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Ivory Brush Pot with Dragons

Republic of China (1912—1949)

Diameter of mouth 12.2-15cm,Height, 19.5cm

The intricately carved reticulated brush pot made of ivory is carved with relief designs of nine dragons. The upper rim is adorned with floral design. The ivory brush pot shows exquisite skills of the craftsman. Ivory is valued as an excellent material for brush pot because of its smooth and jade-like texture. And Chinese people have a long history of making use of ivory for both art and functional objects.

The mouth of the ivory brush pot is inscribed with the words” To President Yun Gong, by Zhang Qixiong.” Yun Gong is He Jian (何键), a general of Kuomintang army. Zhang Qixiong(张其雄) might be an early Chinese Communist Party member.


Butterfly-shaped Ivory Vessel with the Pattern of Two Birds Facing the Sun from the Collection of Zhejiang Provincial Museum

Ivory cup from the collection of National Museum of China

Ivory Panel Carved with Tiger Designs from the Collection of Hebei Museum, Western Han Dynasty

Ivory Ornament from the Collection of Liaoning Provincial Museum, Yuan Dynasty

Ivory Children-sending Guan Yin Statue from the Collection of the Palace Museum, Ming Dynasty

Ivory Human Figurine from the Collection of Shanghai Museum, Ming Dynasty

Ivory Brush Pot of the Design of “Three Friends in Cold Weather” from the Collection of the Palace Museum, Ming Dynasty

Rectangular Ivory Brush Pot with Flower Designs from the Collection of the Palace Museum, Qing Dynasty

Ivory Brush Pot with the Designs of Fishermen and Woodcutters from the Collection of the Palace Museum, Qing Dynasty

Brush Pots​​​​​​​

Brush pots are mostly cylindrical in shape and made of porcelain, wood, bamboo, stone, ivory and jade. Chinese brush pot is one of the traditional scholar’s items, intended for the storage and display of traditional Chinese calligraphy brushes. Brush pots were sometimes used to store rolled-up paper.

Brush pots are often richly decorated, displaying the same themes from traditional Chinese folklore and mythology that appear on scroll paintings and other decorations.