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carved bamboo brushpot white.jpg



16.6 cm high, 12.3 cm diameter

The cylindrical brush pot is carved from a natural bamboo segment with a channeled mouth rim and three raised feet. The exterior walls are carved in high relief with a continuous terrace scene depicting a lady and a gentleman in conversation. The gentleman is seated holding a small cup, while the lady, holding a pot for wine or tea, stands next to a table supporting books, scrolls and other objects. In the background are a daybed (kang), a large screen and a terrace fence. The two main figures are flanked by two attendants, one stoking a fire, the other heating tea or wine. The natural base is recessed and concave. The smooth surface bears a warm patina.

The present brush pot is carved with a diagonal composition in various layers of relief to suggest extra depth. The outer layer is utilized for the figures and outlines of the furniture and fence, creating a fine contrast in both colour and texture to the lighter surface underneath. For two slightly smaller, related brush pots, see Ip Yee and Laurence C.S. Tam, Chinese Bamboo Carving, Part I, Hong Kong, 1978, pl. 32, and in Part II, pl. 22.


Formerly in a private German collection

P.C. Lu & Sons, Hong Kong

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