This particularly charming brush rest is composed of auspicious clouds. Clouds symbolize good fortune because the word for cloud, yun, is a homophone for a word meaning luck. Clouds are also regarded as auspicious because they are the source of the rain needed to nourish the crops. They are additionally associated with high rank because they are to be found high in the sky. The shape of the clouds on this brush rest have been formed to resemble the lingzhi fungus, and therefore bring a wish for longevity. For another ivory scholar's stand made in the form of interlocked clouds see the example illustrated in Chinese Ivories from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong, 1990, pp. 36-7, no. 196.