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Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Florence and Herbert Irving Gift

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New York

TWO MOLDED AND INSCRIBED INK CAKES
QING DYNASTY
the rectangular ink cake molded on one side with a baluster jar positioned atop a platform representing Mount Heng surrounded by a roiling sea, 'precious dew' rising from the mouth of the jar, the reverse molded and gilt with a 58-character inscription, the side molded with a 15-character inscription attributing it to the wuchen year of the Kangxi reign, corresponding to 1688; the hexagonal-section 'dragon and phoenix' ink cake molded in high relief with a four-clawed dragon and a phoenix soaring towards one another, their bodies energetically twisting mid-flight, inscribed long xiang feng wu ('dragon soars, phoenix dances') on one side, and Hu Kaiwen jianzhi ('supervised by Hu Kaiwen) on another side (2)
Length of longer 8 3/8  in., 21.2 cm
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Provenance

The rectangular ink cake:
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York, 9th April 1983.
Collection of Florence (1920-2018) and Herbert (1917-2016) Irving, no. 878.

The 'dragon and phoenix' ink cake:
Spink & Son, London, 2nd February 1987.
Collection of Florence (1920-2018) and Herbert (1917-2016) Irving, no. 1861.

Exhibited

The 'dragon and phoenix' ink cake:
Chinese Works of Art from the Scholar's Study: Exhibition and Sale, Spink & Son, New York, 1986, cat. no. 102.

Literature

The rectangular ink cake:
Soame Jenyns, Chinese Art: The Minor Arts II, New York, 1965, pl. 212.
Soame Jenyns, Chinese Art III, New York, 1982, pl. 212. 

Chinese Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Florence and Herbert Irving Gift

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New York