QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
LENGTH (INCLUDING BOX): 11.5CM
The inkstone is carved from a single block of stone with rounded corners. One side is worked with a slightly graded depression to form an inkwell and decorated on top with a lizard emerging from a crevice. The base is carved with an inscription that reads:
飛虹飲澗 Flying Rainbow Drinking from a Gorge
東山吳竝製 Made by Wu Bing of Dongshan
The expression Feihong yin jian 飛虹飲澗 “Flying Rainbow Drinking from a Gorge” was first used by Wang Qia 王洽 (?-1629) in juan (fascicle) 2 of his compilation, the Laiqin guan xuke 來禽館續刻 (Supplementary Edition [of calligraphy] from the Attract Wild Birds Hall), a compilation of rubbings from stone engraved facsimiles of the calligraphy of the great Ming calligrapher Xing Tong 邢侗 (1551-1612):
Transcendently divine, it [Xing’s calligraphy] entered the realm of marvelous transformation. Ink washing over it dripping wet, the whole paper became alive with vitality, almost as if it were fed by a flying rainbow drinking from a gorge.
The stone is of a striated and mottled deep green tone, and rests on a shallow-footed bamboo base with a matching root cover decorated naturally with six raised rows of bamboo root nodes. The surface of the box and cover are patinated to a warm dark brown tone.