Used for grinding ink sticks to make ink for painting and calligraphy. These two palettes were fashioned on the potter’s wheel from dense, thick porcelain. The upper surface is left unglazed for ink grinding. The circular grinding area is slightly concave and is surrounded by a channel for water used in the ink-making process. Both are incised with a design of stylized bats encircling the perimeter of the body and glazed with a deep, vibrant cobalt blue. The buses and footrings are unglazed exposing the dense porcelain body, oxidized in places to a pale orange tone. Both pieces have old damages to the foot area, some of which have been repaired. The damages in both cases appear to have occurred in the firing process possibly from pieces of fired clay that adhered to the footring and were chipped off after removal from the kiln. The palettes are heavy and both sit flat on the table. Although they show evidence of their use and age, they are fully usable today.
Diameter: 4 7/8 in.; Height: 1 1/8 in. and 1 1/16 in.