This piece is a late Qing Dynasty (early 1900s) Chinese Inkstone, beautifully carved from Green Duan Stone, volcanic tuff from the Guangdong Province.
Inkstones were mortar bowls for grinding and mixing of ink which was used by scholars in the art of writing and painting. This one is skillfully carved into the shape of two fish between two lily pads. The two fish represent the Chinese Buddhist Auspicious symbols for good fortune and abundance. The lotus leaves represent the Auspicious symbol for purity of body, speech and mind.
These two symbols and attributes were much appreciated by the traditional Chinese scholar.
The inkstone is encased in a custom made silk covered box. The box exhibits some wear, but the stone is in excellent condition.
Peice measures 8 x 6.5 inches, 1.75 inches high.