Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2 May 1996, lot 1141.
The couplet may be translated as:
The breath suspending agreeably,
to benefit the everlasting dweller.
Both horses and monkeys were popular subject-matters on snuff bottles. The monkey, hou, is a homonym for the word 'marquis', the second highest grade among the nobility, and represents the aspiration for a corresponding rise in rank. The combination of the monkey and a horse forms the rebus ma shang feng hou, expressing a wish for speedy promotion to the status of an official.