Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Wrist Rest with Scene from "The West Chamber"

Qing (1644–1911) dynasty
dated to either 1674 or 1734
H. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm); W. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Elizabeth M. Riley Bequest, in memory of Jean Mailey, 2006
Accession Number:
Not on view
The motif of a woman reading a letter is most likely based on a woodblock print illustrating a scene from a fourteenth-century play known as either The West Chamber or The Romance of the West Chamber. This play, which tells of the convoluted romance between a young scholar and a beautiful woman, is one of the most well known in Chinese history, and allusions to some of its more famous moments are often found in the visual arts.
Inscription: Zhi xi cai gao, zi san ming xia (carved on screen above the woman's head, a reference to great talent and powerful calligraphy)

jiayin qin Sansong (Apocryphal reference to Zhu Sansong)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. "Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture," February 13, 2014–June 15, 2014.

Related Objects

Brush holder with immortal realms

Medium: Bamboo Accession: 2011.7 On view in:Gallery 219

Demon queller Zhong Kui with demons

Date: late 17th–early 18th century Medium: Bamboo Accession: 2008.636 On view in:Gallery 219

Brush Holder

Artist: Gu Jue (active late 17th century) Medium: Bamboo with hardwood rim and base Accession: 1994.382 On view in:Gallery 210

Blind with scrollwork, bat, and flowers

Date: 18th century Medium: Bamboo with multicolored silk threads Accession: 1997.74 On view in:Gallery 221

Incense holder with scholars in a landscape

Artist: Zhu Sansong (active ca. 1573–1619) Date: late 16th–early 17th century Medium: Bamboo Accession: 1995.271 On view in:Gallery 219