Carved lacquer brushpots are very rare and it is particularly unusual to find one of this square form, although a square brushpot with chamfered corners and a hexagonal brushpot, both of carved lacquer, are in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong Bowuyuan cang diao qi, Beijing, 1985, pls.295 and 342.
Like Ming dynasty lacquers, Qing dynasty lacquer wares were highly esteemed by the emperors, and through the support of the court, experienced a surge of prolific production and innovation during the Qianlong period. One of Qianlong's particularly favored carvers was a Suzhou artist by the name of Feng Shiqi who was known for his strong and detailed bamboo carvings. Although a specialist in a different material, the Qianlong Emperor had on more than one occasion commissioned him to carve lacquer and this brushpot is reminiscent of his carving style.
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