Brush Jar with an Imperial Inscription

Brooklyn Museum

About the work

Cylindrical brush pot, containing two brushes, a ruyi scepter and a roller.

A Greenish-White and Russet Jade Brush pot (Christies Title) 8/08 A Small Greenish-White Jade Hard stone Inlaid Ruyi Sceptre (Christies Title) 8/08 A Metal Mounted Hard stone and Jade Roller.(Christies Title) 8/08 A Pair of White and Green Jade Brushes. (Christies Title) 8/08

Accession card: The pot is of white jade, semi-translucent, polished, with a slightly greenish tinge and patches of brown. It is carved on the outside with a rock and wave design, also containing a bat, a crane, a peach, and pine trees, the later pierced a jour. On one side is a poem incised in the surface, the characters of which are gilded. It reads perhaps as follows: "The pines and fungus of longevity are plentiful and of beautiful color. The sound of the cranes recall the spring and fall. With happiness like that of the fairyland in the isles of the Eastern Sea we go toward the peaches of immortality." After this comes for characters: "The composition of the Emperor Ch'ien Lung." On the bottom is incised a four character Ch'ien Lung seal mark. The pot contains, set in a silk covered cardboard frame, a pair of large writing brushes (D and E) with handles of white jade carved with all-over flower designs in low relief, tipped with green jade at the ends and with the bristles set in cups of similar jade; a ju i scepter (B) of white jade decorated with a bat, peaches, and a bamboo spray, made of incrusted pieces of green jade, coral, rose, quartz, and other semi-precious stones, and a roller (C) with a green jade handle, into which is set a brass frame terminating in dragon heads, containing 6 rondles, carved with cloud patterns, and made of amethyst, agate, and other semi-precious stones. Condition: Good. Line crack from rim through cypress tree segment. Surface worn on brush handles.

This brush pot of white jade is carved on the outside with a rock-and-wave design containing a bat, a crane, and peach and pine trees—all symbols of good fortune, long life, and Confucian strength. It was most likely in the collection of Prince Gong (Yixin, 1833–98), the sixth son of the Daoguang emperor; it was published in the catalogue of the sale of his collection in 1913.

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