Jade ink stick rest of scroll form with coin carving

China, Qing dynasty, 18th – 19th century

Length: 3 3/4 inches, 9.5 cm
Width: 1 1/2 inches, 3.8 cm
Height: 1 1/8 inch, 3 cm

A jade ink stick rest of rectangular shape with a flat surface and scroll ends. One end is extended and curled back. The flat surface is carved with a central coin pattern in openwork. The jade is well polished and is predominantly of whitish-green colour with a yellowish hue.

This ink stick rest is a fine example for the beautiful quality of the white jade and the exquisite carving. It is carved from a whole piece of jade, which is a lavish way of using this precious material. The shape of this ink stick rest reminds one of Ming furniture; the fashion of re-inventing antique pieces for the scholar’s desk was very popular during the Qing dynasty. A Qing dynasty ink stick rest in jade, comparable in the scroll-end shape and with low-relief carving in lotus pattern, is in the Qing Court collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing. [1]

Provenance: the collection of Richard Drew

  1. Gugong Museum, Yuqi (Jadeware) Complete Collection of Treasures Gugong, Volume II, Shanghai, 1996, no. 176, p. 216