Artist: Seal of Chen Mingyuan (active late 17th-early 18th century)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign, late 17th-early 18th century or later in the Qing dynasty
Stoneware with accompanying wooden stand
Yixing ware
H x W: 6.3 x 14.3 cm (2 1/2 x 5 5/8 in)
China, Jiangsu province, Yixing
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Brush rest

China, Kangxi reign (1662 - 1722), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), stoneware, writing, Yixing ware
Provenance research underway.

When producing small, carefully crafted objects for the scholar's study, potters often have imitated natural forms in their work as a way to capture the scholar's character. The shape of this deep purple Yixing clay brush rest symbolizes the plum-blossom-like purity and resoluteness of its user. The potter skillfully used two differing colors of clay to represent the buds and the blossoms on the gnarled branch of the ancient plum tree.

Published References
  • Pang Yuanji. Hsu chai ming tao tu lu (Xuzhai ming tao tu lu) [Catalogue of Chinese Pottery in the Collection of Pang Yuan-chi]. 2 vols. Taipei. vol. 2: p. 37.
  • Helen Comstock. Some Examples of I-hsing Pottery. vol. 109, no.483 London, March 1942. p. 76.
  • Lai Suk Yee, Terese Tse Bartholomew. Themes and Variations: The Zisha Pottery of Chen Mingyuan. Exh. cat. Hong Kong, October 25, 1997 - January 4, 1998. p. 120.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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