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    Sale 2625

    A Fine Collection of Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Personal Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard Hawthorn

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2332

    A FINELY CARVED 'TWO LADIES' BRUSHPOT

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED 'TWO LADIES' BRUSHPOT
    EARLY QING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY

    The exterior carved with a reduced background to reserve a scene in relief of two ladies in discussion, each dressed in a voluminous robe and their hair dressed in high chignons, one reclining on a day-bed further detailed with neatly piled manuscripts beside lotus flowers placed inside an archaistic gu-shaped vase, her companion seated to one side, pointing with one finger to an open book held by the other hand, the reverse with a short inscription in xingshu, running script
    5 7/8 in. (15 cm.) high


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    The short poem describes the two ladies who are joined in their pursuits of study and learning.

    From the inscription the two figures depicted can be identified as the two legendary beauties of the Han dynasty. Known as Da Qiao and Xiao Qiao, they were the daughters of Qiao Xuan, and were immortalised in the classical novel, Sanguo Zhiyanyi, 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms' as their respective planned marriages were one of the factors that influenced Cao Cao to begin his first southern campaign which culminated in the spectacular battle of the Red Cliffs.

    There are two comparable examples carved with this subject-matter of two ladies seated on a day-bed, the first is inscribed with the name of Wu Zhifan, is illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Zhuke Jianshang, Taiwan, 1996, no. 14; and the other is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated by C. Clunas, Chinese Carving, London, 1996, p. 48, fig. 46.

    Provenance

    Hugh Moss, 1970's