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.