An identical bamboo figure, also inscribed with a San Song signature but slightly smaller in size (17.8 cm. high), is illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Zhuke Jianshang, Taiwan, 1997, pl. 15; and again by Wang Shixiang, Zhuke, Renmin meishu chubanshe, Beijing, 1991, no. 11.
The two-character maker's mark, San Song, incised on the base of the present figure is identified as the designation of Zhu Zhizheng, the second son of Zhu Ying and a member of the famous family of bamboo carvers. San Song was thought to be active during the late Ming to early Qing period, cf. Chinese Bamboo Carving, Part II, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1982, pp. 61-62. Although signatures on bamboo carvings in many instances are not entirely reliable, their dating is largely dependent on styles of recorded artists of the period and extant examples in musuem collections. It has been mentioned that the mark on the published aged monk is comparable with a San Song signature found on a lotus-form waterpot in the Palace Museum collection, Beijing. For a discussion see, op. cit., Beijing 1991, pp. 202-203.