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Chinese Brass Traveling Ink Box for Scholars, Qing

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All Items: Archives:Regional Art:Asian:Chinese: Pre 1900: item # 1131623

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418
203-929-7312

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Chinese Brass Traveling Ink Box for Scholars, Qing
The top of this round brass ink box is nicely engraved with a figure harvesting in a landscape that features a large banana tree. 19th century, Qing period. The fitted inkstone inside the cover is original. The bottom section of the box is lined in copper, and its copper base is unmarked.

These tightly-fit boxes were used by scholars when they traveled so they could paint and do calligraphy. Cotton was placed in the bottom of the box and water was dripped into it. This provided the moisture necessary to make ink on the stone when an inkstick was ground onto it. It was also possible to create ink directly on the stone and store it in the bottom of the box. Gentlemen-scholars were known as literati, and items for the scholar’s desk were highly regarded by China’s elite.

CONDITION is excellent.

DIMENSIONS: 2 7/8” (7.4 cm) diameter; 1 1/8” (2.9 cm) high.



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