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Large Ornamental Chinese Calligraphy Brush

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All Items: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Scholar Art: Pre 1980: item # 1157028

Please refer to our stock # 412AOG when inquiring.

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Large Ornamental Chinese Calligraphy Brush
This large calligraphy brush (brush pen or pi) used in writing, is decorated as if for a high official's use.[40A] The handle is made of varying lengths and tints of segments of bone which are decorated with different incised tree and leaf patterns (e.g. pine, bamboo), then are inked black. Next, free hand, or boneless, painted perching birds, some with long tails, were done over the incised branches. This decor is seen on all sides of the handle. The bristles are long (> 5") and probably made from the necks of goats or deer. Small bristles can be made of fox, rabbit, badger, swine and sables; even mouse hair is used for short, special brushes.[40B, 179C] Reputedly the calligraphy brushes are made in 8-10 different sizes. [40A] The calligraphy hair brush, called pi in Chinese, is one of the four major desk accessories of a Chinese scholar. They are also known as the "four treasures" , or precious things of the library. The other three are: 1. the surface upon which the scholar writes (paper, silk, etc.); 2. the ink which is made of black soot from pine wood and glue; 3. the ink stone, a slate-like rock, upon which the ink and water are mixed with the pi. There are less important accessories used with calligraphy brushes, like brush pots, brush holders and brush washing basins. Let us consider just a few points in using the pi which takes many years to master. First, only the tip of the pi is used and it is held perpendicular to the surface to be painted. Any brush can be used to apply crisp, thin lines (outlines) or broad massive strokes to a surface. The painting is done by movement of the entire arm with hand held firm, without support, to deliver the ink to the surface. By this, Chinese believe that the inspiration of the mind flows unfettered down the arm to be recorded.[179C, 179E] Most artist's pi had handles made of bamboo. We have also seen more formal brush handles made of jade.[40F] Our hand painted, incised Chinese calligraphy bone handle brush may have been only decorative or ornamental function. It is in excellent condition. References available upon request. Size: ~ 20" long x 1 3/4"; Weight: 380 grams;

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