For a not dissimilar agate bottle see Robert W.L. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, Hong Kong, 1987, Catalogue, p. 110, no. 153
It is also interesting to compare the scene on this bottle with that on a white and russet jade bottle sold in our New York rooms, December 3, 1992, and now in the Christopher Sin Collection, illustrated by Humphrey Hui and Christoper Sin, An Imperial Qing Tradition, San Francisco, 1994, Catalogue, p. 60, no. 58 where the authors note that it depicts the Northern Song Scholar Mi Fu (1051 - 1107 A.D.) renowned for his obsession with rocks, which he worshipped, and that the scene is copied from a painting by an anonymous artist, entitled Tibu tu "writing on the rock face"
The same scene can also be found on a fine rhinoceros horn libation cup sold in these rooms, November 27, 1991, lot 8. It depicted similar figures below an inscription reading "cleaning the moss off the rock in order to write a poem"
For a discussion of the Suzhou school see Hugh Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Silica or Quartz Group, London, 1971, pp. 62-74. This bottle bears the characteristics of the finest of this group, including the serrated and swirling rockwork, brilliant use of natural colors, technical perfection and gnarled pine