Bamboo Skin Carving & Lacquered Wristrest 18th c.
The front and sides of this bamboo wristrest are painted black lacquer. The concave side, in the natural color of bamboo - light brownish yellow - is engraved with an image of a woman standing by a tree. The lines are very fine and smooth, resembling the elegance of gongbi painting.
The wristrest is used to keep the sleeve from sweeping over the drying ink as Chinese is written from right to left. This practical device gradually evolved into one of the scholar objects. It is recorded as early as in the Song dynasty Wen Fang Tu Zan ( Picture Catalog of Scholar Objects) by Lin Hong.