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A rare pale beige and amber coloured soapstone Seven Sages brushpot, Qing dynasty, probably Republican period

Carved with a continuous scene of the sages and attendants beside a bridge in a rocky mountainous landscape, with wutong trees and retreats nestled into the cliffs, the stone of a pale beige tone with areas of amber and with red flecks

Height: 13.5cm

Provenance: Joseph and Annie Morpurgo, Amsterdam, 2012.

Brushpots of this size carved with the Seven Sages in a continuous mountainous landscape are rare and were most likely inspired by earlier carved jade and bamboo examples. The carver has made clever use of black pigment within the carved lines of the main group of figures, especially in their faces, which gives them a greater expressive quality.

A very similar brushpot was sold by Nicholas Grindley LLC at Asia Week New York, March 2014 (see link below). It was signed by Lin Qingqing (1876 – 1984), who was a famous carver from Fuzhou, Fujian province. He specialised in carving Shoushan stone seals but also worked on other scholar carvings. Examples of his work can be seen in the Fuzhou Museum.

Sold on behalf of an English private collector to an English private collector in September 2021 for £12,500.



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