Jun 23, 2015
Jun 23, 2015
Jun 24, 2015
Jun 24, 2015

Imperially Commissioned Set of Ink Sticks with Images and Poems of Famous West Lake Sites

Imperially Commissioned Set of Ink Sticks with Images and Poems of Famous West Lake Sites



Part of a set. See all set records

Molded ink in yellow, blue, black, green, red, brown, white, and gold

Average: 3.9 x 8.3 cm (1 9/16 x 3 1/4 in.)

Gift of Henry W. Kent 1942.215

Did you know?

The inscription in mother-of-pearl inlay on the box’s cover says: Imperially Made Gold Inscribed Poems of Images of [the Ten] Sights of the Westlake.


Each ink stick depicts one of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake on one side, and a corresponding imperial poem on the other, composed on emperor Qianlong’s fifth southern inspection tour in 1780. Notably, the ink sticks’ colors and shapes correspond with the poems’ respective content.

An inscription on one ink stick identifies this set as a gift to the emperor by Jiang Lan, an official from Anhui, a province known for its excellence in ink, paper making, and printing. Imperial records note that 10 more sets of West Lake inks were presented as a tribute by Gioroi Giking (Chinese: Jueluo Jiqing, 1753–1802), a Zhejiang provincial governor and a bannerman (Manchu native).

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