This brush ranks among the finest produced in Jingdezhen for the court during the reign of Qianlong. Porcelain brush handles were rare as opposed to brush handles made out of jade, bamboo, wood or cloisonne. Compare another Qianlong porcelain famille-rose brush in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, which is similar in size, but decorated with the 'Eight Precious Emblems' and with a faux-bois tip, illustrated in Bunbo Jyuei, Dohbohsha, Kyoto, 1992, cat. no. 72.
Brush handles were made out of porcelain for the court since the early 15th century. The form of the present brush, with its bulbous mouth, seems to originate in late Ming dynasty brush handles, compare two brushes in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, one blue and white porcelain, the other inlaid lacquer, illustrated in Bunbo Jyuei, op. cit., 1992, cat. nos 69 and 70. See also a wucai brush handle illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. II, London, 1995, pl. 708, and sold in these rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 38.
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