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A QIN-FORM DUAN INK STONE
19TH CENTURY
The ink stone is shaped in the form of a qin, carved with 13 studs (hui) on the left side and 7 tuning pegs at the top (zhen), and an 'inkwell' at the center. A two-character inscription, Tianlai ('heavenly music'), is carved on the reverse in raised seal script followed by an incised name, Sun Deng, and a square seal, Gonghe. A collector's mark, Haoyuan zhenwan ('treasured plaything of Haoyuan') is carved on one narrow side. Together with a qin-form ink cake, second half 19th century, with a seal mark, Jianyingzhai ('Studio of Appreciating Luster') at the top and a three-character mark, Taiguxin ('ancient heart'), carved in seal script and gilded in the mid section of the underside.
Ink stone: 5 7/8 in. (14.8 cm.) long; ink cake: 3 ½ in. (8.8 cm.) long
Provenance
Ink stone:
Sydney L. Moss Ltd, 1983.
Private collection, New York.
Nicholas Grindley, London, 1998.
Ink cake:
Sanuk, San Francisco.
Literature
Ink stone:
S. Moss, Documentary Chinese Works of Art in Scholars' Taste, London, 1983, p 162-3, no. 105.
S. Little, Spirit Stones of China, the Ian and Susan Wilson Collection of Chinese Stones, Paintings, and Related Scholars' Objects, Chicago, 1999, no. 64.
M. Knight, 'Scholar's Objects in the Ian and Susan Wilson Collection', Orientations, May 1999, p. 51, fig. 5.
Exhibited
Ink stone:
Brooklyn Museum, New York, 1989-1998. TL. 1989.147.13.
S. Little, Spirit Stones of China, the Ian and Susan Wilson Collection of Chinese Stones, Paintings, and Related Scholars' Objects, Chicago, 1999, no. 64.

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Lot Essay

The ink stone is modeled after a Ming dynasty qin named Tianlai, which bears the name of Sun Deng and a seal, gonghe, and is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.
http://www.dpm.org.cn/shtml/117/@/115422.html

Sun Deng, style name Gonghe, was a Daoist scholar famous for playing the one-stringed lute, who was active during the Wei dynasty of the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-265).

Jianyingzhai was the name of an ink cake shop owned by Hu Aitang, who was active during the Daoguang period (1821-1850). Another ink cake with a Jianyingzhai mark and dated to the Qing dynasty, after 1850, is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (30.76.195, Rogers Fund 1929).
http://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/view?exhibitionId=%7B0FFD4537-CC07-4067-B93F-B53755F33FA8%7D=41775

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