The Inkstone of Shexian

 

The Inkstone of Shexian    One of the Four Famous Inkstones--Shexian inkstone is with strong quality, the meticulous ripples, useful to the brush and stored water, fine carvings, made peculiar shape, beautiful and useful, so it is well known all over the country and the world, and won the highest praise by the famous writers and calligraphers of successive dynasties. The Shexian Inkstone Factory is the special factory of making the Shexian inkstone.
    The Shexian ink-stone chooses the stone material from the Long Weishan (the dragon tails mountain) at Wuyuan Xian, Jianxi province. It is said that long before, there was a hunter, named Ye, when he was pursuing and capturing an animal, he found of the stone materials. When the  foot of the Longwei mountains are covered with the colorful clouds curling up its top just like covered a quilt, to the two side, there is a curl of white clouds floating on them, its shape just like a walking dragon.

   People always thought of the dragon as the luck, they dug at the dragon's tail in which they got a rare Golden Inkstone. The hunter carried the stone material back home, and then it was carved by the skilled worker. Passed through many hands or places the stone material went to the officer of Shexian, which made the official paid much attention. According to the researching materials this was the time of the Kaiyuang period of Tang Dynasty.

   In the South Tang Dynasty, King Yuan, Lijing was good at the calligraphy and praised the Shexian Inkstone, and advanced (to a higher place or rank) the inkstone worker Li Changwei as the inkstone officer with the duty of managing the inkstone business and making the inkstone for the palace. From then on Shexian Inkstone was famous all over the world, and together with the Cheng Xingtang's paper, Li Tinggui's ink stone's ink and Wang Beli's brush were called the four treasures of the study (writing brush, inkstick, inkslab and paper) favor over the literary circles.

   Although the inkstone was prized as the palace treasure, it was prized by the writers and calligraphers. The calligraphers CaiXian in Song Dynasty regarded the Shexian inkstone worth several cities, to compose the poem:

    The jade quality with fine ripples, gone out the spearhead, the ink is silence to do its best; Xiangru hearing this, he got away with the ink, and asked the Qing Country, to change it with fifteen cities.

    The great painter Mishi had said, in the  The History of Shexian Inkstone , the characteristic of Shexian inkstone was,  the golden Shexian inkstone of the Song Dynasty, its quality is good and strong. If you gave a puff on it, it'll grow the clouds, stored the water not dry, and if wrote on the paper which is brilliant and bright.  The Shexian inkstone's quality is fine, and it contains the spearhead, making ink's color smooth and brilliant, not destroying the brush-peak, and making the ink not dry. So the Late King of the South Tang, Liyu admired the inkstone, and said,  The dragon tail's Shexian inkstone has the best quality of the world.   The famous writer and literator, Ou Yangxiu, in Song Dynasty, had said, the inkstone score  The dragon tail inkslab is from Tunxi . He thought of the Shexian inkstone was better than the Down inkstone.  To praise the Shexian inkstone with high praising and admiring, it is the natural quality, no light, no rush, just like a gentleman. The shining sunlight is bright. The blue clouds colorful brilliant inkstone is better than the Duan inkstone.

   Besides these, the Shexian inkslab is also rare beautiful for its peculiar style. For a piece of clouds and water surrounding the moon inkstone, the whole inkslab face is about twelve inch long, and the upper part's clouds, frosts, and golden star are natural growing up. A set of floating clouds surrounding the moon, the bright moon just like a plate brilliant without any dust, the floating clouds are flying over. And the sky is high; the clouds are light. Under it there are the waves running high, and the tide is a rushing current. And the whirling pool returns back the reef and rock dotted somewhere, appearing and disappeared. Suddenly, there are some petrels swept the night sky, flied through the stone woods and spoondrifts. The artist carved at the bottom side the standing cliff, the high pitons and along the natural shaped winding upright from near to far away the sky and the sea mixed in a body. And with the golden ripples on the inkslab are combined naturally, giving us a water and frost raised jumping up' feeling in our mind. And  The Welcoming Gusts Pine ,  The Autumn Melon and Singing Birds ,  The Goddess of the moon flying to the moon ,  The Lotus Leaves and the Frog ,  The Ancient Coins  are more finer things, with life-look bearing.

   Since the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, the Shexian inkslab carving is simple and honest, unadorned beautiful and experts. The lines are tall, graceful and with kinds of the flowers particularly. It is well known all over the world on its usefulness and simplicity. According to the record, Tangxuan Zong at the Kaiyuan period had granted the officials with the Shexian inkslabs once. Tangxuan Zong had granted the inkslab to the Zhongshu Shilang, Zhang Wenwei a piece of golden star  Dragon and the Chinese Unicorn Moon Shaped Inkslab . It with fine carving, and made the dragon's majestic appearance on the inkslab having the artist expression at that time was read with admiration by people all over the world. Mishi had a piece of inkslab of Shexian, which was about over a ruler, square. In front of the inkstone carved about 36 peaks, big ones and small ones were mixed on them, and spreaded to the side. In the middle of it was carved an ink pond, the green water of the pond with ripples on it and full of wit and humor. He unexpectedly gave the inkslab changed the Su Zhongong's magnificent mansion. Now the Shexian inkslab has been several times regarded as the  National Treasure , and giving to the foreign guests.

   Another fine characteristic of the Shexian inkslab is that the inkslab boxes are made up with the padauk, pear tree, and red tree of Heaven Gingo. All these bodiless lacquer wares are made up with a box, carved with letters or engraved on one's mind sometimes written with the seal character or the official script of the running hand in Chinese (calligraphy), antique and elegant. The inkslab box is smooth just like a jade, and clear as a mirror, and together with the inkslab are shining more brilliantly in the other company. It is really to add flowers to the brocade-make perfection.