The large central shallow bowl carved in the form of a Ruyi head, with smaller bowls and fungus and bat motifs around the edge, the dull gray-green stone with cloudy russet markings. Former Classification: Jade

Brush Washer, 16th-17th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G210expand_more

Vessels distinguished by soft, natural forms and high relief carvings are characteristic of the Ming period (1368-1644). Waterpots, brush holders, and other necessary utensils of the scholar's table often took the form of a lotus, citrus fruit, or as here, ling-chih, an auspicious fungus meant to prolong life. Plants and animals symbolic of good fortune, long used as decorative themes in Chinese art, were immensely popular during the Ming dynasty. This vessel has two water receptacles; since gradated tones of ink are used in Chinese painting and calligraphy, a variety of containers are necessary to wash brushes and dilute ink explaining the double bowl in this washer.

Details
Title
Brush Washer
Role
Artist
Accession Number
92.103.5
Curator Approved

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The large central shallow bowl carved in the form of a Ruyi head, with smaller bowls and fungus and bat motifs around the edge, the dull gray-green stone with cloudy russet markings. Former Classification: Jade