Beautifully crafted and very sculptural. This stone is a green/grey colour with traces of the black ink once ground.140mm x 200mm

The inkstone is Chinese in origin and is used in calligraphy and painting. Extant inkstones date from early antiquity in China.

The device evolved from a rubbing tool used for rubbing dyes dating around 6000 to 7000 years ago.The earliest excavated inkstone is dated from the 3rd century BC, and was discovered in a tomb located in modern Yunmeng, Hubei. Usage of the inkstone was popularized during the Han Dynasty.

Stimulated by the social economy and culture, the demand for inkstones increased during the Tang Dynasty (618–905) and reached its height in the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Song Dynasty inkstones can be of great size and often display a delicacy of carving. Song Dynasty inkstones can also exhibit a roughness in their finishing. Dragon designs of the period often reveal an almost humorous rendition; the dragons often seem to smile. From the subsequent Yuan Dynasty, in contrast, dragons display a ferocious appearance.

The Qianlong Emperor had his own imperial collection of inkstones catalogued into a twenty-four chapter compendium entitled Xiqing yanpu (Hsi-ch'ing yen-p'u). Many of these inkstones are housed in the National Palace Museum collection in Taipei.

After a long history, inkstone is no longer a simple stationery, but a set of sculpture, painting in a beautiful handicraft, become the object of collection of literati.

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