HU, Kaiwen. Decorative Chinese ink cakes. Huangshan, China: Hu Kaiwen Ink Factory, circa 1870-1920. 18 gilt-decorated pictorial ink cakes, set into original double-tray blue cloth folding case, bone clasps, original paper cover label.
Wonderful collection of 18 mid-19th century Hu Kaiwen ink cakes, produced from the original moulds, commemorating the “Luohan” (worthy ones) Buddha’s 18 disciples who were told to remain on earth “to save the world.” Each bears a gilded bas relief image of a given Luohan, with his description in Chinese molded on the verso and with “Hu Kaiwen zhi” on the edge.
Condition: No issues, wear indicative of age and use.