The Poet Su Shi Riding a Donkey Snuff Bottle


Reddish brown and celadon Nephrite Jade

Master of the Rocks School (Circa 1780-1840)

Height: 7cm


This outstanding nephrite jade snuff bottle is rendered from a yellow-celadon river worn pebble showing the reddish skin of the stone. The subject of a man and a donkey with an attendant in a landscape suggests an episode in the life of the Song-dynasty poet Su Shi (1037–1101). The aged Su, in exile, had been visiting a friend. As it began to rain when he took his leave, Su borrowed a wide-brimmed hat and clogs from a local farmer. The sight of a scholar-official from the city plodding through the rain dressed in the humble garb of a farmer is said to have startled the local women and children. The reverse side is left plain to show the beauty of the natural jade stone. In our opinion, the subject matter, workmanship and masterful use of the material suggest a 1780-1840 date for this outstanding jade snuff bottle.


With jade stopper


Ex: Ashkenazie & Co. Collection, San Francisco, 1994

Ex: Richards Collection, California


Reference number 4128




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