A rare Chinese carved 'landscape' bamboo bitong Kangxi 1662-1722, superbly carved in varying relief with the philosopher Laozi on his ox amidst a continuous scene of twelve figures in various pursuits in a mountainous landscape beneath pine trees and beside a flowing river, probably depicting The Agreeable Life in a Land of Transcendents, the reverse signed Gu Jue, followed by the seal Zong Yu, the rim and base with hardwood mounts and raised upon three feet, some cracks to the exterior, the mounts damaged and poorly glued, the wood dry, 16.2cm high x 14.5cm dia.
Provenance: from a deceased West Country estate.
Gu Jue was one of the most famous artists carving bamboo during the Kangxi period. Native of Jiangsu Province, he was famed for his mountainous landscapes and incredible attention to detail depicted in high relief. Well known poems or novels such as 'Ode to the Pavilion of the Inebriated Old Man' or 'The Romance of the Western Chamber' were often seen in examples of his work. For a detailed discussion of the works of Gu Jue, see Huang Hsien Long, Gu Jue and The Art of Bamboo Carving, Orientations Magazine, vol.37, no.1, Jan/Feb 2006, pp80-85.
Cf. Scholarly Works of Art from the Mary and George Bloch Collection, Sotheby's Hong Kong, October 23rd 2005, lot 5, and also Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Christie's Hong Kong, May 30th 2005, lot 1293 for two other brush pots signed Gu Jue, Zong Yu.