Guardian's Tail Inkstone

c. 1850
$2,480 USD
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W: 10.5" D: 5.75" H: 4.0"
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Scholarly pursuits such as painting, calligraphy, and poetry were a highly respected and revered subculture in ancient China, and demanded their own set of tools that were not only functional, but also beautiful. One of the "Four Treasures of the Study," inkstones such as this were used to mix dry ink with water for use in calligraphy painting.

This 19th-century inkstone is guarded by a mythical fu dog lion, or shizi, depicted with open jaws and a long mane of flowing curls. Resembling a Buddhist fly whisk, the fu dog's tail lays across the inkstone and dips into the water well, mirroring the motion of a calligraphy brush. A second water well is carved in the shape of a five-petal plum blossom, an emblem of winter and a symbol of longevity.

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