Wang Xizhi (AD303-361), the great calligrapher whose graceful brush strokes were said to have been inspired by watching the fluid movements of the necks of geese, was Qianlong Emperors most admired calligrapher. The subject depicted on the current brush pot, where the calligrapher is shown sitting in a pavilion observing geese in a pond, would have been much appreciated by the emperor. The earliest recorded painting of this subject was painted by Qian Xuan (c.1235-1300) of the early Yuan period in the collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art (illustrated by Wen Fong and Marilyn Fu, Sung and Yuan Paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, cover and frontispiece (detail), no. 13 and pp. 86-7). Compare also two carved cinnabar lacquer brush pots related to Wang Xizhi, one dated Qianlong and showing him writing calligraphy in exchange of geese (in the National Palace Museum, illustrated in Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors, Taipei, 2008, p.144, no. 149); the other dated Jiaqing, with a similar subject as the current lot (in the Beijing Palace Museum, Zhongguo Meishu quanji Gongyi Meishu Bian,Vol. 8: Lacquer, Beijing, 1989, Cat. No. 187). A brush pot in a Taiwanese private collection (fig.1) is very similar to the Beijing example.