A Korean six panel screen painted in gold pigment on lapis lazuli blue ground 19th century
Lot 5306
Anonymous (19th century) A six panel folding screen with Reversible Poetry by Cheng Jin
Sold for US$ 5,625 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Property from Various Owners
Anonymous (19th century)
A six panel folding screen with Reversible Poetry by Cheng Jin
Six panels printed in dark yellow ink on lapis lazuli blue paper and mounted on silver-leaf paper as a folding screen; the first panel entitled Hongdou Zhuang huiwen shici youxi (Hongdou Zhuang Reversible Poetry Game) with one seal reading yin feng nong yue (chanting the wind and playing with the moon), the remaining five panels each with three poetry diagrams and accompanying titles, descriptions and instructions.
49 x 11 1/4in (124.5 x 28.6cm) each printed panel


  • Huiwen, or reversible poetry, is an intricate Chinese language game of long tradition. It showcases poetry and verses that can be read in a number of different ways, including in reverse order, with particular characters separated to form other words, and repeated uses of the same word in different lines, etc.
    The current lot includes fifteen such examples of reversible poetry written by the 19th century poet Cheng Jin, a native of Qiantang, whose publication Hongdou Zhuang huiwen shici youxi is collected in the Library of the Japanese Diet. The skill required in deciphering these elegant and complicated works, and the scarcity of such late-Qing printings, makes the current lot a rare find.
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