the art in the chinese jade brush washer

Focused on all types of Asian Art, Asia Week is a weeklong series of auctions in the Spring and Fall in New York.  This means the auction houses and galleries bring out their treasure troves to tempt us to part with our hard earned cash.  And as the market for Chinese art in particular continues to press new heights, Asia “Week” has extended its reach from New York to Philadelphia and Boston making it more like “Asia Month”.

Last week I was in Boston advising some clients on some pieces at Skinner Auctioneers, which was holding the last of the series of sales this Fall.  Among one of the numerous pieces that caught my eye was this stunningly elegant little 19thcentury jade brush washer.  I love the beautiful rococo lines of its profile and glow of the white jade against the swirls of its carved wood stand.
A brush washer of this type was a tool used by artists to wash the remaining ink off their brush after working on their scrolls.   The beauty of the exquisite material, the delicate form and the elegant decoration were meant to inspire the artist then, just as they stimulate us today.
image credits: Skinner Auctioneers, Boston.  Lot 628 | Jade Brush Washer with Wood Stand | 19th Century | Estimate: US$2,000 – 3,000 | sold US$4,575 | Asian Art Session I | 21 September 2012.
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