Archives for posts with tag: inkstone

figurineL160xD100xH120mm, China

A Shi Wan figurine of a gentlemen admiring a piece of inkstone, on the bench is an armrest for calligraphy.  He is Su Dong Po, a very known scholar of the Sung dynasty, also well known is the recipe for double cooked pork belly.  Amongst the inkstone collectors, Dong Po is a inkstone fanatic and his dispersed collection is well thought after by many today.

A good sword is well treasured by a martial artist, like a mirror to a beauty and an inkstone for a calligrapher.   When Dong Po was a boy, he found a green piece of stone which is perfect for testing ink, realizing its a rare find his father had it made into an inkstone for his son.  Dong Po had it by his side throughout his career and treasured it so much that he inscribed a piece of writing on the back of the stone, the famous “sky stone”.  Knowing of his hobby, the emperor also rewarded him with other good pieces of inkstones.

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W185xL280xH45mm, China

A wooden box that contain a piece of stone.  A stone that is used for grinding the ink bar – an inkstone.

A little water is added from the water drip onto the inkstone, one can still starting grinding the ink.  In a small circular movement while keeping the ink still perpendicular to the stone, slowing the ink is dissolved.  Though the inkstone has a very smooth surface, under the microscope this surface is in fact saw like, able to fine grind the inkstone.


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The inkstone is carved out from a single piece of stone and this detail is carried through to the case which is also carved out from a single piece of wood.

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L170xW120xH20mm, China

The plum blossom has been an object of admiration by the scholars of China.  Along with the orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo, the 4 gentlemen plants have been a constant subject for artistic creation from poem, verses to painting and carvings.  Each of the 4 are given an individual personality; the plum blossom – noble arrogance, orchid – eternal elegance, chrysanthemum – cool glamour, bamboo – humble but dignify.

The inkstone being a treasured item of a traditional scholar is a place to be decorated.

Now, nothing to do with noble arrogance but isnt he the sweetest … with the plum blossoms on his head.

DIA230xH30mm, China

Yan, inkstone is one of the 4 stationary treasures of China, i.e., brush, ink, inkstone, paper.  The main function of the inkstone is for grinding the ink stick in preparation for the ink.  Before the inventory of inkstone, people would getting the pigment directly from the ink stick, this however is very restrictive in the size of the calligraphy word or painting, the brush would have ran out of ink when writing bigger size word.  To over come this problem, in Shang dynasty (17th century BC), flat and hard object (stone, bronze, jade, iron, brick) would be used for ink grinding.  Stone is the far most popular and liked material for inkstone, the stone type are also very selective.  This inkstone is a more utilitarian type, having no carving and the addition of a spout, its is most probably used to make a large quantity of ink for task like wood block printing.