Eastern Han Dynasty Emperor Kwan -Wu「光武御製」Scripted Eagle-Shape Jade Ink-stone Drops, H.15cm, L.18cm,1000grams.

Inkstone drops are also known as water droplets or book drops. Inkstone drops are one of the most indispensable items in addition to the brush, ink, paper, and inkstone for the literati for two thousand years in Chinese history.  In the Han Dynasty, inkstone drops were mostly in the shape of turtles, snakes, bears, and sheep.  The Palace Museum in Beijing has kept a 7cm long, 5.6cm high, and 1.6cm in diameter simple and unsophisticated sheep-shaped pale-tone jade inkstone drops of the Han Dynasty.

With delicate relief carving from a gem-quality mutton fat white jade, the object has the form of inkstone drops. The outline of the motifs of this spectacular artwork is depicted in black color. Viewing the overall shape presentation, it is seen that a mother eagle which carries her child eagle on the back.  The child eagle raises its head slightly, full of the sensation of happiness. Underneath the tail of the mother eager is a standing young pixie opening the mouth on the grin, showing pitiful appearance.  The mother eagle is slightly bent back her head, staring at both the child eagle and the young pixie, to be sure that they are well cared for and undoubtedly safe.

The theme of this artwork perfectly matches the Chinese philosophy of “Care for your own aged parents and extend the same care to the aged parents of others; love your own young children and extend the same love to the children of others”( from the Mencius, King Liang-hui ). According to the Book of the Later Han, Emperor Guangwu himself admires Confucianism very much, is it possible that the theme of this artwork originated from Emperor Guangwu himself? In addition, the artistic conception is in line with Emperor Guangwu’s economic policy to pay attention to people’s livelihood and people’s rest as described in the historical records.

On the surface of the carving, it is seen that the left and right wings on both sides of the jade eagle are surrounded by the motif of dragons, furthermore highlighting the royal dignity and auspiciousness of this eagle shape inkstone drops.  As far as antiquity evidence is concerned, it has differential weathering, additive crystals, and diffusive markings with dark russet.

In terms of jade culture-related historical significance, the fork- shape tail design of this eagle- shape ink-stone drops provide an explanation to the so-called handle-shaped jade nobles from the tomb of Fuhao.  The handle is itself the tail of a mysterious bird of the Shang Dynasty as shown in the eagle- shape inkstone drops.

Above all, the scripts「光武御製」has provided the most important evidence in the authentication of this object, the font style of the Guangwu imperial inscriptions of this object is perfect matches those of the jade paperweight from The Palace Chinese Antique Jades Collection USA and two Eastern Han containers from The Rushihai collection Taiwan.  Judging from the criteria of high quality of jade, artistic elegance, and historical significance, this Eastern Han eagle-shape ink-stone drops is definitely a must item for connoisseur collectors.

Eastern Han Dynasty Bronze Container東漢光武御製玉銅壼, H.65cm, W.30cm

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東漢“Kwan-Wu-Yu-Zhi(光武御製)”, Eastern Han Dynasty, Bronze Container, H.65cm, W.30cm. 本器提樑鑲玉光武御製款青銅壼, 葫蘆結構, 提樑下端飾龍首紋, 蓋子鑲嵌青玉回紋淺浮雕, 頸部較窄, 上端鑲青玉幾何紋淺浮雕, 下端鑲嵌蕉葉形神面回紋淺浮雕, 腹部較寬, 四面鑲嵌青玉抽象神面紋淺浮雕, 底座內面有篆刻光武御製陽線銘文, 本器體形碩大, 全器鑲嵌青玉淺浮雕, 造型高雅別緻, 加以刻有光武御製落款, 堪稱尊貴致極之漢代國寶.( 台灣如是齋藏品, 陳明杰鑑賞並撰文)    dscn7322dscn7323


Eastern Han Dynasty Bronze Container, 東漢光武御製玉銅壺H.72cm, W.38cm


本器提樑鑲玉光武御製款青銅壼, 長方形立體結構, 蓋子頂端及提樑下端飾鳳鳥紋, 蓋子鑲嵌青玉神面回紋淺浮雕, 頸部較窄呈方形紡錘體, 上端鑲青玉蕉葉形神面回紋淺浮雕, 下端鑲嵌梯形神面回文淺浮雕, 腹部較寬呈正方形體, 四面鑲嵌青玉幾何紋及回文淺浮雕, 底座內面有篆刻光武御製陽線銘文, 本器體形碩大, 全器鑲嵌青玉淺浮雕, 造型別緻, 加以刻有光武御製落款, 更顯尊貴無比. (台灣如是齋藏品陳明杰鑑賞並撰文)Webp.net-gifmaker - 2020-08-08T125657.511