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ink-stone

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.261

  • Description

    Longquan stoneware octagonal inkstone with eight feet. The inkstone has translucent grey-green glaze. There is one of the Eight Trigrams in relief on each of the eight sides, and an unglazed circular panel on the top surrounded by a glazed trough. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1372
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 40 millimetres
    • Diameter: 135 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        洪武五年
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Hongwu wu nian
      • Inscription Translation

        Fifth year of Hongwu
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Honwu 1372 ADRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 261

    Ink stone with inscription


    This celadon glazed octagonal ink stone stands on eight feet. On each side is one of the 八卦 (ba gua ‘Eight Trigrams’) in relief. These are arguably the most familiar symbols associated with Daoism. Trigrams which are made up of combinations of three broken and unbroken parallel lines, are the basis for the 64 hexagrams of the 已經 (Yi Jing Book of Changes). The eight trigrams can be doubled up to create 64 hexagrams which are in turn interpreted to make sense of the world, its history and its future. Unbroken trigram lines are considered to represent the masculine陽 (yang) element and broken lines the feminine 陰 (yin) element. On the base there is an incised four-character inscription beneath the glaze which reads 洪武五年(Hongwu wu nian ‘Fifth year of Hongwu’ [AD 1372]).


    Stoneware, porcelain-type, with celadon glaze
    Longquan ware龍泉窯
    Longquan region, Zhejiang province 浙江省, 龍泉地區
    Ming, Hongwu reign, dated equivalent to AD 1372

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  • Bibliography

    • Hobson 1934 p. 38, pl. XXXVII(a) bibliographic details
    • Medley 1977 p.32, no.95 bibliographic details
    • Riddell 1979 p.41, no.10 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1997 p.42, no.261 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case5/sh3

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.261

Longquan stoneware octagonal inkstone with eight feet. The inkstone has translucent grey-green glaze. There is one of the Eight Trigrams in relief on each of the eight sides, and an unglazed circular panel on the top surrounded by a glazed trough. There is an inscription on the base.

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Object reference number: RRC38678

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