In the mid- and late-Ming Dynasty, many cultural relics made of gold, jade, bamboo, wood, ivory and horn emerged and this craft industry witnessed unprecedented and rapid development. In order to meet social demands, folk workshops constantly innovated their designs. Many artists learned from other craftsmen or made independent innovation themselves. The result was a variety of precious ornaments, which eventually became a social trend at that time.
The brush racks, bottles and cases for people studying literature were mainly in the shapes of pine trees, bamboo shoots and plums. Those with dragon patterns were reserved for royal families. This brush rack with dragon pattern demonstrates the carving skill and elegance of the whole piece. The dragons wind themselves among the peaks; the vivid dragon bodies, dragon beards and dragon mouths reflect the typical style of the Ming Dynasty. The whole rack is grand and solid. It is a masterpiece of ivory carvings in north China in from the reigning periods of Emperor Jiajing and Emperor Longqing (1522-1572).