Bronze paperweight

Qing dynasty, 18th century

Length: 4 inches, 10.1 cm
Height: 1 inch, 2.6 cm

A bronze paperweight, cast as two tiger-like animals to either side of a flower emanating from a tree trunk, all on a rectangular base. The animal to the left of the tree arches its back, as if about to jump. Its features are well detailed and the animal looks up. The animal to the right of the tree is depicted in recumbent position. The bronze has a chocolate patina.

 

This charming bronze paperweight was made for use on a scholar’s table, and served either to hold open a scroll painting or to hold down paper. Chinese bronze paperweights are often in the form of a single animal, such as no. 40. It is also possible that this bronze served as a rest for brushes; a bronze brush rest was included in the 1986 exhibition in Hong Kong entitled Arts from the Scholar’s Studio. [1]

  1. Tsang, G. and Moss, H. Arts from the Scholar’s Studio, Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, 1986, nos. 137