The Master of the Rocks School seems to have specialized in carvings from this distinctive material. The School's main output was bottles carved with landscape designs, but many other subjects are recorded, including a few with chi dragon designs which may have been partly produced for the Court. The quality of carving and the use of material of the present bottle are typical of this School.
For other examples of snuff bottles from the Master of the Rocks School, see lot 50 and Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 1, Jade, nos. 136-141.
The subject may be an abbreviated version of the Four Noble Professions, since the School is known to have used two of the professions to represent all four. However, in this case the additional symbolism of the rising sun (representing success in the Civil Service) and the bat (standing for happiness - the bat combined with the clouds also stands for good fortune), probably represents a wish for the scholar to enjoy a successful career as an Official, while enjoying good fortune and longevity - represented by the rocks, lingzhi and pine tree.