40
40
A SUPERBLY CARVED BAMBOO 'RIVERSCAPE' BRUSHPOT
BY ZHANG XIHUANG, 17TH CENTURY
Stima
1.000.0001.500.000
Lotto. Venduto 4,880,000 HKD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO
40
A SUPERBLY CARVED BAMBOO 'RIVERSCAPE' BRUSHPOT
BY ZHANG XIHUANG, 17TH CENTURY
Stima
1.000.0001.500.000
Lotto. Venduto 4,880,000 HKD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO

Details & Cataloguing

Roger Keverne - 50 Years in the Trade

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Hong Kong

A SUPERBLY CARVED BAMBOO 'RIVERSCAPE' BRUSHPOT
BY ZHANG XIHUANG, 17TH CENTURY
the cylindrical brushpot constructed resting on three short feet, skilfully carved in the liuqing technique around the exterior with a painterly mountainous riverscape set with pavilions, courtyards and a bridge, further arboured with lush verdant wutong and pine trees, the idyllic village scene accentuated with figures engaged in various activities, including one rendered looking out from a pavilion, others portrayed conversing, holding various items, such as books, another group depicted seated on a boat with an attendant preparing tea, inscribed in semi-cursive script with a poem, followed by the characters Xihuang of Zhang Xihuang, and one seal reading Xihuang, all lightly carved through the paler ochre skin to the rich honey-brown body beneath, the surface with a lustrous patina
10.6 cm, 4 1/8  in.
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Provenienza(e)

Acquired in Beijing circa 1900 by a Swedish diplomat resident in Beijing, by repute.

Nota a catalogo

This exceptional brushpot is by the hand of one of China’s master carvers, Zhang Zonglue (hao Xihuang), a native of Jiangyin in southern Jiangsu province. Zhang was active in the late Ming and early Qing periods. This piece represents the height of Zhang's aesthetic taste and technical skill. Zhang was especially renowned for his use of the liuqing technique, a method of carving that involved the manipulation of the contrasting colours of the smooth greenish bamboo skin and the darker and more fibrous inner layer of the stalk. In this method of carving, the upper layer of the bamboo is cut away leaving a dark background while the skin is left in relief to form the positive image. The result is a pronounced contrast between dark and light tones which is achieved through a drying process in which the green skin of the material turns into a rich light brown colour while the inner layer of the worked bamboo matures into a darker lustrous brown tone.

For examples of Zhang’s work, see a brushpot bearing his signature carved with the composition of a pavilion amidst a rocky landscape illustrated in a number of important publications such as Craig Clunas, Art in China, Oxford, 1997, pl. 102, and in Soame Jenyns and William Watson, Chinese Art: The Minor Arts II, London, 1965, pl. 198; and another brushpot in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, depicting a scene from the scholars' outing recorded in the famous Ode to the Pavilion of the Inebriated Old Man by Ouyang Xiu (1007-72), included in the museum's official website.

See also a brushpot in the Shanghai Museum decorated in the liuqing technique illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji. Zhu mu ya jiao qi [The Complete Collection of Chinese Art. Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Horn], vol. 11, Beijing, 1987, p. 8, pl. 8. A small number of Zhang's carvings has also been sold at auction; for example see three brushpots sold in these rooms, the first, 8th October 2010, lot 2184, the second, 10th April 2006, lot 1654, and the third, 4th April 2012, lot 120, from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat collection.

Roger Keverne - 50 Years in the Trade

|
Hong Kong