We saw these Chrysanthemum Stones at Pagoda Red a while ago.
When we first spotted them at an in-store reception, they were being used as platters loaded with sushi. The flat stones made beautiful serving trays and we wondered how the chrysanthemum pattern developed in the rock.
A quick search on Wikipedia revealed that the rocks are a combination of natural and manmade patterns.
We found this on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website: Rocks have long been admired in China as an essential feature in gardens. By the early Song dynasty (960–1279), small ornamental rocks were also collected as accoutrements of the scholar's study...Particularly admired are stones that have been sculpted by natural processes of erosion—or that appear natural even if they have been artfully enhanced by man—as embodiments of the transformational powers of nature.
We love these stones and wish we knew more about their origins. Does anyone have any sources or background information on Chrysanthemum Stones?