An exquisitely carved chenxiangmu 'quails' brushpot with zitan stand Mid Qing dynasty
Lot 20
An exquisitely carved chenxiangmu 'quails' brushpot Mid Qing dynasty
HK$ 600,000 - 650,000
US$ 77,000 - 84,000
Lot Details
An exquisitely carved chenxiangmu 'quails' brushpot
Mid Qing dynasty
Naturalistically carved in the form of a tree trunk with hollowed base, one side masterfully carved with a scene of two quails standing on rockwork, issuing a dense spray of rice husks, chrysanthemum buds and blossoms, the scholarly ornament emanating the sweet natural fragrance of the wood, original zitan stand forming the base, rising from three short flat foot, the upper surface carved with a groove for perfect fitting.
13.2cm high. (2).

Footnotes

  • Chenxiangmu, technically called agarwood, but commonly referred to as eaglewood, has been recorded as early as the third century AD by Wan Zhen, Magistrate of Danyangin of the Eastern Wu Dynasty, in the Nan zhou yi wu zhi, or 'Strange Things from the South', as produced in the Rinan commandery, present-day Central Vietnam. For a chenxiangmu carved brushpot from the Qing Court collection, dated to the early Qing dynasty, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, p.52, pl.49.

    清中期 沉香木雕雙安嘉禾筆筒

    筆筒依木料隨形雕成,底部中空,外壁一面光素,露出木料天然紋理,另一面浮雕山石、菊花以及麥穗,麥穗顆粒飽滿,與菊花花枝交錯,壽石雕一對鵪鶉,具有「歲歲平安」、「安居樂業」之寓意,別具匠心,筆筒配一紫檀木作。此器以高浮雕、淺浮雕配合陰刻技法雕刻而成,刀工精湛,層次分明,而木料本身更是透出自然清香,韻味無窮。

    沉香木又稱為「奇南香」,產於海南、越南及印度尼西亞等地,木料尤為珍貴,據說其脂膏凝結為塊後入水即沉,故名「沉香」,除用作香料之外,更為文玩器具雕刻之上選木料。三國吳人萬震任丹陽太守時所做《南州異物志》有言曰:「沉香出日南,欲取當斫壞樹,著地積久,外皮朽爛,其心至堅者,置水則沉。名曰沉香。其次在心白之間,不甚堅精,置之水中。不沉不浮,與水面平者,名曰棧香,少麤白者名曰繫香。」。

    沉香木因木料珍貴,用其雕刻之文房用品也曾受到宮廷喜愛,北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏有一件清早期沉香木雕山形圖筆筒,形制較此器更大,雕工也更為複雜,然雕刻風格不盡相類,見李久芳編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集:竹木牙雕刻》,香港,2002年,頁52,圖版49。
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