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Scholar's Implements

A Bamboo ‘Three Friends’ Wristrest

17th Century

Length: 24.5cm

The wristrest is masterfully carved from a long bamboo section in the shape of a pine tree trunk. A cluster of pine needles issuing from a gnarled branch curl around the wristrest. A leafy bamboo section and a flowering prunus branch are loosely tied to the trunk of the pine with a sash, thus forming the ‘Three Friends of Winter’ motif. The bamboo is patinated to a reddish-brown colour.

The ‘Three Friends of Winter’ is represented by the pine, the prunus and bamboo – three plants resilient to the harsh winter season.

Similar Example
A blue and white porcelain example of a vase painted in famille rose enamel with a cloth wrap dated to the Qianlong period from the collection of the Paris Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet is published in The Imperial Packing Art of the Qing Dynasty 清代宮庭包装艺術/ 故宮博物院編, Beijing, 2000, pp. 160-161, Catalogue No. 66.

A Japanese Private Collection
Feng Wen Tang Collection

十七世紀 竹雕歲寒三友臂擱