4 vols., facsimile edition of the 17th century work from the Ten Bamboo Studio showcasing a variety of paper samples with original colorful woodblock decoration, augmented with the gonghua technique of blindstamping and printed in multiple colors, decorative motifs include flowers and trees, vases, furniture, landscapes, butterflies, animals, and figures. Profusely illustrated throughout. 4to. Four volumes with orig. handmade paper wrpps. with flecked gold leaf decoration, bound with brown silk cord, housed together in a folding boards portfolio covered with silk brocade, label mounted to front cover, with two bone closures. Some slight browning to label and inside of portfolio. Beijing (Rongbao Zhai) 1952.
The original work was published at the end of the Ming period, circa 1644-1645, and was compiled by Zhengyan, a late Ming dynasty seal carver. First printed on poetry-writing paper, it contained some characters from classic tales and utilized a special printing process that allowed for printing of multiple shades and colors, augmented with blindstamping. Few copies of the original survived, but one was discovered by historian Zheng Zhenduo and author Lu Xun in the 1930's. This copy became the master copy of the Republic and was the source of the first reprint in 1935. However, the master copy was in poor condition and the subsequent reprint was incomplete. In 1952 the Rongbao Zhai studio in Beijing issued a faithful reproduction of the original 17th century work, recutting blocks and incorporating the original "gonghua" blindstamping technique. In his work on the Ten Bamboo Studio, Jan Tschichold called this work "the finest issue. An incomparably perfect facsimile; the best printed book of modern times anywhere." Book ID: 48730