Newly added content

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.

Research Update
The Yangzhou Conundrum

August 2018

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
An Update on the William Bragge Illustrated Album.

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.

The Marakovic Collection
Hugh Moss and Stuart Sargent

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

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


















Wilf PondHuishHenry HittSchoenDing ErzhongArts from the Scholar's StudioReflected Glory

























































 Water, Pine and Stone Retreat   Beyond the Stage of Time   Yangzhou Conundrum   Water, Pine and Stone Retreat   The Ko Collection   The Art of Understanding Art  The Marakovic Collection  Alembic of Ink 

2014 Exhibition 

Click the tabs below for more information about E-yaji

  • Intro
  • Auctions
  • Resources
We have big plans for We have received many comments that it is the best/easiest to use/visionary (oh, ok, no-one ever actually said that, but we read between the lines) website in the snuff-bottle world, so we have decided to improve it beyond recognition. From now on it will be abuzz with new ideas, new content, useful information, feedback options, and stuff that only Nick Moss understands. We will also include a complete list of all known songs about snuff bottles with free downloads.

A new system for selling snuff bottles at auction.

We believe that in a mature, rising market the best interests of the collector are served by selling on the open market through auction, and we offer a service acting on behalf of collectors to achieve the best results by working closely with major auction houses worldwide.

Apart from the Bloch sales 1-5 working with Bonham’s, Hong Kong, we worked with Christie’s, Hong Kong and New York, on the J & J series of auctions (ongoing), and worked with Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, for Bloch sales, 6 – 10. We also worked on the Reif (October 18, 1993), Blanche B. Exstein (21 March 2002) and the Schonfeld (21 March 2013) collections at Christie’s, New York, and with the Robert and Molly Hsieh collection at Sotheby’s, New York (March 23, 2004).

If you are interested in disposing of your collection in a cost-effective way, taking advantage of our snuff-bottle expertise, contact us and we’ll be happy to give you more details of the logistics, options, and costs.

Educational information.

Here the sky is the limit – well, actually, our capacity to input information is the limit, but we’re working on that. Here are just some of the ideas:

We will have a section for exhibitions, which, once up, will remain permanently. This will include education exhibitions curated by collectors or anyone else who is interested and by ourselves, including exhibitions of individual collections (although we reserve the right to edit or decline such exhibitions). One such exhibition which intrigues me at present is one of my ideal collection, if I had access to infinite funds and could select any known snuff bottle. This may be conflated with an exhibition of the entire history of the snuff-bottle arts. Bear in mind that with the web, one can continually add to and edit content, making it a far more flexible medium than print.

We will also provide a platform for collectors who want to publish their collections, or other related books on snuff bottles (written by themselves or others) but would rather not go to the expensive (and often tiresome) option of printing and distributing individual books.

We will try to make much of this content inter-active to allow feedback, so that we can continually add to and improve the information available.

Part of our plan is to gradually employ academics to help us with existing content and provide additional content (funded by the new auction set up, in theory), so hopefully we can make a good deal of the content bi-lingual and provide translation and research facilities to anyone who is interested. We envisage the possibility of undertaking for other dealers or collectors the cataloguing of exhibitions on a commercial basis.

We will scan in old, difficult to find publications on snuff bottles so that they are accessible to all, and, eventually, perhaps even aspire to having all known works (of merit) on the subject included, but I shall be long-dead by then!
A snuff-bottle bibliography will be posted, which we will add to as new books appear. We will also try to provide useful listings: dating systems with charts, lists of artists, research encyclopaedia, etc.

We will also have links to other useful sites.
One of the great advantages of the web is that it is always a work in progress, so we are not bound by the need to get everything right before we publish, as we would be in the world of print.

We will constantly be open to new suggestions for improving the site, and will provide a feedback option for comments on the site, its construction, and uses.
So, log on regularly – we will.

Hugh Moss, in the Water, Pine, and Stone Retreat.