Zhiyuan was the sobriquet of Chao Mingsheng (1611-1680), a Ming dynasty yimin ('leftover subject') scholar based in Jiaxing who lived in seclusion. He was known for molding gourds grown from his own garden into different archaistic vessel shapes.
The hallmark, Xing you heng tang, may be translated, 'made for the hall of constancy', which was the residence of Zhai Quan, a grandson of the emperor Qianlong, and a famous collector of the Daoguang period.
The inscription on the brush was taken from a poem written by Zhong Changtong (AD 179-219), a scholar and official of the Eastern Han dynasty. The poem was recorded in Hou Han Shu (The Book of Later Han).