35 • A Scholar's Root

35 • A Scholar's Root

China; 18th century, early Qing dynasty
17 cm wide, 13 cm deep, 35 cm high
Root wood, probably nanmu (cedar); original fitted hongmu base

Although this object has the classic ‘cloud-form’ of a scholar’s rock, its rarity and beauty come from it being made of root wood. Each gnarl and knot rise one on top of another like plumes of a storm cloud, no doubt offering lightening bolts of inspiration to the lucky scholar whose desk it would sit on.