Given the wealth of old, undecorated bottles available through the Beijing Arts and Crafts Corporation, Wang Xisan had ready access to old bottles to paint. Another example of an inside-painted amber bottle by Wang Xisan is in the Bloch Collection, illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 4, Inside-Painted, no. 659, where the artist's career is dealt with; numerous other examples by his hand are also illustrated.
Wang trained under Ye Bengqi, son of Ye Zhongsan, and began by using similar techniques, including the basic method of preparing a bottle for painting by shaking ball-bearings mixed with corundum powder and water in order to evenly abrade the interior and give the colors purchase. The painting would then have been done with bamboo pens, bent sharply at the end, the traditional tool for this art established in Beijing around 1800 and subsequently passed on through Zhou Leyuan, the Ye family and finally to Wang. It was also a method adopted by the Lingnan School in the south.
However, Wang was keen to try new methods of painting, and was impressed by the brushes used by Li Kechang of the Shandong School of inside painters, so he started using these by the mid-1960s, resulting in expressive brushwork, particularly in his landscape scenes.
This bottle has been identified by the artist as having been painted in his studio in Hengshui city in the early 1990s.