Brushpots are one of the implements of the scholar's desk and the present example embodies the fresh and unique forms that characterize early 17th century ceramics. With the late-Ming court suspending its commissions of porcelain production, the introduction of new patrons freed potters and painters to experiment with a wide range of styles beyond those previously prescribed by the court. The present elegant waisted vessel is an example of a form that evolved during the Chongzhen reign (1628-1644).
Compare a slightly smaller vessel of related form sold at Christie's New York, 18th September 2003, lot 300; and another sold in our London rooms, 10th November 1964, lot 92. Vessels of this form but with different decoration are also known, for example see one painted with figures in a landscape, in the collection of Mrs. Eugene L. Garbaty, included in the exhibition Chinese Ceramics of the Transitional Period: 1620-1683, China House Gallery, New York, 1984, cat. no. 20; and another with flowering plants, sold in our London rooms, 11th May 1993, lot 1.