A blue and white ‘Landscape’ brushpot, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Lot 3140. A blue and white ‘Landscape’ brushpot, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 19 cm., 7 1/2  in. Estimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKD. Lot sold 625,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's 2013

of broad cylindrical form, vividly painted around the exterior in shades of cobalt blue with a continuous lakescene depicting two fishermen navigating their junks rigged with square sails blown by the wind on rippled waters below a gaggle of geese in the distance, meanwhile on the banks a farmer follows an ox passing below wind-blown willow trees, and a scholar and his attendant cross over a rocky ledge toward stilted houses sheltering two figures conversing on a veranda, below a thatched pavilion on a nearby hill, all between double-line borders encircling the rim and base, the base with a central recessed roundel, partly glazed save for a broad ring left in the biscuit and applied with a pale yellow wash

NoteThis brushpot is notable for the style of painting that expertly combines washes of cobalt with confident lines to create an idyllic scene. The popular theme of scholars retreating in a pavilion within a pastoral landscape provided scholars with a means of temporarily escaping the responsibilities of official life in the court. Traditionally the subject of painting, the craftsman has effectively translated this onto a brushpot, an essential item of the scholar’s desk. 

Related brushpots of this type and decoration include one from the collection of Robert Chang, sold at Christie’s New York, 25th March 2003, lot 259; another sold in these rooms, 17th May 1988, lot 154; and a third example sold in our New York rooms, 9th December 1983, lot 348.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong, 08 april 2013