Etched Stone Mortar

c. 1850
$1,480 USD
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W: 16.5" D: 16.0" H: 16.5"
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Essentially a utilitarian vessel, this mortar bears incised lines on the interior to facilitate the task of removing the outer husks from grains of rice. Yet it seems as if the Qing-dynasty artisan who carved the mortar from limestone became interested in the aesthetic potential of the lines, extending them to the exterior in a pleasing rhythmic pattern. Sculptural and textural, the mortar would look amazing planted with vines trailing down its rustic surface.

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