Together with brush, inksticker and Xuan paper, inkstone(simplified Chinese: 砚; traditional Chinese: 硯, or 研),is known as one of the Chinese Four Treasures of the Study. It is a stone mortar used in Chinese calligraphy and painting for grinding and containing ink. The inkstone is also a very important culture element in the traditional Chinese scholar’s studio. Duan inkstones(端砚), She inkstones(歙砚), Tao(he) inkstones(洮河砚) and Chengni inkstones(澄泥砚)are four famous types of inkstones in China.

The earliest unearthed Chinese inkstone can be dated to 300 BC. During Han Dynasty, inkstone became very popular and there were carved pattern, stone cover and feet found on inkstones of this period. Inkstones have a great development in Song Dynasty due to the flourishing culture and art of the period. Most of Song inkstones are rectangle Chao Shou inkstones (抄手砚) with dedicated carving pattern. The Chao Shou inkstone is  the inkstone with empty bottom which can be jacked up by the hand. In this period, Duan inkstones and She inkstones were most popular. Taiwan National Palace Museum has many famous Song inkstone collections. The following inkstones are some of their collections.