ink stick

Hexagonal moulded ink stick decorated with dragon and phoenix in relief round the exterior. Gilt inscriptions on top of 'long xiang feng wu', literally means dragon soaring, phoenix dancing. The ink maker's name is on reverse top: 'Hu Kai-wen jian zhi', 'Production supervised by Hu Kai-wen'. Raised inscriptions of a studio name on top of the ink stick: 'Cang Pei Shi mo', 'Ink of Green Jade Studio'.

Hu Kai-wen, active 1782-1800, original name Hu Zheng, was a famous ink maker from Anhui province. He took over an ink-making business from his father-in-law Wang Qi-mao in 1782, and changed his name to Hu Kai-wen. Hu's family ink shop remained in business until the 20th century and was awarded in the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. In late 19th century Hu's family ink shop opened a branch shop in Sichuan, Rev Davidson probably bought this box of ink sticks there.

Collection Information

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