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Ink Brush with Mottled Bamboo Handle and Kingfisher Embellishments

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736–1795), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Handle length: 18.9 cm; handle diameter: 0.9 cm; brush 3.9 cm

The handle of this ink brush is made of mottled bamboo, also known as Xiangfei bamboo (i.e., bamboo speckled with the tears of two concubines by the River Xiang), which has distinct naturally occurring spots of varying sizes and shades of brown. The handle is inscribed with “Yellow River and Luo River Offering Auspiciousness” (Huang Luo chengxiang) in gilded regular script. The meticulously attached brush hairs are complemented with colorful kingfisher feathers.

This ink brush is made of the finest materials and exquisitely crafted. The four characters inscribed on the handle are a classical dictum connecting this practical item to a rich cultural tradition and conveying blessings of river gods and sagely kings.

Website version edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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