Wucai-enamelled brushrests are among the most unusual wares made for the scholar's table during the late Ming dynasty. They were made in two designs, with either three or five peaks. The three-peaked variety was perhaps the most fortuitous as the shape is fundamentally that of the Chinese character for 'mountain'.
Brushrests of this rare type, with crescent section and the same colour combinations on the dragons, include one from the Tsui Art Foundation, exhibited by the Min Chiu Society of Hong Kong, Joined Colors, Special Exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C., 1993, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 35, and subsequently sold in these Rooms, The Jingguantang Collection, 3 November 1996, lot 574; one illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pl. 11:155; and another sold in London, 11 June 1996, lot 37.
Other comparable three-peaked wucai brushrests include one from the Robert Chang Collection, sold in our New York Rooms, 20 March 2001, lot 223; one from the Idemitsu Museum, illustrated in The 15th Anniversary Catalogue, Tokyo, 1981, p. 203, no. 857; and another illustrated by I. L. Legeza, The Malcolm MacDonald Collection of Chinese Ceramics, London, 1972, pl. CVX, no. 308. Cf. also examples decorated in blue and white, such as the brushrest in the Idemitsu Museum, illustrated in Toji Taikei, Tokyo, no. 42, pl. 86; and the one sold in these Rooms, 29 September 1992, lot 481.