Four treasures of the study

The four treasures of the study are writing brush,   ink stick,  ink slab and paper .  Hui Ink Sticks,  formerly called Li Ink Sticks,  were made by Xi Chao and Xi Tinggui, ink stick makers of the tang Dynasty,  and pure in colour,  they were so appreciated by Li Yu,   an emperor of the Later tang ,  that he bestowed Xi Tinggui the imperial surname Li, and appointed him to the post of Court Ink Master. 
The ink sticks he made was thus called Li Ink Sticks,  a saying had it at that time that "It is easier to get gold than to get a Li Ink Stick".  And later , ink stick making became a popular trade in Shezhou.  After the place was renamed Huizhou,  the ink sticks made here were often referred to as Hui Ink Sticks.  With the improvement and innovation of technology,  Hui Ink Sticks have been widely loved by painters and calligraphers for their special quality:they are hard but easy to bemoistened,  black with a beautiful sheen and not sticky to a writing brush or soaking to the paper.With a favorable fragrance a brush with Hui ink moves more smoothly on paper.   Writings and paintings in this ink are pitch-dark,  ever-lasting and true in colour.  The globe Ink sticks made in Hu Kaiwen Ink Workshop won a gold medal in Panama International Fair in 1915 and thereby became world famous .  She Inkslabs , on the other hand, is one of the four most famous inkslabs ,  on the other hand ,   is one of the four most famous inkslabs .  Besides Guangdong's Duan inkslab ,   Gansu's Tao Inkslab and Shanxi's Chengni Inkslab,  She Inkslab is made out of the stone on the Dragon Tail Mountain,  Zhuchi Mountain and Xianxia Mountain within the present-day Jiangxi Province and the surrounding areas .  As Wuyuan belonged to Shezhou in the old days and as on the Dragon tail Mountain there was a stream named the Stream .  The inkslab made of the stone from these places was called She Inkslab.   The best known inkslab is cut out of the rock from the Dragon Tail mountain ,   called Dragon Tail Inkslab.  Investigations show that the geologic age of the dragon tail Mountain belongs to the Sinian Period,  which was a billion years ago.   So she Inkslabs are pure-colored,  fine-veined,  heavy and smooth,   and when rubbed with an ink stick,  no sound is produced and the ink is as thick as oil.  She Inkslab has its varieties-25 designs out of 5 classes.  Among the most valuable are Brow-veined,  Net-Veined,  Golden-Star,  silver-Star,   Golden-ring,  golden-Ribbon and Black-gold Inkslabs .  Not only do they enjoy a high quality but also exquisite designs and a fine workmanship.  The craftsmen usually carve the slabs into different designs according to the natural shapes and veins of the raw materials.  Besides round,  square,  and natural shapes,  the slabs are carved into the shapes of melons fruits fish and dragons as well as human figures which are extremely lifelike.  The "Nine Dragon inkslab",  for example ,  has 9 dragons swimming in surging waves,   with 18 shining eyes carved out of the 18 natural star-like spots on the stone.   The carving is of superb crafts-manship excelling nature.  It is thus regarded as a rare treasure.  Furthermore,  the caskets for she Inkslabs are just as exquisite,  they are usually made of pearwood or toonwood,  shaped according to the size of the slabs .  Each slab fits well into its casket so that no sound is heard when the casket is shaken .  Painted red ,  the caskets look elegant and antique.  She inkslabs were highly appraised by Oyang Xiu,  Su Shi,  Huang Tingjian,  Mi fu,  and widely loved by inkslab collectors. 

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