The Dragons, Turtle and Winged Horse Ink Stone, Double Sided
An unusual ink stone from the Guandong region of China. This hand carved double sided piece has a pair of dragons chasing the flaming pearl on the top of the well side and on the other, a single high relief turtle sits below an inscribed plaque (with calliraphy) on the turtles back - against a stylised wave background The sides of this oval ink stone are decorated with winged horses. Nowadays this can be used as a decorative piece, or in the office/study for small items such as clips/stamps or what ever needs a home. Or it can be used for it's original purpose, to grind colour sticks for Chinese painting.
Brown/grey colour and weighs approximately 5lbs.
L8.75", W5.5", H2". Condition very good, a couple of very small nicks on edge. See photographs.
Further reading: Ink stones, were originally created in the Han dynasty & emerged with the creation of ink sticks. Chinese paintings and calligraphy, either on paper or silk, are generally produced with a water-based ink created from grinding the ink with a stone and water - such as this one. Ink stones are usually made of fine-grained whetstone like slate. During the Tang and Song dynasties, the ink stone became more than just a utilitarian object – it was an important work of art.
Ink stones are decorated with images of scholars or references to famous literary works in order to inspire intellectuals. They are revered for the manner in which the stone collaborates with the ink-stick and water to create the perfect ink texture.
Ink stones were considered the most important and even the very soul of a scholar.