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Scholar Rocks
White Taihu Rock with Hongmu Base
This is an unusually tall, multi-facited, scholar rock from Lake Tai. Its surface is pitted with cavities, and its interior is pierced through with holes both large and small. The hollows in the rock resemble caves in a mountain. The cave is the most Daoist of all Chinese paradises.

Found mostly in the vast drainage areas of Lake Tai in Jiangsu province, these limestone rocks are hard but brittle, with slight variations among those taken from lake beds and those extracted on land or from different districts in the surrounding environs. Those formed underwater are more precious, because of their fresh, soft color and their multiple, linked perforations produced from years of wave and water erosion. With their pale gray or ivory tint, Taihu rocks are usually large and are regarded as the best garden rocks. Artificial hills made of Taihu rocks give the appearance of strange peaks looming up or chains of hills connected by streams and bridges, with successive peaks along narrow, twisted paths. Small Taihu rocks of good quality are rare and meant for indoor appreciation. The beauty of Taihu rocks comes from their thinness and wrinkles as well as their perforations and hollows which enhance their open appearance.

This particular scholar rock displays all the qualities of the finest Taihu rocks. The base is old and original to the rock. The rock itself is all natural, which means it has not been artificially worked on to conform to the high standards of scholar rock connoisseurship. This rock comes from an old Beijing collection.