Carved Ivory Brush Holder (a) depicts: Man with long flowing hair is a god crossing a river by standing on leaves; Seated man with bamboo fishing pole and line in hands is prime minister of Chou dynasty. One interpretation: He fishes with straight hook to show that with patience and determination fish can be caught, even in this way. Another version: Purpose not to catch fish, but to play with them. When a fish bites the line, it will not be hurt. It is only responding to fisherman's request; Man herding sheep is Suu, a beloved figure in Chinese history, who was a general conquered by the Mongols and held captive 18 years but never surrendered. In captivity, he became a hero even to his enemy; Lao Tzu with the book "I Ching"; Man with brush holder (hands holding top and bottom)thought possibly to have invented the Chinese brush. Man with fan. One source thought him possibly Hung Ming, a talented commander shown not fighting but thinking. Man wearing robe of leaves with stick in hand and face tilted upward. Inventor of clothing or dress. A man holding a peach in upstretched arms, not yet identified. Small figures, possibly apprentice who carry books for their masters. One figure standing between god crossing river and seated fisherman not yet identified. Brush Holder attached to wooden base.