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Inkstones in the Qing Dynasty

The Qing Dynasty (1616–1911) was a glorious period of inkstone production. Inkstones of various styles were made. Inkstone carving centers were set up all over Beijing, Guangdong, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, etc. The inkstone production industry was blooming with the emergence of different schools. At that time, inkstones were mainly used for viewing, and inkstone carving was highly valued. As a result, there was a large variety of stones for inkstone production and styles of carving, exceeding the practical use of stationary aids.

When Qianlong Emperor ruled, he was fond of antiques. Apart from setting up inkstone workshops in the palace, he also collected exquisite inkstones from different places. The illustrations on the inkstones at the time were rich in content, such as animals and plants, scenery, historical stories, monumental carving, calligraphy and the designs were sophisticated. The art in inkstone carving was greatly enhanced.

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