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Black lacquer box with set of 12 ink cakes (detail)

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Black lacquer box with set of 12 ink cakes (detail)
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The top of this lacquered box bears an inscription which is flanked by two five-clawed dragons. Both the design and the inscription are inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

The inscription reads, "The Imperial Poems on Flowers". This is the title for all the moulded floral designs and inscriptions on the 12 ink cakes.

During the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), imperial ink cakes were produced at the palace workshops. There were also special commissions from famous ink makers in other regions, particularly in Huizhou of the Anhui province.

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