QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY, DATED TO 1796
HEIGHT (INCLUDING BASE): 21CM
The resonant black lingbi stone is suffused with white veining. The side of the stone is inscribed with the following characters:
|乾隆丙辰歲日||Dated the first day of the bingchen year of Qianlong [9 February 1796]|
|曼生藏石||Stone in the collection of Mansheng|
This bingchen year was officially a Jiaqing era year and not Qianlong, though people continued to use Qianlong even after the Qianlong emperor abdicated. Chen Mansheng 陳曼生, also known as Chen Hongshou 陳鴻壽 (1768-1822), sobriquet Mansheng, was a well-known teapot engraver as well as an engraver on metal and stone.
The stone rests on a Suzhou-style wooden stand.
The interior cover of the piece’s Japanese box identifies the rock in the former collection of Kano- Tessai 加納鉄哉 (1845-1925), who was one of the greatest wood carver and netsuke makers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He named the rock 机上雲根 ‘Cloud Root for the Table Top.’ A cloud root is a rare rock from the top of some cloud enshrouded mountain. He further writes a poem in Japanese, in which is parsed into Chinese and translated as:
|乙卯老鶯鳴||The year itsub␣ and the old warbler still sings, [the cyclical characters yimao/itsub date corresponds to 1915]|
|千秋觴叫來||So bring me my thousand autumns wine cup!|
|著於浪華。||Composed at Naniwa [old name for Osaka]|
|唯我獨尊庵主。||[Signed] "Master of the I Alone Am Honoured Hermitage"|
|鉄哉館藏||Collection of Tessai|
‘I Alone Am Honoured’ was said by Sh␣kyamuni at the time of his birth; Tessai’s ‘hermitage,’ is his studio, which was located in Nara.
Chen Mansheng 陳曼生 (1768-1822)
Kano- Tessai 加納鉄哉 (1845-1925)