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New Collection in the Study_ Ancient ink

Ink is an important material for writing and painting, and its quality not only affects the artistic expression of calligraphy and painting, but also affects the preservation and dissemination of artworks. Scholars in past dynasties are good at collecting ink. Su Shi of Song Dynasty and Dong Qichang of Ming Dynasty both love collecting ink ingots. The trend of appreciating Tibetan ink in ancient times became even more prevalent during the Jiajing and Wanli periods, and groups and complete sets of ink began to appear.


Ancient ink can be divided into seven categories based on its functions: imperial ink, tribute ink, homemade ink for rare and precious purposes, ordinary writing ink, gift ink, and medicinal ink. Ink can be divided into oil smoke ink, pine smoke ink, oil pine ink, vermilion sand ink, selected smoke ink, special smoke ink, etc. Oil fume ink has a solid, delicate, and wear-resistant texture, with a shiny black color, but requires a heavy amount of glue. The characteristic of Songyan ink is that the ink color is black, but lacks luster, the glue is light and loose, and it is easy to dissolve when entering water. Good ink has the characteristics of “fine texture, light glue, black color, and clear sound”.


In terms of texture, it is important to be able to distinguish between new ink and old ink. For example, the new ink has a gray color, while the old ink is pure black and smooth, with a pure black color and a thick color sense. Old ink has its own ancient and distant fragrance, and displays a rustic color tone. New ink often has a strange smell, and when used, it often sticks to the pen. This is because the glue is too heavy. Ancient ink, due to its age, naturally fades away, so the book is smooth and the ink color is mellow. The quality of ancient ink is as firm as jade, with a hairline on the surface, displaying a strong and powerful spirit; The color is black and purple, and the hand is heavy. Looking at the lacquer skin on the surface of ancient Chinese ink, the older the time, the thicker the lacquer skin appears, and presents snake skin fracture patterns, which are very similar to the lacquer skin fracture patterns on ancient qin. It is also like ancient porcelain, with patterns that do not crack, hidden between the lacquer skin, and emitting a blue glow. There are no snake skin fracture patterns on modern imitation patent leather, only fracture patterns.

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