Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
The brushrest is fashioned from a block of smoky quartz in the shape of a fourpeaked wave design. Two small chilong dragons with bifurcated tails clamour over the waves. A three-character Shende tang 慎德堂 “Hall Dedicated to Prudent Virtue” mark is inscribed in the back of the brushrest on a rocky peak. The brushrest is of a translucent brownish grey tone with natural inclusions and polished to a glossy finish.
The Hall Dedicated to Prudent Virtue is a palace building in the Summer Palace, Yuanmingyuan 圓明園, located on Jiuzhou Qingyan dao 九州清晏島 “Nine Divisions [China] Pure Leisure Island,” which was used as the bedchambers of both the Daoguang and Xianfeng emperors. Objects made by the imperial workshops for this palace were thus marked Shende tang 慎德堂.