QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG 4-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
The brushrest is cast forming sections of a bamboo stalk flanked on either side by a chilong dragon and a phoenix, each curling their bifid tails around the length of the bamboo. The bronze is decorated overall with random gilt splashes. A four-character ‘Qianlong Nianzhi’ mark is incised on the bottom of the brushrest, along the flat bamboo base.
The present example belongs to a group of small gilt-splashed vessels with a four-character Qianlong mark incised on the base, mostly miniature vases, designed for the scholar’s desk. Compare an example illustrated in Arts of the Scholar’s Studio, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 244-245, Catalogue No. 236. The present brushrest appears to be unique.