Title:Ink StoneArtist:Wen Yu-yang Date:1623 (Dated by inscription)Creation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:96.68.3
The stone slabs that artists used to prepare ink were highly valued. The quarries at Hsi-hsien in Anhui province and at Tuan-chou in Kwangtung yielded fine slatelike stone that had the right porosity, hardness, and grain to make good grinding utensils. Many Ming and Ch'ing dynasty stones were embellished with carved décor. This example has a cresting wave pattern on both the top and bottom surfaces. The bottom, shown here, includes a twenty-six-character inscription carved in archaistic script followed by the date 1623, signature, and seal of Wen Yu-yang.