A RARE IMPERIAL INSCRIBED DUAN INK STONE
A RARE IMPERIAL INSCRIBED DUAN INK STONE
A RARE IMPERIAL INSCRIBED DUAN INK STONE
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A RARE IMPERIAL INSCRIBED DUAN INK STONE

QIANLONG YUMING MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A RARE IMPERIAL INSCRIBED DUAN INK STONE
QIANLONG YUMING MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
Of oval shape, the ink stone is carved with a smooth grinding surface with an olive-green ‘eye’, the crescent-shaped ink well surrounded by bosses in imitation of a drum, further carved with pairs of confronting chilong on top and below. The reverse is carved with a sunken medallion enclosing a horse-like mythical animal with two horns on the back in relief. The sides are carved with an inscription ending with Qianlong yuming ‘Imperially inscribed by Qianlong’, followed by two seals guxiang ‘fragrance of antiquity’ and taipu ‘unassuming’.
5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm.) long
Provenance
The Tsui Museum of Art

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Priscilla Kong
Priscilla Kong

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Lot Essay

An almost identical ink stone with the same decoration and inscription is illustrated in Xiqing Yanpu ‘A Compendium of the Qianlong Emperor’s Imperial Ink Stone Collection’ (fig. 1). The description of the ink stone in Xiqing Yanpu states that the mythical animal depicted on the back is feihuang, who submitted itself to the legendary Yellow Emperor. The Yellow Emperor was credited to the creation of the ‘drum chariot’, which could effectively measure the distance a chariot had travelled. Hence the drum-shaped surface and feihuang motif depicted on this ink stone are symbolic of the Qianlong Emperor’s reverence for antiquities and the fabled Yellow Emperor.
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