Antique Chinese Ink Stones – History

Antique Chinese Ink Stones - History

Chinese ink-stone! what is it? It is literally a mortar for grinding and containing ink. Or you could say an artists mixing palette for ink. It evolved from a tool for rubbing dyes, around 7000 years ago. The Chinese ink was solidified into a stick or round ink-cake, which were then gradually ground down on the surface of the stone using a circular movement and with the addition of water from a water dropper which controlled the amount of water. The ink that was produced from this went into the ink-stones reservoir, until enough ink had been produced for the task at hand.

V.I.P Jiu 8 – The Imperial Craft Baijiu
V.I.P Jiu 8 – The Imperial Craft Baijiu

By mixing ink with different amounts of water, the artist or calligrapher could create different density’s of ink and numerous shades of black and grey.

It is Chinese in origin, and ink-stones have been excavated from tombs dated to the 3rd century BC.

They became popular during the Han dynasty (221 – 206 BC) and demand for them increased during the Tang dynasty (618- 907) and reached their height by the Song dynasty (960 – 1279). The ink-stone was considered the very heart of the scholars studio and were selected with great care, and are adorned with elaborate symbols. Most ink-stones are rectangular or round, but there are exceptions to this. Also most are made from stone, but there are also some made from other materials. They are usually dark in colour and quite unassuming to the eye, but the ink-stone was know as one of the four precious things in the scholars studio.

Shades Of Black

25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
25ml of dark rum
25ml of black liqueur
Coca-cola
3 ice cubes
1 black cherry

Put everything except the coca cola and cherry into a cocktail shaker and shake to mix, strain into a cocktail glass and top up with coca-cola then garnish with cherry.

Chinese Antique Valuations And Appraisals

Do you own a piece of Chinese porcelain or an oriental work of art that you would like to know more about, such as age, history and value?

Then you should really consider using our Chinese Antique Valuation Service as the last thing you want to do is risk under selling the piece due to lack of knowledge or ill gotten advice.