The inscription may be translated as follows: 'Made on a spring day in the Wuwu year by Zhu Sansong', corresponding to 1618.
Sansong was the alias for the painter Zhu Zhizheng, a native of Jiading, Jiangsu province, and the second son of the Ming dynasty bamboo carver, Zhu Ying. He was active from 1621-1644 and was known to carve for his own pleasure. A bamboo brushpot carved with three scholars and bearing the mark of Sansong in the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art was included in the exhibition, Chinese Bamboo Carving, Part I, Hong Kong Museum of Art, col. pl. 15, no. 37.