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Sedimentary-inkstones with the Qianlong Emperor's Poems

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Format: six inkstones

Dimensions: length of box: 40 cm, width of box: 44 cm

Sedimentary-inkstones are made of mud that settled in rivers of Shanxi province. Purely for enjoyment, this set of inkstones has six shapes: round, oval, octagonal, rectangular, as well as shapes inspired by the Chinese character for wind (feng) and a traditional tile. Each inkstone has an incised poetic inscription by the Qianlong Emperor and a rose sandalwood case each with a jade inlay. On the cases, artists also carved the Qianlong Emperor's poems and gilded the characters. Both the six inkstones and their cases are placed in one Nanmu wood box.   
  In the Qing court, inkstones for enjoyment were often bestowed by the emperor. They were usually made in sets with various shapes from stone that came from Duanxi (in Guangdong province) and Shexian (in Anhui province). Thus, sedimentary-inkstones for enjoyment are rarities. Their production was highly sophisticated in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

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