Reflected Glory in a Bottle

Chapter Eight THE UNKNOWNS Fig. 132. Crystal. An interior-painted portrait Fig. 133. The reverse of fig. 132 with signa- snuff bottle of an unidentified figure. (Coll. ex ture of Ma Kuang-chia; 1900-1915. Edmund F. Dwyer) Since identification of the portraits on nine bottles has proven to be elusive, this chapter will consider each in turn and suggest some possible candidates. it is quite safe to observe that the figure on the bottle by Ma Kuang-chia looks well fed, and that the fur robe shows him in his winter dress. A photograph of Liu Kao-chao, military commander of Chung-sha, from a book by William B. Parsons presented a tantalizing possibility) Perhaps a clue can be found in the inscription. It reads: Dear friend Hsieh-ch'en, the excellency. To have talents of managing country affairs, and the demeanor of a scholar. To have a broad mind which bears no prejudice, and the manner gentle. To make friends without committing the ethics, and to work in a humble and careful way. This face and heart is not of that prevalent fashion, I have to praise, how remarkable is this man! 95