22 March 2012
A VERY RARE DARK GREY DUAN STONE MOUNTAIN-FORM INK PALETTE
LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
In the shape of a mountain with three deep recesses, carved in low relief on one side with a scholar in one of several dwellings nestled amidst trees that continue up the mountain side, around one end and along the front below a horizontal plateau that forms the ink-grinding surface of irregular rectangular shape, with an inscription followed by a seal, Ruan An zhi yin, inscribed on a rock face on the reverse
15 3/8 in. (39 cm.) long, wood stand
Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1984.
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Emperor, Scholar, Artisan, Monk, Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1984, pp. 210-11, no. 74.
No other inkstone of this very rare shape and size appears to have been published, and based on the decoration it must be unique.
The inscription may be translated, 'Using Duanxi stone I cut and polished this picture of the Baimei yinguan (The Hundred Prunus Meditation Hall).' Ruan An was the daughter of Ruan Yuan (1764-1849), a scholar-official during the Qianlong period. Ruan An was supposed to have composed a poem titled, 'The Hundred Prunus Meditation Hall,'
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