One of four major Chinese traditional stationary: Yieng Tai (a.k.a. Chinese Ink Stone). The better ink stones come from the oldest mines. There are four major patterns in the ink stone. Fish Scale is one of them and I really can not remember the rest. It will be a good excuse to go back. The design of the ink stones could be very elaborated. Some of ink stones are just for holding to cool down the body temperatures in the hot sunny days..