The ink stone is a Northern Song Emperor Huizong's Heavenly Daoshan Duan stone and be included in Gianguan's June 13 sale. Bidders might be wondering why the piece comes with such an incredible estimate. The craft of producing ink stones, which are the palettes artists grind and mix inks before applying them to paper or silk, was at its most impressive during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1170 A.D.) The Emperor Song Huizong was at the forefront of this dynasty. Contemporary Chinese artists today still use ink stone stones for calligraphy and the art today is still as popular as ever.

blog Emperor Huizong's Heavenly Daoshan Duan ink stone from the Northern Song period, when the making of ink stones was at its heights. Of a deep purple-brown, it is carved with a pavilion named Heavenly Daoshan.
Estimate: $85 000-$1 500 000.

The stone has deep purple-brown colour and on the underside it has a relief of a tortoise carrying a tablet. On the base is inscribed the words "By Imperial Decree: Xuan He." The estimate is $850 000-$1.5 million, although it is more likely to reach the top end of the estimate.

The sale also features a collection of both ancient and contemporary ink scroll paintings, including works by blue-chip Chinese masters such as Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), creator of the double panel "Lotus" which is estimated at $100 000-$150 000.

blog (1) Zhang Daqian's (1899-1983) "Double Lotus," a two panel ink and color on paper, signed Yuan, with three artist seals on each scroll.
Estimate: $100 000-$150 000

"Plum Blossoms", is a 14th century Yuan Dynasty work by Wang Mian. It is a rare example of a court artist breaking from tradition as it is bolder and ahead of its time. The pieces is inscribed and signed with the artist seal and has one colophon by Ji Tong. The painting also features eight Emperors' seals as well as eight Collectors seals.

Search the sale here.