flat circular covered box with squared off sides; lacquered organic motif at top and sides of cover, band of similar design carried through to base edge; brown lacquer ground, black interior

Inkstone with Fitted Box, early 19th century

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One of the more unusual uses of lacquer during Ming and Qing was the production of inkstones. This circular stone has the right texture and porosity to make a good grinding utensil yet it is lighter and easier to carry than a stone or ceramic version. The circular cover of the fitted box is decorated with the "filled-in and engraved-gold" technique (tianqi). It displays ginkgo leaves, longan berries, cherries, and lychee on top with a more formal lotus scroll motif decorating its side register. All of these auspicious plants are outlined in gold and the general style can be seen as a revival of the Wanli period (1573-1619). The bottom of the base bears the mark of Lu Tong, a late eighteenth-early nineteenth-century lacquer artist.

Details
Title
Inkstone with Fitted Box
Artist Life
active late 18th -early 19th century
Role
Artist
Accession Number
97.87.4a-c
Curator Approved

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flat circular covered box with squared off sides; lacquered organic motif at top and sides of cover, band of similar design carried through to base edge; brown lacquer ground, black interior