An Imperial inscribed 'she' inkstone with hongmu box and cover
Qianlong The smooth dark stone concaved on one end and convex on the other, the central circular cartouche with raised sides surmounted by a series of carved kaishu inscriptions ending in a two-character zhuanshu seal mark, all enclosed within a similarly shaped hongmu box and cover, plainly decorated with slightly raised enclosure and corner feet. 17cm long. (3).
Provenance 來源: Private Japanese collection
The unique shape of the current lot derives from the Shiquge, or Stone Drain Pavilion, an Imperial Han dynasty book archive that was located in the north-western corner of the Weiyang Palace of the Western Han dynasty. According to the sanfu huangtu, or the 'Imperial Maps of the Three Metropolitan Areas', the library was fitted with a special drainage system, which is formed by stone tiles of the same shape.
Compare a very similar 'she' inkstone dated to the Qianlong period from the Qing court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Four Treasures of the Study Writing Paper and Inkstones. The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2005, p.135 no.89. See also another similar example dated to the Qianlong period, illustrated in Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series. Works of Decorative Arts II, Beijing, 2003, p.221, no.254. Compare also a Qianlong inscribed piece, illustrated in the Imperial Catalogue composed in 1778, preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in The National Palace Museum's Ancient Inkstones Illustrated in the Imperial Catalogue Hsi-ch'ing yen-p'u, Taipei, 1997, p.410, pl.90.
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