Qing Dynasty, 18th-19th Century
The brushpot is finely carved from a circular bamboo section in openwork and shallow relief with a scene of a scholar and four horses along a mountainous landscape. A two-character mark Shang Xun 尚勛 is vertically inscribed in seal script alongside a tree. The bamboo is patinated to a warm caramel colour.
Shang Xun 尚勛 was a prominent bamboo carver who was active during the Jiaqing (1796-1820) and Daoguang (1820-1850) periods.
A bamboo brushpot with a similar Shang Xun mark is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum Volume 44: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings 故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集44: 竹木牙角雕刻, Beijing, pp. 60-61, Catalogue No. 55.