Lot 3424
  • 3424


1,200,000 - 1,500,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • 13.2 cm, 5 1/4  in.
of cylindrical form resting on a countersunk base, the exterior lacquered black and reverse-decorated with a continuous scene depicting an idyllic landscape situated amongst towering mountains and villagers engaging in various activities, including one riding a donkey, one looking up at the jagged boulders and accompanied by an attendant, a fisherman on a sampan and casting a net, the tranquil setting further marked with pavilions emerging from behind the mountain ranges and verdant vegetation, the upper section inscribed with a poem in cursive script by the Yuan-dynasty poet Zhang Zhichun denoting the paradisiacal landscapes of the legendary peach orchard 'Peach Blossom Spring', all between two bands of key-fret borders

Catalogue Note

The present ivory brushpot is inscribed with a poem by Zhang Zhichun from the Yuan dynasty, referencing the legendary peach orchard ‘Peach Blossom Spring’. According to Tao Qian (365-427), a fisherman accidentally entered through a crevice in a rock, followed the course of a stream and discovered a paradisiacal peach orchard. The poem is further accompanied by a scene depicting scholars visiting their friends, rendered through a complex process of reverse decoration, in which the landscape and the figures are reserved in the natural colour of the ivory material against the black lacquer ground. A related cylindrical brushpot, decorated with ladies in a landscape, dated to the Kangxi period, was sold at Christie’s London, 5th November 2013, lot 11. Compare also two hexagonal examples from the Edward T. Chow collection, both reverse-decorated with birds and flowers; one sold in these rooms, 8th October 2014, lot 3777, and the other, illustrated by Michel Beurdeley, The Chinese Collector through the Centuries, Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan, 1966, p. 242, no. 101, and in Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing, Oriental Ceramic Society and the British Museum, London, 1984, p. 154, no. 182, was sold at Christie’s New York, 21st March 2000, lot 53. For a reverse-decorated ivory table screen with figures in a landscape, see one also included in the exhibition Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing, op.cit., no. 162. Another comparable brushpot from the Qing court collection, but of lobed form, is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 139.