Material and Medium: Ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 98 x 57mm (3 7/8 x 2 1/4in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.333
This brush holder is engraved with a scene of a poet and his servant under a pine tree.
The inscription reads:
'Li Bai drank wine by the gallon and wrote poems by the score. Inscribed on a day in spring.'
Li Bai or Li Po (701-762) was a Chinese poet. Called the 'Poet Immortal', Li Bai is often regarded (along with Du Fu) as one of the two greatest poets in China's literary history.
Approximately 1,100 of his poems remain today. The first translations were published in French in 1862 and in English in 1901.
Li Bai is best known for the extravagant imagination and striking Daoist imagery in his poetry, as well as for his great love for alcohol. He spent much of his life travelling, because his wealth allowed him to. He is said to have drowned in the Yangtze River, having fallen from his boat while drunkenly trying to embrace the reflection of the moon.Display Location: