QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Acquired in Paris, 1950.
Carved in high relief, the present brushpot is a fine example of bamboo carvings of the early 18th century when the modelling and execution of the design was meticulously planned and completed. For examples of bamboo brushpots carved in high relief see one, from the collection of Dr. Ip Yee, illustrated in Ip Yee and Laurence C.S. Tam, Chinese Bamboo Carving, Hong Kong, 1978, pl. 73; and another vessel carved with a landscape scene in relief, from the collection of Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, included ibid., pl. 77, similarly attributed to the 18th century.
The addition of the openwork technique to high relief carving makes the present vessel special. This technique was rarely used on brushpots and is more commonly found on smaller pieces such as perfume holders of the 18th century. However, compare a brushpot carved in openwork with scholars listening to the lute under the pine tree, published ibid., p. 285, pl. 75, from the Ip Yee collection, where it is mentioned that the style of carving was present throughout most of the 18th century. For examples of perfume holders decorated in openwork see several included ibid., pls. 85-95.
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