An Overview of Qing Glass

17 Boshan workers to the Imperial glassworks. It seems likely that both private Beijing glassworks and that of Li Junting, attributed to Yangzhou, were able to produce it by the latter part of the Qianlong period, but it may have been a court monopoly for some years, possibly even some decades after 1696. It also seems likely that the court produced fairly large numbers of these red glass bottles during the first half of the Qing period. As to which are the Kangxi examples in red and, indeed, in purple, yellow, white, black, green and brown, we can only guess. A useful guide, however, is that we would expect crizzling in the gem-like colors if transparent. This might include purple, emerald- green and amber-brown, and certainly includes sapphire-blue, which we know to be a color produced in the Kangxi period although, strangely, Wang does not mention it, unless it is his “ purple. ” The yellow, white and black may have escaped crizzling because of their coloring ingredients, as does white, unless of a relatively transparent, milky color. It is possible that such a bottle as figure 8 with its faceting could be as early as the Kangxi period, although a Yongzheng, or early Qianlong date is equally likely. Fig. 8. Translucent faceted yellow glass bottle, 1700–1760. Bloch Collection. Fig. 7. Diamond-point engraved colorless glass bottle with bands of joined fylfots, 1696–1730. Bloch Collection. Fig. 9. Sapphire-blue glass bottle splashed with aventurine glass, 1700–1760. Bloch Collection. One type of glass we can confidently attribute to the Kangxi period, and to the Imperial glassworks, is sapphire-blue splashed with aventurine glass. This appears in the records for 1705 when the governor of Suzhou, Song Luo, received a gift of seventeen pieces of glass from the Emperor. This included wares in three monochrome colors, white, yellow and blue, as well as blue glass flecked with gold. 6 Figure 9 illustrates the type, which consists of fragments of imported aventurine glass rolled onto the surface of a transparent sapphire-blue glass made at the court. Aventurine glass fascinated the Chinese from very early in the Qing glass renaissance and the Palace glassmakers struggled to produce it themselves to avoid having to import it from Venice at considerable cost. Since it seems that it was difficult to re-melt successfully and blow into vessels, the earlier use of the material was to either carve it as if it were a hardstone, or break it into cold fragments and roll them into Fig. 5. Transparent glass bottle with “ glass disease ” crizzling. Fig. 6. Red-faceted glass bottle, 1700–1750. Bloch Collection.

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