A rare Imperial inscribed 'Songhua' inkstone and two-part dual-colored duan or slate box and cover
The inkstone inscribed with a nineteen character poetic inscription followed by the designation Qianlong Yu Ming and Imperial seal
5 1/4 x 3 13/16 inches
The small rectangular inkstone of attractive striated green color, one side with shallow impression below a relief-carved and hollowed depiction of a pomegranate, all below a stepped edge, the reverse side with a wider stepped edge centered by the inscription and seal, the two-part dual-colored duan or slate box and cover, carved and pierced with stylized scroll borders in layers of green and slate-brown stone.
The nineteen character inscription reads: 'Chu Tian Han Sheng Yu Ying Zhu Wei Yan Chun Cui Jing Che Ji Li Zhao Lu Sheng Cheng', followed by 'Qianlong Yu Ming' and the seal 'Ji Xia Yi Qing'
This can be translated as: 'The stone is from the Heavens, better than jade, engraved inkstone, pure and succinct', followed by 'Qianlong inscribed' and the seal 'Joyful emotion after Emperor's work'
For an extremely similar type of Songhua inkstone with two-part box and cover, see Kangxi, Emperor de Chine, 1662-1722, La Cite interdite a Versailles, Musee national du chateau de Versailles, 2004, p. 70, cat. 19.