A Hardstone and Bone-inlaid Huanghuali Brush Pot
Inlaid and Incised Two-Character Qian and Long Seal Mark, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)
6 3/8 inches high and across
The very solidly made pot of slightly waisted outline with rounded wide mouth rim and flat wide foot plugged at center, on one side is a scene of three rams in a landscape with rocks and foliage and a pine tree with a long-tailed bird in its branches and a bright disc of the sun appearing beneath amidst clouds, alongside this are two seven-character couplets referring to the scene and followed by a circular and a square seal incised qian and long respectively.
The inscription can be read as (qian jiu san wei tai jiu san, yin zhi kai tai you ming tan) followed by the qian and long seal marks
For a lengthy description of the scene of three sheep and rising sun which represents 'prosperity in springtime', see Terese Tse Bartholemew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, p.146, no. 6.16.1. For other examples of multi-color inlaid brush pots, see Lacquer Wares of the Qing Dynasty, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Vol. 46, pp.248-249, no's 184 and 185.
For a similar scene of three goats embellished in hardstones on a lacquered panel, see Sotheby's, New York, 20 March 2007, lot 628
For another example dated to the middle Qing Dynasty, see The Palace Museum Collection of Elite Carvings, Beijing, 2002, p. 141, no. 101.