Lot 310
  • 310


20,000 - 30,000 USD
25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Porcelain
  • Height 5 3/4  in., 14.5 cm
of slightly waisted cylindrical form, painted to one side with a colorful magpie perching atop a twisting scholar's rock surrounded by large orbs of chrysanthemum blooms in red, blue, and black amid leaves, grasses, bamboo, and pines in assorted greens, a short poetic inscription floats above a green rock at a break in the vegetal composition, the base centered with a recessed medallion, coll. no. 1575


Marchant, London, 2006.

Catalogue Note

The poem inscribed on the brushpot reveals its relationship to the image only to the erudite observer. It reads: With the zun wine vessel in front of us under the moon we often meet, not venturing to the eastern hedge in search of fallen blossoms.
[Signed] Zai Mo

Rather than overtly describing chrysanthemums, the poet uses the term dong ling ('eastern hedge'), a reference to Tao Yuanming's (ca. 365-421) fifth poem titled 'Drinking Wine' in which he describes picking chrysanthemums in his eastern hedge. Magpie and chrysanthemum are a rebus wishing for the happiness of the entire family. The poem in turn describes the achievement of this contentment through moonlit rendezvous. The poem is accompanied by seals reading Jizhaotang, Shan xiao, and Mushiju.

Mushiju (Studio of Wood and Rock) has been identified as a private workshop in Jingdezhen specializing in literati inspired wares of exceptional quality.  A recent article by Pengliang Lu, ‘Where Potter Met Poets, A Kangxi Vase with a Poetry Gathering in Jingdezhen’, Arts of Asia, March-April 2017, pp. 98 -104 identifies the founder of Mushiju as Zhao Wenzong, a local official who moved comfortably among poets, calligraphers and artists of the period.  The superlative works from this studio illustrate the close and productive relationship between artist and artisan enjoyed during the Kangxi period. A similar brushpot with the same mark and dated 1709 from the Grandidier Collection, now in the in the Musée Guimet, Paris is illustrated in The World’s Great Collections, Oriental Ceramics, vol. 7, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 53.