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brush-rest

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.642

  • Description

    Porcelain brush-rest in form of five-peaked mountain. Underglaze blue with dense classic scrolls and a single roundel with Arabic inscription on each side. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1506-1521
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 197 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明正德年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Zhengde nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Zhengde reign of the Ming dynasty
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Arabic
      • Inscription Position

        on front and back
      • Inscription Language

        Arabic
      • Inscription Translation

        The pen before everything
  • Curator's comments

    Room 95 label text:

    PDF A642

    Brush rest with Arabic inscription


    This thickly-potted brush rest is in a traditional Chinese form of a mountain range with five peaks. The inscriptions on either side are written in cursive Arabic script. They translate 'The pen before everything'. Zhengde desk porcelains with Arabic inscriptions were made for the court either for Muslim administrators and eunuchs who held considerable power at the time or for the Zhengde emperor himself who was fascinated by foreign scripts and was rumoured to have converted to Islam, a fact unrecorded in the Ming official histories. There is a six character underglaze blue Zhengde mark on the base.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Zhengde mark and period, AD 1506–21

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1976 p.42, no.A642 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.61, no.A642 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc19/sh4

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.642

Porcelain brush-rest in form of five-peaked mountain. Underglaze blue with dense classic scrolls and a single roundel with Arabic inscription on each side. Inscription on base.

Porcelain brush-rest in form of five-peaked mountain. Underglaze blue with dense classic scrolls and a single roundel with Arabic inscription on each side. Inscription on base.

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Object reference number: RRC39549

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