Ma Shaoxian appears to have painted this subject throughout his career. This example is one of the later ones, and exhibits more attention to the flowered ground than earlier versions. For an example of the same subject painted in 1904 see Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, the Mary and George Bloch Collection, Volume 4, Part 2, Hong Kong, 2000, pp. 490-491, no. 626. An example from 1914 is illustrated by Dennis Low in More Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 360, no. 325.
For a discussion of the artist, who was the nephew of Ma Shaoxuan, see the note to lot 212.