YONGLE DADIAN: FASCICLE 2345-2347: LIU MO: 101: NIAO. (A Fascicle of the Yongle Encyclopaedia: Chapters 2345-2347: Section Six: Mo: Volume 101: Birds). Beijing, 2015. 30; 20; 19 folded leaves. A couple of b/w illustrations. Loose folded explanatory page of text. 50x30 cm. Boards, cloth case.
GBP 800.00
High-quality facsimile produced to the original size of the unique manuscript copy produced in 'book form' of this enormous encyclopaedia, a Chinese cultural icon. The encyclopaedia was first commissioned by the Ming dynasty Yongle Emperor and produced in the form of handwritten scrolls. Completed in 1408. A manuscript copy bound in baobei zhaung form (wrapped back) as here was later ordered by the Ming dynasty Jiajing emperor and completed in 1567.
The original Yongle version disappeared long ago, presumed destroyed or perhaps buried with the Jiajing emperor. The encyclopaedia is now only known in this book form, again much destroyed and dispersed.
One of the most interesting and important aspects of this extraordinary collection of knowledge lay in the quoting of sections of text from ancient works no longer extant, lost or too delicate to be used. It is said that over 8000 texts were incorporated.
The encyclopaedia was arranged according to the Hongwu Zhengyun - a rhyming system developed at the beginning of the Ming dynasty during the reign of the founding Hongwu emperor.
This particular fascicle, comprising three juan 2345-2347 (presumably comprising Volume 101 of Section (?) 6: Mo) covers references in chinese literature and other texts relating to birds and related topics.
Large black characters indicate the title of a section. Characters written in red indicate authors and/or titles of works. A small red circle indicates a full stop. Black characters reproduce sections of text from the classics, literature, histories and other sources.
Baobei Zhuang binding. The original fascicle is held in the National Library of China.
All text in Chinese. Beautifully produced. Has the feel of an original fascicle we have seen.
An edition of 1000 copies. Immediately went out-of-print and is now very difficult to find due to the current topicality of the Yongle Dadian in China as a cultural icon and, in particular, given that two recently-discovered fascicles have returned home from France.
Subjects: Encyclopaedias
Available, as of: 20/09/2021
Was item 22 in printed List 201.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.