green stone; rectangular with rounded edges; sunken water pool and relief design of peach with 3 leaves on waves on front; inscription and 2 imperial seals on back

Imperial Ink Stone, 1662-1722

Sung-hua stoneexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.36.7

G217expand_more

Sung-hua stone from Chi-lin, with its typical green tone, was reserved almost exclusively for imperial use during the K'ang-hsi (1662-1723), Yung-cheng (1723-35), and Ch'ien-lung (1736-95) periods. The reverse of this horizontally striated ink stone has a brief engraved couplet written in the hand of the K'ang-hsi emperor. It reads: "used in tranquility this inkstone will last many lifetimes." The poem is followed by two rectangular seals of the K'ang-hsi emperor. The obverse is carved in relief with the design of a leafy peach floating upon waves. The peach is carved out as the "water pool" for the ink to collect in. The two most noteworthy carvers of ink stones in the K'ang-hsi imperial ateliers were Chin Tien-yang and Ku Kung-wang, one of whom likely carved this fine stone. It was customary for imperial artisans to remain anonymous, and all imperial Sung-hua ink stones are unsigned.

Details
Title
Imperial Ink Stone
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.36.7
Curator Approved

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green stone; rectangular with rounded edges; sunken water pool and relief design of peach with 3 leaves on waves on front; inscription and 2 imperial seals on back