Lot 696
  • 696

A RARE INSCRIBED 'HETU LUOSHU' 'DUAN' INKSTONE QING DYNASTY |

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 USD
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Description

  • Diameter 11 in., 28 cm
of circular form with a slightly concave ink platform encircled by a channeled ring, the exterior walls with a poetic inscription in raised seal script with an incised circular seal, Wangshi yuanxiang zhencang ('treasure of the Wang clan'), the countersunk base centered by a Hetu Luoshu diagram surrounded by three striding dragons against a stippled ground, zitan cover and stand (3)

Catalogue Note

The Hetu Luoshu ('river diagram and luo writing') is a cosmogram that was employed in ancient China for divination and political assurances. Its origins are obscure, however scholars believe the practice was employed before the Han period. Han and Song dynasty scholars believed the cosmograms had links to the origins of Chinese writing and mathematics, and Song dynasty philosopher Zhu Xi discusses the system in the Yijing (Book of Changes). Benjamin A. Elman states that the 'reevaluation of traditional cosmograms (tu) as mensural models for numbers (Hetu) and mathematics (Luoshu) was part of the return to antiquity (fugu) favored by Qing evidential scholars,' in On Their Own Terms: Science in China 1550-1900, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2005, p.197.
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