Current List 208A

(Archaeological Discoveries and Research on the Afang Gong Palace) 阿房宮考古發現與研究.

Argence, Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d':

Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology, Beijing University:
Power in Things: New Perspectives on Liangzhu (Special Exhibition of Archaeological Finds From the Liangzhu Site) 權力與信仰 : 良渚遺址群考古特展.

Aurora Art Museum:
(Painted Pottery Tomb Figurines from the Han to the Tang Dynasty in the Collection of Aurora Art Museum) 漢唐陶俑.

Ayers, John:

Medhurst, W. H. trans: ANCIENT CHINA. THE SHOO KING, OR THE HISTORICAL CLASSIC. Being the Most Ancient Authentic Record of the Annals of the Chinese Empire, Illustrated by Later Commentators. Shanghai, 1846. xvi, 413 pp. 15 double-page plates printed on thin Chinese paper by the woodblock method and including 12 provincial maps. A number of other text illustrations, 4 full page. 23x14 cm. Cont. half vellum.
GBP 700.00
Printed at the London Missionary Society Press (Mission Press) in Shanghai. Medhurst was a British missionary and prolific compiler of dictionaries, translator of the Bible and other Chinese works, author and editor. He was fluent in Chinese and had lived in various places in Southeast Asia before moving to Shanghai in 1842. He was a co-founder of the Press, believed to be the earliest western printing works in Shanghai.
  This fine effort by him is the first English translation and edition of the Book of Documents (Shu Jing), one of the Five Classics attributed to Confucius.
  The Book of Documents is a historical survey of the earliest times in China, regarded as the golden age, and held in great veneration by Chinese literati. Not surprisingly, it was a most conspicuous victim of the Qin purge of 213 B.C. and the famous burning of the books. The First Emperor, Qinshihuangdi, hoped thereby to destroy a main source of ancient tradition and to deprive his restive subjects of any opportunity to 'use the past to criticize the present.'
  It was reconstructed in the Han dynasty and thereafter enjoyed the greatest prestige as a prescribed text in the syllabus for the rigourous training of China's high officials.
  Apart from its achievement as a landmark in the history of Chinese translation into English, this work is of much interest for its illustrations, in particular, the 15 double-page plates. These are woodblock-printed and it would appear (not least due to the different thin Chinese paper used) were done separately and not at the Mission Press. Probably commissioned from a local Chinese printing house and separately inserted into the completed book. Three of the plates show; an armillary sphere, the paths of the sun and moon and a detailed circular chart of the Chinese Lunar year and zodiac. We believe these three came from Jesuit publications. The other twelve double-page plates are maps of Chinese provinces and are inserted at various places in Book II, Section I: The Tribute of Yu, which describes the geography and topography of ancient China. These maps are closely copied from the Kangxi Imperial Atlas of China (Kangxi Huangyu Quanlan Tu) produced with the help of the Jesuits then at the imperial court. The maps are all entirely with Chinese text. The provinces (shown with good detail of places) are: Shanxi, Zhili, Shandong, Jiangxi, Jiangnan, Zhejiang, Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu.
  The printed area of all the double-page plates is 21.5 x 17 cm. The other illustrations in the text are also from Chinese sources.
  Rubbing and wear to covers. A small hole punched in the lower front cover extends through the 16 introductory pages and first 30 pages of the text, the penetration decreasing in intensity as the pages proceed. It slightly affects the double page image of the armillary sphere. Wear to spine and the front cover starting to crack at joint with spine. Internally, the book is generally fine, as are all the maps and other three double-page plates. Priced accordingly. Very rare.
  Cordier 1378; Lust 739; Morrison I:483; Lowendahl 1044.
Subjects: Foreigners in Maps and Atlases
Item 495 in List 208.
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Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books,
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