A Carved White-Glazed Brushpot By Chen Guozhi, Qing Dynasty, Daoguang Period

finely carved in varying relief on each side with a barbed panel enclosing lakeside landscape scenes depicting figures engaged in various pursuits amidst dwellings and lush vegetation, with high mountain peaks rising in the distance, separated by the beribboned bajixiang on a cash diaper ground, the flat mouthrim decorated with five bats swooping amongst cloud swirls, the base carved in relief with the four character mark Chenguozhi zhi - 13.4 cm., 5 1/4 in. - Estimate 150,000—200,000 HKD - Unsold.

PROVENANCE: A Private Japanese Collection.

NOTE: Chen Guozhi, along with Wang Bingying and Li Yucheng, were ceramic artists at Jingdezhen during the early nineteenth century, who individually crafted and signed carved porcelains, often imitating wood, ivory and bamboo. During the first half of the nineteenth century the distinction between artists and craftsmen began to dissolve, encouraging fine artists like Chen to assume artistic pretensions of identification and dating to match their undoubted skills at potting and carving.

Compare similar examples signed by Chen, including a white-glazed biscuit brushpot depicting figures and water-buffalo in landscape, illustrated in Escape from the Dusty World: Chinese Paintings and Literati Works of Art, London, 1999, 95; a light turquoise-glazed example, illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, vol. 2, Geneva, 1999, pl. 340; as well as a small box and cover included in the exhibition In Scholar's Taste, Sydney L. Moss, Ltd., London, 1983, no. 103.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 08 Oct 08. Hong Kong - - Photo courtesy Sotheby's.