• For the Enjoyment of Scholars: auction at Christies

    Sale 2391

    For the Enjoyment of Scholars: Selections from the Robert H. Blumenfield Collection

    25 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 914


    Price Realised  


    The soft variegated green stone with a well carved as a peach borne on a leafy stem floating on waves, the reverse carved with an eight-character inscription, Yijing wei yong shi yi yong nian ('used in tranquility, this inkstone will last many lifetimes'), and two seals of Kangxi, Ti yuan zhu ren and Wan ji yu xia ('ten thousand things to do but little time')
    6 1/16 in. (15.4 cm.) long, box

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    Songhua stone from Qilin province is highly regarded for its qualities in the grinding of ink. These qualities were not fully appreciated until the Kangxi period, when due to the influence of the emperor, it began to be used in the making of inkstones. From the Kangxi period through the Qianlong period it was one of the preferred stones used for inkstones. A Songhua rectangular inkstone with similarly carved well and an eight-character inscription and seal on the reverse, in the National Palace Museum, is illustrated in A Special Exhibition of Sunghua Inkstone, Taipei, 1993, no. 16, p. 80. Of slightly smaller size (13.4 cm. long), it is dated to the Kangxi period. Another inkstone with pomegranate-shaped well, no. 14, p. 76, also dated to the Kangxi period, has the same square seal and a similar circular seal with an inscription flanked by dragons.