Dustpan-shaped ceramic inkslab

Yuan Dynasty
Length: 12 cm, Width: 10.8 cm, Thickness: 2.4 cm

This is a black chengni inkslab imitating Song dustpan-shaped inkslabs. There is an inscription in official script on the reverse, which contains the words Yunzhong Yuquan Laoren, the fancy name of Yelü Chucai, an eminent minister and statesman of Mongolia.
Yelü Chucai (1190~1244), Jinqing by courtesy name, was a Khitan. He was the ninth-generation son of Yelü Abaoji, the first emperor of Liao Dynasty. An erudite and talented man, he was assigned to important positions by Genghis Khan (the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty) and Ögedei Khan (the second Yuan emperor), and attained the rank of Secretariat Director. He laid down a code of conduct for the sovereign and the subjects for Mongolia, reformed all corrupt customs, and abolished the practice of slaughtering the people of a conquered city. He practically built the framework of Yuan Dynasty, which gave him a prestigious posthumous title Wenzheng.