A rare zitan inlaid 'flowers and bird' brushpot, bitong 17th century

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Lot 118
A rare zitan inlaid 'flowers and bird' brushpot, bitong
17th century

Sold for HK$ 602,500 (US$ 77,477) inc. premium
A rare zitan inlaid 'flowers and bird' brushpot, bitong
17th century
Of cylindrical form, the body finely carved, inlaid and lacquered with details depicting a long-tailed crested bird perched on a leafy prunus branch bearing mother-of-pearl-inlaid blossoms issuing from the rim, the reverse with further branches and blossoms surrounding rockwork outlined by gold wire, all below a band of key-fret pattern in silver-wire around the mouth rim, the top and base with beaded edges and supported on a low foot. 12.8cm (5in) high.

Footnotes

  • 十七世紀 紫檀掐絲平嵌螺鈿料石「喜上眉梢」筆筒

    The present brushpot is rare for its 'ping qian' (flush-inlay) technique of inlaying precious stones and other materials onto a flat surface of wood and lacquer, as opposed to inlay decoration in relief. This inlay technique is more often seen on Chinese furniture decorating the top panel of a table or the back-splat of a chair, as the flat surface is beautifully decorated while remaining safe for usage. For example, see an inlaid huanghuali low table, early Qing dynasty, illustrated by H.Desheng, Collections of the Palace Museum: Inlaid Furniture, Beijing, 2009, no.14, p.38. See also the inlay decoration around the rims of three brushpots, late Ming dynasty, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Bamboo, Wood, Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Carvings, Hong Kong, 2002, no.18 and Zhongguo meishu quanji, Gongyi meishu bian, vol.11, Beijing, 1996, pp.60 and 62.

    此筆採用「平嵌」技法鑲嵌,有別於在文房器上所常見之「凸嵌」技法,較為罕見。平嵌,即嵌件表面與地子齊平,因不影響使用,所以常用於家具如桌面、椅背等部位,參看北京故宮博物院藏一件黃花梨嵌螺鈿炕桌,其桌面亦用「平嵌」法嵌銀絲,再以螺鈿、料石鑲嵌,見胡德生,《收藏故宮:你應該知道的200件鑲嵌家具》,北京,2009年,編號14,頁38。另參看在口沿上亦有鑲嵌工藝的三件明代晚期筆筒,一件藏於北京故宮博物院,著錄於《故宮博物院文物珍品大系:竹木牙角雕刻》,香港,2002年,編號18,另外兩件著錄於《中國美術全集:工藝美術編》,卷11,北京,1996年,頁60及62。
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A rare zitan inlaid 'flowers and bird' brushpot, bitong 17th century
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