Chinese superbly hollowed Suzhou agate snuff bottle, carved in high-relief with an equestrian figure of a scholar riding a donkey in a continuous mountain river landscape with a viewing pavilion in the distance, his attendant leading the way holding a flowering prunus branch, amongst typical Suzhou edged rockwork, superbly carved in high-relief with prunus flowerheads in russet tones, the underside with a slightly dimpled base.

The reverse with a four-character mark in relief ta xue xun mei, “searching for plum blossoms in the snow”.

Green hardstone stopper.

1 15/16 inches, 5 cm high without stopper.


Provenance & Additional Information

  • From a private American collection.
  • A Suzhou agate snuff bottle carved with a boy and buffalo, the reverse with calligraphy and a date corresponding to 1825, from the collection of Humphrey K. F. Hui is illustrated by Tina Yee-wan Pang in Heavenly Creations: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collections of Anthony Cheung, Humphrey Hui, Po-ming Kwong, Tuyet Nguyet and Christoper Sin, The University of Hong Kong, 2005, no. 249, p. 150.
  • A related Suzhou agate snuff bottle with birds and rockwork, the reverse with a poem in relief, provenance Hugh Moss, was sold by Christie’s New York in their auction of The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II, 19th March 2008, no. 205, pp. 14/15.