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Molded ink in yellow
Overall: 9.6 x 4.8 cm (3 3/4 x 1 7/8 in.)
Gift of Henry W. Kent 1942.215.6
This is one of ten ink cakes of different shapes and colors stored in an exquisite lacquer box. Each is inscribed in gold with a poem by the Qianlong emperor, praising the ten famous sights of the Westlake in Hangzhou, near Shanghai. The Westlake is famous for its natural beauty; it was a favorite imperial destination and remains a tourist attraction today.
Ink cakes (also called ink sticks) are dissolved with the addition of water and ground on the surface of a flat stone into liquid ink for painting and calligraphy. The precious ink cakes here, however, have never been used.
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