Dublin Core


Writing tool: ink stick and case


One rectangular black lacquered silk-lined case containing two rectangular grey ink sticks broken into two pieces. Case lid presents four gold Chinese characters 仿古藏煙 (modelled after antique inks). Left and right upper obverses present sun and clouds motifs in gold pigment. Left and right lower obverses present seven seal-script Chinese characters 雲漢常懸秦日月 (the sun and moon of Qin are eternally ascendant in the heavens) inscribed within oval borders. Left and right upper reverses present three gold Chinese characters 太素齋 (Tai Su Zhai or Taisu study) bordered by gold dragon motifs.


Rewi Alley


Tai Su Zhai was the name of Le Fangqi’s 勒方錡 (1816-1880) study and collection room. Le Fangqi was a late Qing Dynasty official who had successively been the governor of Fujian and Guizhou. A calligrapher himself, Le was fastidious with inks. He asked several ink manufacturers to customize ink for him. This ink was probably made by the Hu Kaiwen Ink Factory during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi (1860-1875). Gifted to Canterbury Museum by Alley during a visit to New Zealand in 1937. In 1956, loaned to the Rewi Alley Chinese Art and Crafts Exhibition, held at the Provincial Council Chambers, Christchurch.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Physical Dimensions

118x74x23mm (l x w x h)

Museum Ac. No.


Usage Rights

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“Writing tool: ink stick and case,” China, Art and Cultural Diplomacy, accessed September 28, 2023, http://www.rewialleyart.nz/items/show/322.