A complete Ten-Bamboo Studio collection of decorative letter papers Printed by Rongbaozhai in Beijing in 1952
Lot 165
A complete collection of Ten-Bamboo Studio decorative letter papers Printed by Rongbaozhai in Beijing in 1952
Sold for AU$ 6,710 (US$ 6,279) inc. premium
Lot Details
A complete collection of Ten-Bamboo Studio decorative letter papers
Printed by Rongbaozhai in Beijing in 1952
Woodblock print in ink and colour on paper, string binding, titled by Yu Feian
First printed in about 1644, originally edited by Hu Zhengyan (c.1582 - c.1672), the four volumes including nearly 30 categories of 300 prints of different objects, motifs, and subjects of traditional Chinese scholarly interests, the 1952 version printed by historian Zheng Zhenduo and writer Lu Xun, published by Rong Bao Zhai in Beijing, incorporating the traditional printing technologies of multi-colour block printing and embossing used in the very first edition, and is the earliest complete version of the collection in recent Chinese history.
31.4cm long x 22.5cm wide x 5.5cm deep (with case), 1.1cm thick (each volume)


  • Provenance:
    Private Collection Victoria

    原胡正言(c.1582 – c.1672)編


    Hu Zhengyan, the chief artist-editor of the catalogue, was an artist, author, and seal-cutter. He and a few other artists and scholars in Nanjing established the Ten Bamboo Studio. Versatile, Hu was particularly fitting to bring out a book with woodblocks printed in colour. Besides enhancing the multi-colour block printing technique, he is also said to have invented the embossing technology. Also known as blind printing, embossing is a feature that uses an uninked woodblock to press a raised design into the paper. Such experiments in printing prove the depth of technical research being made in China at the very end of the Ming dynasty. Together with an earlier publication, The Treatise on the Paintings and Writings of the Ten Bamboo Studio, the catalogue has since been hailed as a masterpiece of Chinese colour printing and design of all time.
    Few copies of the original versions survived. One was later discovered by historian Zheng Zhenduo and writer Lu Xun, and became the master copy of the Republic and the 1952 versions printed by the two. Rong Bao Zhai, one of the most prestigious publishing-house-and-art-suppliers established during the early Qing dynasty, published about 200 copies in 1940 - however incomplete, due to the condition of the master copy, and then about 300 in 1952 - this time in complete collection, both executed in the spirit of "reviving the traditional and classic methods of Chinese colour printing".


    A catalogue of the same version can be found in the British Museum collection
    Registration number: 1984,0203,0.55.1-4
    It was exhibited in The Printed Image in China: from the 8th to the 21st Centuries in 2010, and published in the exhibition catalogue of the same name.

    Robert T. Paine, Jr., "The Ten Bamboo Studio", Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Vol. 48, No. 274 (Dec., 1950), pp. 72-79
    王宗光,《木版水印》,榮寶齋出版社 2011年
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