Cheng Dayue: CHENG SHI MOYUAN. (Ink Garden of the Cheng Family). Beijing, 1996. Each volume c. 160 pp. Many illustrations of ink cakes. 12 vols. 32x21 cm. Stitched, 2 silk-cases.
Facsimile reprint of the 1606 edition, together with later eulogies of Cheng's mastery of ink-cake manufacturing. Throughout the book are designs of inkcakes by Ding Yunpeng. The 'Chengshi Moyuan' is also remarkable for the inclusion of three images from the Gospels, taken from the 'Evangelicae historiae imagines'. A luxurious publication in close imitation of the Ming period edition.
The original is one of the most important Ming period illustrated books, extremely rare and sought-after. A few copies - for example that in the Percival David Foundation collection in London - were printed in a number of colours, amongst the earliest examples of Chinese colour printing, although this was done by brushing coloured inked onto distinct regions of a single block for each pull of a leaf, rather than using sets of blocks as in later multicolour woodblock printing. In effect these copies have the characteristics of monoprints and are unique. This facsimile - representing an instance of the standard 1606 edition - is in black-and-white only. 'Visible Traces' pp. 39-44. Now out-of-print and very hard to find.
Subjects: Scholar's Studio Rare Books
Available, as of: 26/04/2018
Was item 298 in printed List 189.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.