This rare and unusual carved bamboo brush holder is dated to the Qing dynasty, Guang Xu 7th year (1881). The bamboo cylinder is carved to represent strung bamboo slips. This was the earlier form of books in China before the invention of paper. The artist (writer) Jie Shan wrote and carved the poem during early spring, 1881 in Tong-Shi Hall. The artist was a very literate man; he created a poem that uses the forms of selected characters in a single, double and triple value.
The poem translates as:
Late spring, a myriad flowers are blooming.
As countless birds arrive from beyond the clouds.
I drink with my friend visiting from far off mountains.
Then the two of us wander the streets.
Thousands of soldiers and their myriad mounts raise a huge noise.
The gates of the government compound swing open.
Seeing two strangely written characters that he cannot read.
The general must ask the lowest scholar for instruction.
The brush holder is 9 ½ inches tall and 5 ¼ inches at its widest point. It is in good condition.