Title: Brush Holder

Date: Early 19th century
Culture: China
Material: Carved jadeite
Size: 9” H x 11” L x 9.5” W
Credit: Gift of Nathaniel and Lana Grey
On View: Yes

Scholars known as literati dominated Chinese culture until the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911. These men were appointed by the emperor to perform day-to-day political activities. However, they also helped carry out various social welfare measures like teaching or conducting Confucian ceremonies. As a class, they were highly respected and seen as moral paragons. 

For the literati, calligraphy and painting were a means of revealing one’s inner character rather than a demonstration of skill. This large brush holder made of jadeite would have graced the desk of a very wealthy and very powerful member of the literati.