(Chen Menglei et al. comp.): GUJIN TUSHU JICHENG TUJI. (Illustrations from the Great Chinese Encyclopaedia: Gujin Tushu Jicheng). Ji'nan, 2007. 100 volumes in 12 han with various paginations of folded leaves. Hundreds of b/w woodcut illustrations throughout. 100 vols. 27x18 cm. Stitched, cloth case.
The 'Gujin Tushu Jicheng' (The Compilation of Books and Illustrations from Ancient and Modern Times) is the greatest surviving Chinese encyclopaedia and one of the world's most compendious publications, assembled under imperial auspices, presented to the emperor in 1725, and published in 1728 in an official total of 64 sets. The encyclopaedia consists of 5,020 books (ce) in the original edition, with the text printed (all but uniquely in Chinese print history) by copper moveable type. The illustrations were from woodblocks. The work here offered comprises fine facsimile reproductions of all the woodblock illustrations from the encyclopaedia, together with reproduction of accompanying descriptive pages of text. The facsimile is printed in the original size. Small characters beneath each illustration give the original location of the illustration in the Gujin Tushu Jicheng.
Contents of the twelve han cases (in no particular order) as follows:
1. Kao Gong Dian: A total of ten volumes, of which eight show illustrations of excavated artefacts, mostly ancient bronzes, with the final two volumes showing agricultural machinery and devices.
2. Kao Gong Dian continued: A further ten volumes, starting with two volumes mostly depicting imperial gardens, followed by three volumes showing imperial standards and paraphernalia together with illustrations of forms of transport. Concludes with five volumes showing more illustrations of ancient bronze vessels.
3. Yue Lu Dian: Eight volumes predominantly illustrating ancient and traditional musical instruments, ranging from excavated chimes and bells to the qin.
4. Rong Zheng Dian: Ten volumes depicting illustrations of objects pertaining to the military and government, mostly showing military material ranging from armour, flags, weaponry and war machines to soldiers and the conduct of battle.
5. Li Yi Dian: Ritual Matters: Eight volumes showing ritual items, clothing, approved layouts for ceremonies, items showing official ranks, head wear and much more.
6. Zi Xue, Shen Yi, Shi Huo Dian: Five volumes showing illustrations of items relating to the study of characters, mostly inkstones (one volume), spirits and deities (two volumes), the gathering and production of food (one volume) and maps of waterways (one volume).
7. Cao Mu Dian: Eight volumes showing botanical illustration.
8. Cao Mu Dian: A further eight volumes of botanical illustration.
9. Qin Chong Dian: Ten volumes showing birds, animals and insects, mostly existing species but also some mythical creatures.
10. Yishu Dian: Eight volumes showing a wide variety of material and occupation, loosely classified as crafts. Ranges from agricultural machinery and implements to medical illustration and architecture.
11. Shan Chuan Dian: Ten volumes showing hills, rivers and landscapes.
12. Bian Shang, Ren Shi Dian: Five volumes, of which four show illustration of border peoples, traders and inhabitants of foreign countries, many the result of fertile imagination. One volume shows illustrations relating to organs of the human body.
A fine illustrated reference from many aspects, including the study of the Gujin Tushu Jicheng, the finest quality Qing dynasty woodblock book illustration, and ancient Chinese art, culture and ritual.
This work is issued in a most limited edition of just 100 copies. Illustrated throughout. Text in Chinese. Out of print.
Subjects: Illustrated Books Encyclopaedias
Available, as of: 13/03/2021
Was item 405 in printed List 199.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.