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Brush rest in the form of a dragon among rocks



Dehua ware


  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Dehua Fujian Province China
    Kangxi 1662 - 1722 Qing dynasty 1644 - 1911 → China
    Media category
    Materials used
    blanc-de-chine porcelain
    5.3 x 10.5 x 4.2 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1987
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Dehua ware

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Blanc de chine, the name for the white porcelain of Dehua in Fujian province in Southern China, was produced for both the foreign and local markets. It has been produced for at least four centuries, with the late seventeenth - early eighteenth century being regarded as the classic period when the wares were of the highest quality.

    This beautifully modelled, lively representation of a bifid-tailed dragon climbing out of the sea onto a rock is a brushrest - a shape made purely for the Chinese market for use on a scholar's desk. Other items that appear on the scholar's desk include brush pots, water droppers, water pots and censers.

    The brushrest is modelled in the form of a dragon resting on the shores of the Islands of the Blest, supposedly situated in the Eastern Sea. According to Daoist belief, if one could find these islands, immortality was assured from drinking the water there and eating the sacred fungus which grew there (sacred fungus can be seen growing out of the rocks on the right side of the brushrest). Grotesque and contorted forms such as the rocks in this piece were popular as objects for the scholar's desk for they were at once fascinating to handle and contemplate, while being regarded as containing the quintessence of spiritual forces, 'chi', which is all the more active when held in distorted shapes.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 1987.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Dehua ware

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