less painstaking in its carving and detailing. Another example showing the typical decline of the first half of the nineteenth century is figure 95 . It is obviously a devolved version of the star-tailed dragon style of figure 68 . It gets worse - there are examples of this same style which are so poor that they can only be late Qing versions. Figures 96 and 97 probably date from the last decades of the eighteenth or the early decades of the nineteenth century, and there are many similar examples. One last group, however, figures 100–103 represent a large group of snuff bottles and other vessels, which are of a distinctive style. There seems to be two possibilities to account for them. They are either the products of another glassmaking center than Beijing and the court, such as Guangzhou, in which case their usually slightly more rudimentary quality of carving may be due to regional variation rather than chronological decline, or they are a mid-Qing group produced for, and probably at the court. I personally favor the second possibility. As yet the records do not give any indication of wholesale production of overlay snuff bottles at Guangzhou for the court and are certainly not sufficient to account for this very large group of wares. It seems more likely that they are products of the Qing court, since there are many courtly subjects among them and some are of Imperial yellow color, and in mid-Qing style, perhaps from the last decade or two of the eighteenth century, and the first half of the nineteenth century.

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