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.
Utilitarian ceramics like this were used in home kitchens and restaurants to hold oil, sauces, soy or other liquids. This spouted blue and white porcelain jar has four loops, also called lugs, so a natural fiber such as rattan could be threaded to either secure a top create a way to hang it to a peg. Sealing the top was very useful if the jars contained liquid and needed to be transported. The piece is decorated in a free and expressive manner with a charming impression of a country scene of a building in a landscape surrounded by tall trees. The cobalt is thick and dark in some areas of the foliage and applied with a thin, sparing and light brush elsewhere.
This earthenware brick tile bordered with a deep scalloped frame depicts a vase with a bouquet of propitious flowers: a chrysanthemum and a peony wrapped with an elegant ribbon. Tiles like this were made to decorate the large numbers of buildings created during the prosperous Song dynasty and to adorn tombs. This elegant brick is in good condition for its age with expected chips and cracks, some restoration of background and a re-glued frame break on each side. It has earth adherents from its burial in a tomb.
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