I have been given two lovely ink stones. I’m trying to find out what they are made of and the provinence of where the prices where made and I’d like to know how much they are worth so I may insure them.
The green one is a Songhua inkstone from Jilin province, carved by Gao Yufa 高玉发 of 紫霞堂 Zixiatang “Rosy Clouds Hall” workshop in Liaoning. This type of stone was promoted by the Qing (Manchu) emperors and also given as an official gift. Your stone in a stone box was made in this “palace style”. Songhua is a hard stone and not easily damaged, hence good to use with potentially gritty ink such as old pine soot.
The other is a Duan inkstone from Zhaoqing, Guangdong, claiming to be from 坑仔岩 “Little Pit” mine. Little Pit ranks among the top three Duanxi mines, although it had the largest output of the 3 and the stone quality varies. It was carved by 谢荣 Xie Rong after a design by 梁焕明 Liang Huanming, founder of 华兴端砚厂 Huaxing Duan Inkstone Factory.