dish-shaped red ink cake with incised gilt dragons and 2 gilt characters at center; gilt inscription inside square on bottom; 2 rows of raised characters around edge; raised abstracted dragons around edge on bottom

Imperial Ink Cake, 1736-1795

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This rare and unusual imperial ink cake has the form and color of a shallow carved lacquer dish. Red ink was used in official court transcripts for punctuation, corrections, and imperial inscriptions. This specially commissioned cake was likely made to commemorate an important court event. The central medallion is finely worked with a pair of gilt dragons flanking a two-character inscription that reads "imperially bestowed." The cavetto bears a long seal-script inscription. The reverse is decorated with archaistic dragons and flowing pearls in low relief as well as a gilt nine-character mark that reads "Made by Wang Chin-sheng in the Chin-lung period of the great Ch'ing dynasty."

Details
Title
Imperial Ink Cake
Artist Life
active 18th century
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.154
Curator Approved

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dish-shaped red ink cake with incised gilt dragons and 2 gilt characters at center; gilt inscription inside square on bottom; 2 rows of raised characters around edge; raised abstracted dragons around edge on bottom