Carp-shaped brush washer from the Qing Dynasty

Updated: Sep 19, 2023 Print
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The carp-shaped brush washer carved out of a Qingtian stone, Qing Dynasty [Photo/Official WeChat account of the Shaanxi History Museum]

Carved out of a chunk of Qingtian stone, this Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) brush washer has a clamshell-shaped water container with an edge featuring two leaping carps and a shrimp. The whole brush washer reflects superior designs and carving crafts.

The artifact alludes to the narrative from the Chinese folk legend in which a carp swims upstream and leaps over the falls of the Yellow River at the Dragon Gate to transform into a dragon. It symbolizes the aspirations of candidates to excel in the ancient Chinese civil servant recruitment examination. It is a treasure in the permanent collection of the Shaanxi History Museum.

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