Beijing glass bottle vase
Qing dynasty, 18th century
A large Beijing glass bottle vase, the globular body supported on a tapered foot with a Iong, straight neck, which terminates in a Iipped rim. The vase is carved through a layer of bright red glass to an intense, opaque yellow ground. The vase is decorated with two chi-dragons, one depicted around the main body and the other around the neck. A thin band of red glass decorates the shoulder of the vase. A band of pointed, pendant plantain leaves is carved around the rim. The lower edge of the body and the base of the foot are both overlaid with a thin layer of red glass.
The impressive decoration on this glass vase was achieved by carving through a layer of vermillion glass on a wheel to reveal the bright yellow layer beneath. The striking combination of red and yellow is typical of the glassmakers’ preference to use contrasting colours. A comparable 19th century Beijing bottle vase decorated with squirrels, grapes and pointed plantain leaves, of similar shape and proportions is in the Andrew K.F. Lee Collection.1
- 1 Lam, Peter Y.K., Elegance and radiance – Grandeur in Qing glass, the Andrew K.F. Lee collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2000, no. 133, pp. 342-3