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Scholar's Implements

A Bamboo Brushpot

Qing Dynasty, 17th-18th Century

Height: 11.8cm

The brushpot is carved from a cylindrical bamboo section and rests on three shallow feet. The exterior of the brushpot depicts leafy reeds of bamboo emerging behind a rockwork landscape, the carved lines executed freely in a manner akin to ink painting brush strokes. A two-character Zhiyan 芷岩 mark is carved alongside a rock.

The bamboo is patinated to a rich, glossy reddish tone.

Zhiyan 芷岩 “Angelica Cliff”, is a sobriquet (hao 號) of Zhou Hao 周顥 (1683-1773), or most commonly known by the name of Zhou Ziyan 周芷岩 [ 岩 is a variant of 嵒, the standard graph for which is 巖 “cliff”].

Zhou Hao, personal name (zi 字) 晉瞻 Jinzhan, who used several other sobriquets, including Xueqiao 雪樵 “Snowy Firewood”, was a prominent bamboo and wood carver of the Qing dynasty and native of Jiading 嘉定 (now part of Shanghai). He was a skilled carver, calligrapher and painter, and was especially known for his carvings of landscapes in the style of the Southern School.

Similar Example
A similar brushpot carved with bamboo behind rockwork by Zhou Hao from the collection of Julia Y. Cheng is published in Bamboo Carving of China, New York, 1983, p. 93, Catalogue No. 52.

A Japanese Private Collection

清十七/十八世紀 竹雕竹石圖筆筒