February 2021

The Modernity of Traditional Chinese Art

Art is a vital resource. Along with religion, philosophy, and science, it is one of our most efficient means of self-cultivation, which is, collectively, the fuel of evolving consciousness. More....

February 2021

An interview with the Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat

This is the interview section from A Retrospective of Paintings by the Master of the Water, Pine, and Stone Retreat complete with illustrations

February 2021

Explaining The Inexplicable

This is the first in a series of talks through which Hugh Moss will explore the nature of the creative process, in all its manifold, mysterious, and culturally vital aspects. It is intended for all, whether as artists or audience, who remain even a little confused by the art world - while, at the same time, being inexorably drawn to it. 

An Artist's Perspective: How Art Works

Hugh Moss discusses the viewing of a Chinese handscroll, which provides a key to the formulation of a unified theory of art. Click here to read the article

Originally Published in Orientations March 2013, pp.186-188

Beyond the Stage of Time

A Retrospective of Paintings by the Master of the Water, Pine, and Stone Retreat

Volume I: Realised Realms
280 pages, containing a dialogue between the artist and Sean Geer, an essay by Peter Suart, illustrations of 109 works with transcriptions of texts a catalogue of seals, and collection, exhibition and publication information.

Volume II: Staff Masters and Stone Fools
376 pages, containing illustrations of 191 works with transcriptions of texts, and collection,
exhibition and publication information.
More information and purchase options

The Water Pine and Stone Retreat Collection of Snuff bottles
Part II

Non-Imperial Influence over the Snuff-bottle Art

Hugh Moss and Stuart Sargent 

The second volume of the collection catalogue is now available. Anyone who has already registered for Part I need not re-register - your password will work for all three volumes. If you haven't registered you can do so, for free, by clicking on the link to the book on the right, or here.

It includes a large number of documentary bottles, many with signatures dates and other useful information allowing us in many cases to identify specific artists, where they worked, and when. Research into all these artists, and the texts they inscribed, took a predictably long time and, once finished, Nick Moss then needed nearly a year to translate it all into an efficient web-book.

The third volume will be the shortest and, hopefully, the easiest to finish as it deals with the collectors’ influence over the snuff bottle arts. It is currently being worked on, but because of the priority of getting Part II published, is has been on hold for several months, so will probably not appear for another year. But for those of you who are interested there is plenty in the second volume to keep you busy.

We have added to both currently published volumes a response field so that readers can let us know of any comments, corrections or suggestions. Unfortunately we cannot undertake to respond to each of these individually, but that does not mean we do not appreciate them.

Hugh Moss

At the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat, December 2019.

August 2018

Research Update
The Yangzhou Conundrum

We have found compelling evidence to re-assess the group of enamelled glass wares made at Yangzhou. We now believe they are not from the late Qianlong period, but part of a thriving snuff-culture antiquarian interested  in Yangzhou in the second half of the nineteenth century that we will be addressing in Part II of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection to be published on the site next year. The article here deals with the evidence so that everyone has access to the same information at the same time.

August 2018

Click here to read the updated article. The article also has higher resolution pictures of all the snuff bottles featured in the book.

by Hugh Moss

A newly added article.

If you haven't already please have a look at the articles section of the site where you will find a lot of old articles previously published elsewhere

Wilf Pond

Originally published: Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2017, Issue No. 25.

Member’s Area

The member’s area is now open, you will need to register to gain access. There is no charge for this, just enter your details and let us know who you are. Please check your spam folder for confirmation emails if you don't receive them.

In the member’s area you will find the online publication of: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection 水松石山房藏鼻煙壺

Click here or use the link in the main menu to register or log in.

The Ko Collection

An article outlining the history of the collection, with a biography of Mr. Ko by Giovanni Caretti and some fascinating photographs documenting the life of Evaristo Caretti (Mr. Ko). Introduction by Hugh Moss. Click here to view

Unthinkable: How do you judge good art from bad?

Irish Times

As Hugh Moss, author of the newly published book The Art of Understanding Art, says: “It seems we are suffering a serious art-theoretical lapse.

The Art of Understanding Art
A new perspective by Hugh Moss with illustrations by Peter Suart

A book by Hugh Moss. An original and thought-provoking new approach to understanding art, for collectors, connoisseurs, students and artists – and all those who like art, but are not quite sure how to respond to it. More...

We at e-yaji have decided to focus on the research and educational features of the site. We are astonished at the numbers of visitors we attract - at present hovering around 3,000 unique visits per week, a number which is greatly increased if we count repeat visits by the same person. For some inexplicable reason not all 3,000 of them are buying a snuff bottle -we won't get into how many unique buyers we get every week for fear of the onset of depression. Our public has spoken and we listen. We are, therefore, going to close down the sales portion of the site. It has, in any case, become somewhat inimical to our message as auction agents that the future of sales in the art world inevitably favours the auction format for anything where there is already existing, strong demand and an established market. It is also a mild contradiction that Hugh Moss is now deeply involved in forming his own collection of snuff bottles, with all the potential conflicts of interest that might raise. Should circumstances change we shall re-consider our position.

As a farewell, we thank you for your patronage and support and feel free to continue to contact us by email.

Full online publication of the Marakovic collection of Chinese snuff bottles

The resources section now has a selection of articles about snuff bottles. Click here or on the main menu

Wilf Pond

A very early article on Chinese snuff bottles (1894) by Wilf Pond is now available here. Thanks to Bernie Wald for finding it and sending it to us

The pioneering work by Henry C. Hitt

has now been added to the resources section. It is a full digitised version of the book along with the later inside painted addition.

Ding Erzhong

An Exhibition of known bottles by the inside painted artist, essays and the entire text and illustrations of the section on Ding from the recent seven-volume catalogue of the Bloch Collection, exactly as printed.


If you haven't already then take a look at the resources section. As well as exhibtions the library section has a fully searchable copy of Reflected Glory in a Bottle with more to be added soon.

Zhou Leyuan

An exhibition of known bottles by the inside painted artist, dated where possible. See the resources menu or click here



Have we completely missed the point of the modern western revolution in the arts? Hugh Moss thinks so, and here he presents a refreshingly original and thought-provoking new approach to understanding art.

In the Alembic of Ink

Non Selling Exhibition of Paintings by the Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat, Hong Kong Convention Centre, May 2015

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A new collection of snuff bottles
for all collectors available online


Wilf Pond Huish Henry Hitt Schoen Ding Erzhong Arts from the Scholar's Studio Reflected Glory