|DESCRIPTION: A fine and very sculptural Chinese Duan ink stone in the form of a bell with a deeply carved water well on one end, and a flaring flat surface on the other for mixing ink. The stone is raised on two elongated prong feet, between which is a five character inscription. Worth noting is the attractive coloring of the stone, best described as a plumb or eggplant color mixed with dashes of scattered sea-green inclusions, often called “eyes.” CONDITION: One tiny chip on raised lip at bottom left; overall silky smooth surface with signs of light usage. DIMENSIONS: 8.25" long (21 cm) x 5" wide (12.7 cm) x 1.75" high (4.5 cm).
ABOUT INK STONES: One of the four treasures of the Chinese scholar's studio, the ink stone was revered as the soul of the scholar's implements. Duan stone is a favored stone for making ink slabs in China and is so named because the Duanxi River runs at the foot of Mount Fuke, where the stone is found. Said to be the best stone for making ink slabs, the stone is hard, fine and even in texture. Its surface allows ink to be easily ground, and the ink does not dry quickly.