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Four Treasures of the Study

◆Writing Brush
The earliest writing brush that has been discovered is a cultural relic of the Warring States Period (476 BC- 221 BC). From that time onwards, the brush has evolved into a lot of forms. The nib can be made from rabbit's hair, wool, horsehair, weasel's hair, or bristles, etc; and the shaft could possibly be produced from bamboo, ivory, jade, crystal, gold, silver, porcelain, sandal, ox horn, etc. It's crucial to see that there may be both soft and hard brushes each single generating their very own certain types.
 
The delicacy gives liberators and painters inspiration for creation, and has led to brush shafts becoming decorated with artistic patterns. One particular prized example was an ivory-weasel's hair writing brush. On the ivory shaft together with the diameter of 0.8 cm, there carved eight figures of the immortals and pavilions concealed seemingly inside the clouds. With this in one's hand, the threads of writing would hardly halt.
 
 ◆Ink Stick
A superb ink stick should be ground so as to become refined black with luster. With the invention of paper, they had been enhanced accordingly. From the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220), ink sticks happen to be made from pine soot, using other procedures that include mixing with glue, steaming and molding. In ancient times, emperors such Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) had paid excellent attention to the production of ink sticks and were expert in their appreciation of quality inks.
 
 ◆Paper
Paper producing is among the 'four excellent inventions' and one of the great contributions that ancient Chinese folks made to the globe.
 
Ahead of the existence of paper, our ancestors use knots in cords to record events. They then carved on bone, ivory, tortoise shell and bronzes. For large amounts of years they wrote on pieces of bamboo. There is a story that tells how Confucius was such an avid and diligent reader that he would wear away the strips of ox-leather used to bind the pages of bamboo books together. During the early Han Dynasty wealthy people would write upon white silk but this was beyond the reach of the majority as the cloth was so valuable.
 
Ink SlabsIt was Cai Lun who made the useful contribution and his research gave rise to paper. Afterwards, a lot of varieties of paper were created of various top quality and usage. Today the Xuan paper originally made in Anhui Province nevertheless shines with its charm.
 
 ◆Ink Slab
The ink slab may be the reputed head of the 'four treasures', for its sobriety and elegance has endured the passage of time. By means of ink slabs, people can sample the artistic charm of sculpting and the ink stone's natural tints. Almost all Chinese calligraphy enthusiasts hold that the star of ink slab could be the Duanyan, ink slab produced in Duanzhou of Guangdong Province. It has its base a purple hue and enjoys the poetic name 'purple clouds'. It was often a tribute for the royal families during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).