Scenes from popular novels and plays are often depicted on bamboo wares of the early Qing dynasty, many taking inspiration from Ming dynasty paintings and woodblock prints. On the present lot, two scenes from different stories are carved, one from the 'Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove', and the other from 'A Literary Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion'. Because of the relatively large size of the brushpot, a more complex composition of a dense forested landscape has been employed, with some areas of high relief carving used to express depth. It is also interesting that two stories have been used on one brushpot, the two scenes separated from each other by rockwork.
The superb carving of the scenes suggests a highly accomplished craftsman; the workmanship is comparable to carved examples bearing the name of the early Qing dynasty master, Zhou Zhiyan, who was celebrated for his landscape carvings in the style of the Song and Yuan masters, cf. Chinese Bamboo Carving, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1982, part II, pp. 56-58.