The yellow/brown glaze simulates carved bamboo. Such technical conceits, where one material was made to imitate another, were popular from the 1700s. The high-relief carved decoration depicts a gentleman with a long beard in official robe and cap, reclining against a flat-topped rock, upon which are a cup, a book and a vase. A young servant is seen squatting in front of him, ladling wine from a jar. Another servant stands to the back, holding a wine flask. The scene represents the enduring pleasure enjoyed by an official scholar communing with nature and indulging in literary creation.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.161.
Brush pot decorated with Li Bai
Place where the work was made
late 18th century-mid 19th century
porcelain with yellow/brown relief decoration
12.1 x 6.9 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Laurence G. Harrison 1977
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, The Ceramic Society of Australia, Sydney, 12 Nov 1951–24 Nov 1951
Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 1977–26 Jun 1977
Late Chinese Imperial Porcelain, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Aug 1980–21 Sep 1980
Art of the brush, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Sep 1995–12 Nov 1995
Beyond Words: Calligraphic Traditions of Asia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Aug 2016–30 Apr 2017
Referenced in 6 publications
Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 11.
Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Chinese Painting', pg. 42-52, Sydney, 1990, 42 (colour illus.), 43.
J. Hepburn Myrtle, Late Chinese Imperial Porcelain, Sydney, 1980, 22 (Illus.). cat.no. 26. See 'Further Information' for text.
J. Hepburn Myrtle, Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Sydney, 1977, 3, 57 (illus.). cat.no. 68, plate 18
Editor Unknown (Editor), Chinese pottery and porcelain, Sydney, 1951. cat.no.35
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Scholar's Studio', Sydney, 2003, 161 (colour illus.).