Fine, Rare 19th Century Korean Inkstone Box with Tortoise-Form Handle and Deep, Dark Grain. Elegant form and deep color. The tortoise is an ancient symbol of steadfastness and longevity. The underside of his shell was believed to conceal the secrets of the universe. So this box would have held the same meaning to the one who used it. The black tortoise depicted here was the king of all tortoises, with extraordinary powers to protect one from evil. The inkstone box was a Korean scholar's most treasured item. He handled it every day, when he would take out his inkstone to begin writing or painting. This is a fine example with a rare form that must have been inspiring and contemplative for the original owner. 11 x 7.25 x 3.75 inches, 28 x 18.5 x 9.5 cm.