Lot 324. A blue and white brushpot, bitong, Kangxi period (1662-1722);  7/8 in. (20 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 28,000 - USD 35,000. Price realised USD 31,200. © Christie's Images Ltd 2007. 

Well painted on one side with a scene from Ode to the Red Cliff, depicting scholars on a boat seated at a low table set with wine cups beneath a canopy, the figure in the bow pointing to the pine tree growing from the cliff, with a lengthy dated poetic inscription and two seals on the reverse, the base with a wide unglazed ring encircling the small recessed center painted with a four-character mark, wen zhang shan dou, wood stand, box.

Note: The inscription is the second part of Ode to the Red Cliff by Su Shi (Su Dongpo, 1037-1096), and the decoration depicts a scene from the poem. The second part of the long inscription is a separate poem about the same subject, likely by Xi Qing Zhu Ren. The top seal reads, Xi Qing, the bottom seal, Xi Zhao Chuan Chu (Antique passed down from the prosperous dynasty). The inscription includes a date, 'made in the summer of gui you' (1693), and is dedicated to Qing Yun Ju by Xi Qing. The base is inscribed, wen zhang shan dou, which may be translated as 'Scholarship as high as the mountains and the Great Bear'.

For an example of a Kangxi brushpot painted with a similar scene from Ode to the Red Cliff, see Qing Shunzhi Kangxi Zhao Qinghua Ci, pp. 312-313, no. 206; see also a brushpot with a Xi Zhao Chuan Chu seal illustrated in Qingdai Yuyao Ciqi, p. 111, no 24.

A similar Kangxi brushpot painted in the pencil style and with Ode to the Red Cliff text, also with a wen zhang shan dou mark, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 31 March 1992, lot 691. 

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 22 March 2007