I was given this beautiful ink stone yesterday – at least I think it is an ink stone. I was hoping someone who understands Chinese could translate the info card for me. I’m hoping it’s a Duan ink stone, as it comes from Guangdong region where it is mined. But as you will see from the pictures, it’s no ordinary piece.
It is indeed a Duan inkstone, although I think the design is more decorative than practical.
– Certificate for collectible Duan inkstone
Name: Guangdong Museum collection, “Canals in Precious Stone” or something of the like
Mine: Songkeng “Song dynasty mine”
Measurements: 15x15x4 (cm)
Production supervisor: Guangdong Provincial Museum
Design: Chengliang’s Inkstone Workshop
Production: Chengliang’s Inkstone Workshop
Year of production: 2009
Stone characteristics: pig-liver red, colored bands, moist, fine, dense and solid.
“Song mine” stone was discovered in the Song dynasty (duh), and is a type of Duan inkstone. It’s mined on the north bank of Xijiang River, across the river from where the most famous stones are (were) mined. The name actually refers to a production area rather than a single mine, so there’s quite a lot of variety under the name.
Googling around, “Chengliang’s inkstone workshop” was founded by a Cheng Zhenliang, but this stone was apparently made by an unnamed craftsperson.