Material and Medium: Ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 111 x 57mm (4 3/8 x 2 1/4in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.340
This small box shows a scene of a scholar and his servant in a rustic setting. These are idealised visions of hermit scholars, praised by poets and painters throughout Chinese history. Such lofty human beings give up wordly positions of rank and wealth and retreat to a remote place. Here they can practice the superior arts of calligraphy, painting, poetry and music.
There is also a poetic inscription in cursive script which reads:
"The light reflected from boughs and flowers
Illuminates the room where we drink wine"