This Taihu scholar's stone is classified as "linglong," one of the criteria used by connoisseurs to judge the rocks collected by Chinese literati. The term linglong may be translated as "shapely" or as "pierced with many holes." This stone also is in the category of "fantastic rock" (as opposed to "zoomorphic rocks" and "landscape rocks") for the obvious reason that one can see abstract, dream-like representations in its form. Shaped by the water of Tai Hu (Lake Tai) near Suzhou, its dark khaki color emphasizes a varied texture that moves from rough and craggy to smooth and molten. The stone appears to undulate upwards from its base, and is especially compelling from the four angles that show how it rises and curves magically around several large holes. It is solidly anchored on a stand that enhances the vertical orientation of the piece. This is a fantastic rock in every sense of the word, and we judge it was collected during the Qing Dynasty, probably in late 19th century. Dimensions including stand: height 21" (54 cm), width 8" (20 cm), depth 7" (8 cm).