Researching the Origins of an Ink Stone from the Collection of Alma M. Karlin


  • Tina Berdajs University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts



Alma Karlin’s collection, object provenance, ink stone, seal mark


There are several collections of East Asian objects kept in various Slovenian museums and private collections, some of which have become the subject of greater scholarly interest in recent years. This paper is a case study of an object––an ink stone––from the collection of personal objects acquired by Alma M. Karlin (1889–1950), now preserved at the Celje Regional Museum. Prior to this survey, there was little basic information about the object from the collection, and concrete data on its history was lacking. This case study determined the object’s provenance and basic data, and at the same time illustrates a methodological approach which was used for research and final confirmation of the origin of the object in question. The main part of the paper focuses on research into the meaning of the carved seal mark and deciphering of a handwritten inscription, both of which are located on the underside of the ink stone. Some of the problems of the research process were resolved through methods of analysis and comparison of photographic material, and the research revealed previously unknown data that helped to determine the correct place of origin of the ink stone, as well as a more precise timeframe in which the object was created. Both inscriptions were placed in the wider cultural and historical context of the East Asian region, as well as in the context of Alma Karlin’s travels.


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28. 06. 2019

How to Cite

Berdajs, Tina. 2019. “Researching the Origins of an Ink Stone from the Collection of Alma M. Karlin”. Asian Studies 7 (2): 269-83.

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