Jiaqing four-character mark and of the period The ink modelled in the form of an archaistic bell, the handle formed from two opposing dragon fish at the top, the exterior with intricate chi dragon, ruyi-head and keyfret scrolls all around, one side flanked by a pair of musical stones with four-character mark, the other with a gilt three-character hall mark. 7.3cm high.
Ruan Yuan (1764-1849) was a scholar official in the Jiaqing period from Zhejiang who was appointed to the Hanlin Academy. He later became the governor and Imperial official of Guangdong province. It is said that Ruan Yuan made a set of sixty-four inkcakes Mingyuan Tu Mo, also known as 'Inkcakes with views of the Yuanmingyuan'. One of the sixty-four inkcakes bearing similarities to the current lot is now currently housed in the Anhui Provincial Museum.
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