Title: Shizhuzhai jian pu chuji (Ten Bamboo Studio Decorated Letter Paper)
Place Published: Beijing
Date Published: 1952
4 volumes. Illustrated with 283 color woodblock prints. Text in Chinese. (4to) 31.5x21 cm (12¼x8¼") gold wrappers, paper cover labels, lettered in Chinese, housed in embroidered silk folding chitsu, with two bone clasps.
Originally compiled by the late Ming dynasty seal carver Hu Zhengyan (1584-1674), the work was first printed around 1644 on poetry-writing paper. It contains characters from the ancient classics and is augmented by blind stamping and printed in multiple colors. The techniques developed advanced the art of printing at the time. A rare work.
Few copies of the original survived. One was later discovered by historian Zheng Zhenduo and writer Lu Xun, and became the master copy of the Republic, which was reissued by Zheng Zhenduo in the 1930's. However, this edition was incomplete because of the poor condition of this master copy. The 1952 printing by the Rong Bao Zhai Studio in Beijing is a faithful reproduction of the seventeenth century edition from re-cut blocks and even incorporating the blind-stamping technique of gauffrage (gonghua "embossed design" or "arched pattern"). Jan Tschichold called the 1952 edition "the finest issue. An incomparably perfect facsimile; the best printed book of modern times anywhere."