The World in a Bottle in the World

16 inlaid with designs and inscriptions ( fig. 24 ). Again, a love of ancient texts and scripts is apparent, indeed ubiquitous. Names that appear on these dishes include Xiaoshan 曉山 , the courtesy name of Shandong inlay artist Tian Jiaorui 田皎叡 , and Juqi 菊畦 , the courtesy name of Tian ’ s younger brother, Tian Bingrui 田昺叡 . The two lived in Ji ’ nan for thirty years and ran a shop called the Yajian zhai 雅鑑齋 ; their works received a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco. 21 The upper-left dish in figure 24 , bearing the name Juqi, is dated 1898. One extraordinary snuff dish in a different material and from three decades earlier will suffice to illustrate the wealth of information awaiting us in a study of inscribed dishes from the late Qing ( fig. 25 ). It has an inset mother-of-pearl cartouche on the base with the name Zhou Xian 周閑 ; the surrounding ivory is engraved in clerical script: Tongzhi jisi muchun Fanhu jushi zhenwan 同治己巳暮春 范湖居士珍玩 (Late spring in the jisi year of the Tongzhi period [1869], for the treasured enjoyment of Fanhu jushi); and the sides are engraved in seal script 賴木佐我服氣術能以 鼻飲可代喉舌 (I rely on this plant to aid my breathing arts; one may “ drink ” it through the nose, instead of the tongue and throat). In this last inscription the second word, pin , refers to the fibers for weaving that are separated from the core of hemp stalks by retting; here it must be a poetic word for tobacco. The “ breathing arts ” referred to are Daoist practices that supposedly prolong life. If it seems odd to refer to ‘ drinking ’ snuff, remember that even in the West, “ only in the course of the seventeenth century did ‘ smoking ’ become a commonly used term. Up to that time it was compared with drinking—one spoke Fig. 24. Snuff dishes made with broken fragments of ancient porcelains (mostly Song to early-Ming Jun ware) and set into wood or lacquered wood frames.