Signed Xu Subai (1909-1975) Intricately worked, the upper surface carved in the liuqing low relief technique, featuring a bird resting on a willow branch with draping leaves, above a huge overlapping lotus leaf depicted half-eaten by insects and a flowering lotus bud and blossoms, with a series of inscriptions in kaishu and artist's seal mark. 27cm long.
The inscription reads 'hanting hua, subai ke', which explains the decoration was drafted by Han Ting and carved by Xu Subai, a native of Wujin in Jiangsu province. Xu was renowned especially for his mastering of traditional yet creative kills of liuqing carving and often work together with artists of the Shanghai School to produce bamboo carvings.
The liuqing technique is method of carving that involved reserving the greenish bamboo skin and layering it to manipulate the contracting colours between the skin and the darker and more fibrous inner layer of the bamboo. The result creates an effect of traditional Chinese brush and ink painting.
Compare another bamboo wristrest by Xu Subai in 1956, also carved in liuqing technique with various blossoms from the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Literati Spirit. Art of Chinese Bamboo Carving, Shanghai, 2012, p.302, no.165.
A closely related bamboo wristrest signed Xu Bingfang was sold at Christie's Swire, Hong Kong, 29 and 30 September 1992, lot 876.
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