Four Treasures

The Four Treasures of the Scholar’s Studio are the writing brush (bi), ink stick, ink stone and paper. An image of the brush is often used with other images to form a wish. For instance, a brush (bi) with an ingot (ding), a block of gold, silver or another metal, form a rebus (a visual pun) where words represented by picture combinations form a new and different meaning) which in this case approximates the phrase baiding zhongju meaning “you will surely pass the civil service examinations” and become an official, which is very important in China that provides for a family for a long time.

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  • Antique Blue and White Porcelain Scholar’s Brush Holder, China (1933A-DOK)

    H: 3.25”  Dia: 3.25” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This is unusual piece was likely on a scholar’s desk along with pots, brushes, water droppers, boxes, ink stones and other daily used objects used for a variety of tasks: a brush holder, a paper weight and more. A weighty high-fired object with a wide hole in the center, it has a raised top to hold paint dripping from a brush and is painted with cobalt blue petaled flowers under its clear glaze that covers all but the bottom. Its round body is a landscape of a Chinese village, mountains in the distance and seas or lakes with the calligraphic name of the scholar owner Shu Dai Ji (舒逮吉). The scene and calligraphy are well drawn pairs with thick cobalt blue decorative borders above and below. It is in very good condition with expected discolorations and stains consistent with its long use of paints and ink.

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