Footed Round Inkstone

Yuezhou ware



Artist Yuezhou ware
Period China, Sui - Tang dynasty, 7th century
Materials and techniques Celadon
Size H.8.1 MD.24.8 BD.29.9


Illustrated is a round, ceramic inkstone featuring a large space in the center for grinding the ink stick. Circling the grinding area is an indented ring which serve as the well for holding the ink. This type of ceramic inkstones, supported by many centipede-like legs, were popular in China from the Six Dynasties to the Sui and Tang Periods. The legs of this particular inkstone have been fashioned in a traditional style. Clay was rolled up into cords and pressed onto the top and bottom portions of the inkstone. The legs were then narrowed in the mid-portion and decorated with three incised lines. Compared to the other extant pieces, this inkstone shows an older style and is notable as one of the largest. The inkstone is covered on the sides with a celadon glaze of a pale reddish-yellow color, but the grinding area and the backside are unglazed. It must have been fired in layers with other vessels using numerous small supports, as there are spur marks forming a circle both on the grinding area and the backside of the inkstone. A Yuezhou ware in a broad sense of the term, it is a most excellent example of a ceramic inkstone.