Lot 1443. A rare small bamboo veneer faceted water pot, 18th century; 2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) squareEstimate USD 15,000 - USD 25,000. Price realised USD USD 37,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011

Of square domed shape with faceted corners, each of the four sides finely decorated in veneer relief with a formal lotus spray, with pendent ruyi heads and foliate motifs on the corners, within narrow borders below the shallow neck, all in a darker shade in contrast to the paler ground, raised on four bracket supports, cloth-covered stand

Note: Bamboo was a popular choice of material for scholar's objects throughout the Ming and Qing periods. The decorative technique of carved veneer, however, was a specialty among bamboo items and was developed in the 18th century by using the inner wall of the bamboo stem. The delicate films of natural light yellow color of the bamboo is worked effectively as inlays onto a wood core body.

Compare the bamboo-veneer brush washer of the same form, though of more simple design and without feet, in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Small Refined Articles of the Study, Shanghai, 2009, p. 198, no. 186. 

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 24 March 2011