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Subject:Snuff Bottle Poem(?) Translation Help
Posted By: Stan Sun, Dec 22, 2019 IP: 2601:18c:504:a6e0:84

Fellow Asian Art Enthusiasts,

I put this pair of snuff bottles where the inner part rotates inside the outer bottle out here in 2006 and got some detailed information from contributors Kang and Anthony Lee (who judged them to be modern). See the link below for more detail.

I would like to get the gist of the text on the back. Are these inscriptions classical poems? Other? In particular, I'd like to know what the humorous one with the fellow holding his nose on the right says.

Many thanks for your help.

Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year to all here in the Asian Art Forum.


Link :Rotating Snuff Bottles

Subject:Re: Snuff Bottle Poem(?) Translation Help
Posted By: I.Nagy Mon, Dec 23, 2019

Right hand side bottle,

It is a seven-character line poem written in literary Chinese

Inscription in my rough translation,

The old man did not spare any effort in learning,
and his ingenuity when he was young, was enough to be completed,
You realize that what you get from the books, in the end, a shallow thing, and you know that matters in practice.

The young boy who is holding his nose is depicted
in the pose of serious listening or learning.

With regards,

Subject:Re: Snuff Bottle Poem(?) Translation Help
Posted By: Stan Mon, Dec 23, 2019

Dear I.Nagy,

Thank you for your translation and information. As I stated in the original post; "From my Eurocentric background, I associate the purple of the seated gent with royalty and assume a master-servant relationship between the two men. But then how does the servant get away with holding his nose?" My background obviously led me very much in the wrong direction!

Many thanks!


Subject:Re: Snuff Bottle Poem(?) Translation Help
Posted By: manuD Tue, Dec 24, 2019

although it is not signed, the poem on the right is by Song dynasty poet Lu You (1125-1210).

I couldnt find the author of the poem on the left (maybe the last column to the left bears the signature of the poet).

Subject:Re: Snuff Bottle Poem(?) Translation Help
Posted By: Stan Tue, Dec 24, 2019

Dear manuD,

Please see the link provided to the 2006 discussion. All seals and the left column of the left snuff bottle are shown in detail.

Stan | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |