For a discussion of the so-called 'Master of the Rocks' School, see Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Hong Kong, 1995, vol. I, Jade, pp. 336-373. The pebble material used in this example is very similar to a large number of snuff bottles now attributed to the school and formerly grouped under the term 'Han' jades, see ibid, nos. 134, 136-142.
Of these examples, the carving of the formalized wave vortex to the base of the bottle comes closest to the waves carved to the side of the so-called 'Master of the Rocks Dragon Vortex' bottle, ibid, no. 134. Although the majority of the bottles of the school generally appear to depict rustic figural landscape scenes, a number, including the Vortex bottle above, depict more 'fantastic' scenes including dragons. A pear-shaped bottle illustrated ibid, pp. 370-371, no. 142, perhaps comes closest in overall design, carved as it is from a similar, though slightly more yellow, stone with brown skin carved to form chilong handles. However, the heads of our dragons are less formalised than these. In fact the closest parallel is the head of the dragon emerging from clouds on the 'Dragon Vortex' bottle. The authors suggest a possible Suzhou location for the 'Master of the Rocks' School, and the treatment of the formalised cloud design to the shoulder of this bottle would seem to support this.
In overall design and shape, our bottle also compares with another illustrated by Hugh Moss et al, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, Hong Kong, 1993, vol. I, pp. 104-105, no. 46