An Overview of Qing Glass

29 extremely amusing. The artist has so misunderstood a traditional image of the Imperial dragon that he has managed to tie a knot in its body. Not all late Qing glassmaking was derivative, however. There is a school of micro-engravers that sprang up in the dying years of the Qing dynasty to produce masterly works ( fig. 107 ). One of the men responsible for this movement was Zhou Honglai, a scholar from the Jiangnan region, south of the Yangzi, a skilled painter and calligrapher using, presumably, a diamond pointed tool. Most of his works date from the last decade of the dynasty. Others followed his footsteps to create a viable school of micro-engravers, and one more artist will suffice to represent the others ( fig. 108 ). After Zhou Honglai he is the most prolific artist among the group. His name is Wu Xijiu and he worked from the late-nineteenth century into the 1920s. He was not the lofty scholar-artist Zhou Honglai was, and was not above faking, since several of his bottles have spurious Qianlong reign marks on them, but he was capable of fine work. Since my subject here is Qing glass, we will not venture past 1912, nor into the minefield of the enormous number of recent forgeries that constantly test our understanding and patience while keeping us on our critical toes. There is quite sufficient confusion awaiting us from the genuine Qing-dynasty production without looking for more. Fig. 108. Tanslucent grayish-white glass engraved on one side with a scholar being punted in a boat beneath cliffs and inscription, the reverse with an inscription followed by a signature, Wu Xijiu, and seal of the artist. Bloch Collection. NOTES: 35 Zhang Weiyong, op. cit, 74. 36 Peter Y. K. Lam, op. cit., 56, archive no. 3448. 37 Ibid., 42–43. 38 Ibid., 41, and in Emily Byrne Curtis, “ Enamels for the Kangxi Emperor...Nella Sua Fornace da Smalti, ” JICSBS (Winter 1993). 39 Emily Byrne Curtis, “ Qing Imperial Glass. The Workshop on Can Chi Kou, ” in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles in The Collection of Mary and George Bloch (London: British Museum Press, 1995), footnote no. 81. 40 Hugh M. Moss, “ An Overview of Qing Glass Snuff Bottle Production, ” JICSBS (Spring 2004): 21. 41 Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles No. 4, Inside Painted , no. 445. 42 Moss, op. cit., 26. 43 Ibid., 26. 44 Ibid., 22. 45 Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle , no. 334. 46 Peter Y.K. Lam, “ Studio Marks in Imperial and Court Related Snuff Bottles, ” in The Imperial Connection. Court Related Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Humphrey K. F. Hui Collection , 33–34. 47 Gerard Tsang and Hugh Moss, Snuff Bottles of the Ch ’ ing Dynasty (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1978), no. 84; and Christopher Randall, “ The Hall of Constancy, Xingyouheng Tang, ” JICSBS (Spring 2003): 19–21. 48 Yang Boda, op. cit., p. 83. 49 Moss, JICSBS (Spring 2004): 21. 50 Yang Boda, “ An Account of Qing Dynasty Glassmaking, ” in Robert H. Brill and John H. Martin, eds., Scientific Research in Early Chinese Glass (Corning, New York: The Corning Museum of Glass, 1991),136; and Emily Byrne Curtis, “ Qing Imperial Glass. The Workshop on Can Chi Kou, ” op. cit., xxv. 51 Zhang Weiyong, op. cit, 74 and 77. 52 Hugh M. Moss, “ An Imperial Habit, Part II, ” JICSBS (March 1976): 17, fig 91. 53 Lynn, Richard John, “ Researches Done During Spare Time into the Realm of Yong Lu, God of the Nose: The Yonglu Xianjie of Zhao Zhiqian, ” JICSBS (Autumn 1991): 16. 54 Yang Boda, op. cit., 83.