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Lot 53*


Estimated Value:

50.000 € - 80.000 €


185.193 € incl. Premium and VAT


China, 18th ct.
H. 17,1 cm/ D. 19 cm
Of cylindrical form, standing on five splayed ruyi-shaped feet, skilfully carved in various levels of relief with a surrounding landscape depicting the great Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi (circa 604-531) riding a water buffalo, followed by a disciple and another scholar accompanied by a servant. The group crosses a river landscape with steep cliffs rising on either side, the vast surrounding landscape dotted with a pavilion, overhanging pines and Wutong trees. Deeply carved rocks, part of the surface of the cup has been left uncarved to express the pure, light green-white colouring of the stone, occasionally enhanced by rusty red spots.
According to the owner, from the collection of Dr. Otto Rose, collected in China before 1918
Skillfully carved with a scene that unravels like a scroll painting with the turning of the vessel, this magnificent brush pot captures a sense of harmony and ethereality by balancing the object with the void, intricate detail with polished surfaces. The exceptional quality of the stone is highlighted through the minimally carved areas, enhanced with patches of russet staining. As light passes through the varying depths of the translucent material, it creates dramatic and mysterious contrasts within the diorama. The decoration follows in the tradition of Chinese painting, treating the surface of the material as a horizontal scroll. The motif unfolds in front of the viewer as the brushpot is turned and with each scene a new perspective of the landscape is revealed, making the brushpot an object that can be appreciated from multiple vantage points. Objects created specifically for use on the scholar's desks can be traced to at least as early as the Han dynasty, although the full repertoire of jade scholars' objects was developed during the mid- to late Ming dynasty, and by the Qing dynasty had come to include brushpots, brush rests, wrist rests, brushes, brush washers, water droppers, scroll and paperweights, as well as larger objects for display on the desk. Many of these pieces would have been kept in the scholar's studio for use when composing calligraphy or painting; others served no particular purpose except for the personal enjoyment of the owner, as well as his select invited audience
Only a few other white jade brush pots with similar scenes and raised ruyi feet are known in international and private collections, and the present brush pot is amongst the largest in private hands. Compare to a smaller example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 42 - Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1995, pp. 204-5, no. 167; a larger example illustrated in Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 112. (19.5 cm. diam.); another of more celadon tone and heavier mottling, from the collection of T.B. Kitson, sold at Christie’s New York, 17 September 2008, lot 329; and a fourth example formerly in the collection of Heber R. Bishop, sold at Sotheby’s New York, 16 September 2009, lot 251.
The brushpot is in very good overall condition with very few typical insignificant tiny or very small chips to the fragile extremities. Through the base a small piercing which was sealed with wax