OBJECTS FOR THE SCHOLAR'S DESK, Hong Kong 2023
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Scholar’s Implements

A BAMBOO SCROLL-FORM BRUSHPOT

QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY

HEIGHT: 13.9CM

The brushpot is formed from a single section of bamboo and bent to the shape of a curled scroll mounted on a hongmu base. The left side of the scroll is modelled as a gnarled tree trunk accentuated with burls and knots, the exterior worked in high relief depicting gnarled branches of budding and flowering prunus and pine. The right side is similarly carved in the form of a sectioned bamboo stem with further leafy shoots in relief, together forming the ‘Three Friends of Winter’. The bamboo is richly patinated to a bright caramel tone.

The exquisite quality and masterful naturalism seen on the current brushpot is reminiscent of exquisite wood artefacts produced in the imperial workshops. An ivory brushpot dated to the early Qing dynasty in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, with similar rendering of the prunus tree, is published in Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings in the Collection of the Palace Museum: Classics of the Forbidden City 故宮經典 故宮竹木牙角圖典, Beijing, 2010, p. 205. Compare also a closely related bamboo ‘prunus’ brushpot, with similar exuberant treatment of the prunus in high relief, included in the exhibition of Bamboo Carvings from Jiading in the Ming and Qing Dynasties 《疁城仙工:明清嘉定竹刻特展》at Jiading Museum, Shanghai, 2020, pp. 226-227.

清中期 竹雕歲寒三友書卷式筆筒