The brush pot is cylindrical and painted around the exterior in underglaze blue with the Star God Kuixing, depicted standing with one leg on the head of a dragon emerging from large crested waves. A scarf is billowing around his shoulders, and he is holding a bushel measure in his left hand, and a brush pointed towards books suspended from a rope in his right hand.
On one side, a prunus tree and rocks are painted below swirly clouds. The brush pot is inscribed with a four-line poem.
The base is unglazed except for the small recessed area.
The poem may be translated as:
‘With a sweep of the brush the Nine Heavens are filled with clouds and mist,
The great bear holds ten thousand measures of pearls.
The hand holds the great treasure and gives peaceful times,
The feet tread on ten thousand miles of clouds.
The present brush pot depicts Kuixing, the acolyte of the God of Literature, Wenzhang.
Kuixing, who distributes literary degrees, usually stands on one leg atop a dragon’s head, while holding a brush in one hand and a bushel measure in the other. The dragon is, in fact, a carp about to become a dragon after it leaps through the Dragons Gate.
The transformation symbolizes the scholar who had to pass a series of examinations to enter the imperial civil service.
* Acquired from Spink & Son, Ltd., London 1977
* Formerly with Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York, until 1983
* Formerly in an American private collection.
* Formerly with Feng-Chun Ma Chinese and Japanese Art Consultancy
13,5 cm high.