A rare Chinese wucai porcelain brush rest
Our ref 525 A colorful and rare Chinese wucai porcelain brush rest with Wanli marks to the base and quite possibly of the period. It is formed with three dragons upon three mountain peaks above the clouds. Three peak mountains are considered to be particularly auspicious: the shape is that of the Chinese character shan, meaning mountain.
This brush rest could have been made for use at the Chinese court: in 1593, the Wanli Emperor ordered 500 brush rests in this form to be made in blue and white and in wucai at the kilns in Jingdezhen.
Width 15cm. Height 12cm.
Literature: Jessica Harrison-Hall Ming Ceramics in the British Museum 2001 p.336
Eva Stroeber Symbols on Chinese Porcelain 2011 p.52 ‘Around each peak is entwined a five-clawed dragon, resting its head on the crest, the central dragon with a fierce expression and a wild mane. At the foot of the mountains is a band of stylised rocks and waves. The design represents the Chinese Emperor as the ruler over the cosmos, depicted in a basic pattern of the symbols for the earth, water and sky. It is seen on many Imperial objects, and particularly clearly on the court robes of the Chinese Emperors.’