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Brush Holder with a Pine and Figures

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: bamboo
Dimensions: height: 13.2 cm, mouth diameter: 7 cm

Item used in the Qing court Made of a curved bamboo stem, the surface of the brush holder presents a landscape with a tree and two figures. At the lower part is a high-relief depiction an old man riding a donkey accompanied by a page. The artist deeply carved the space behind the donkey's hooves to enhance the three-dimensional effect. For some parts of the pine, the artist used the "skin-leaving method": first incising patterns on the bamboo surface and then removing unnecessary material. The carving becomes shallower from the bottom to the top of the composition. Below the mouth are clouds. The ingenious design and varied techniques suggest that this brush holder was made in a sophisticated period of the bamboo carving.

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