The Northern Song used the Duan variety of ink stone, carved and engraved in a volcanic rock of deep purple-brown color mined in southern China near Guangdong. The ink stone is a work of art that contributes to the refinement of the writing operation. Calligraphy is very active during the reign of the Huizong emperor, 900 years ago.
On June 13 in New York, Gianguan Auctions sells a Duan ink stone from Huizong time. It is estimated in excess of $ 850K, lot 282 on the bidding platforms LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable.
The instrument is rectangular, 32 cm long. The ink pool occupies the lower half of the instrument which is adorned with a deeply carved imperial pavilion in the upper part. The underside is illustrated with a turtle carrying a tablet.