The thick walls, carved from a single block of wood, and the plain surface are admirable features consistent with late Ming and early Qing dynasty hardwood brushpots. The lack of carved decoration draws attention to the inherent qualities of the rich, finely grained wood. The articulation of the rims, the rounded filet of the in-stepped base highlights the elegant line of the form as light hits the lustrous surface. A zitan brushpot of smaller proportion, but similar form, was excavated from the Wanli Period tomb of Zhu Shoucheng near Shanghai and is illustrated in The Chinese Scholar's Studio, Artistic Life in the Late Ming Dynasty, An Exhibition from the Shanghai Museum, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1987, cat. no. 69N.