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An exceptional 'Hundred Boys' large Zitan Brush Pot

late 18th/early 19th century, deeply carved with numerous small figures at various pursuits on a rocky mountainside below clouds, one side with the boys entertaining a dragon with musical instruments beneath pine and other trees, natural split, base missing, also other minor damage, 24.5cm The Hundred Boys is a popular Chinese subject and lends itself to the imagination of the painter, sculpture or craftsman, for example a scroll by Leng Mei (fl.1700-1742) from the Yongzheng Period was with Sotheby's Hong Kong 9 October 2012, Lot 3008. No other Zitan brush pot of this importance seems to be recorded. The carving of numerous small figures - often Buddhist monks, or families - on a rocky mountainside is familiar from Canton carving of ivory card cases, fan guards and boxes. The monastery of Tiantai Shan in Zhejiang Province in the Sir Victor Sassoon Collection, illustrated in 'Chinese Ivories, The Shang to the Qing', OCS 1984, pl.269 reflects the idiom. Another mountain, this carved in bamboo, is illustrated in 'Chinese Bamboo Carving', HK1978, no. 195 and a closer parallel is with a brush pot in the same book, no. 76, dated to the late 18th century. /

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Lot Number


Estimated Price

£20000 - £30000

Hammer Price


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