Black Tigers: A Grammar of Chinese Rubbings (Paperback)
  • Black Tigers: A Grammar of Chinese Rubbings (Paperback)
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Black Tigers: A Grammar of Chinese Rubbings (Paperback)

(author)
£36.00
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 30/06/2008
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Since at least the early sixth century C.E., ink rubbings of stone, metal, clay tiles, and wood inscriptions and pictorial images have been used in China to make precise copies of culturally valued material. These paper copies sometimes are all that remain of original works that have become illegible through erosion, or that have been destroyed by war or development, or have been rendered inaccessible through events such as flooding resulting from dam construction. Chinese rubbing techniques are used throughout East Asia to create copies that often also are prized in themselves as works of art. Despite the primary importance of this technology to history, art, archaeology, printing, and many other fields of knowledge, Black Tigers is the first comprehensive study of rubbings in a Western language, and as such will be welcomed by both scholars and collectors.

In Black Tigers, Kenneth Starr recounts what he has seen and learned in fifty years of fascination with rubbings and travels to China in search of the early inscriptions from which they came. The book is a history of rubbings, a guide to connoisseurship, and a technical handbook on the materials and techniques used to make rubbings. Now readers of English, with the author as their affable guide, can gain rich insight into a rigorous discipline of classical scholarship, the way in which traditional scholars viewed their world, and some of the exquisite subtleties of Chinese high culture and connoisseurship.

Black Tigers will be an essential resource for students of Chinese art, history, calligraphy, archaeology, and the history of printing.

Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 9780295988115
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 816 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"A lively and enjoyable look into a world mastered by few. . . . [Starr] has gathered a half-century of personal experience and study of ink rubbings, in China, Taiwan, Japan and the US, into this unique volume." - T'oung Pao

"In the case of truly spectacular books, reviewers can find it difficult to know how best to begin singing the requisite praise-songs. Black Tigers is one such book, for it encapsulates, in remarkably lucid prose, the lilfetime of experience that its author brings to the study of ink rubbings. . . . Black Tigers lays out every part of the process so methodically and with such quiet authority that the reader can only feel a degree of awe as she pours over the riches offered by Starr's account. . . . Starr shows exemplary balance..and his own book is proof, if such were needed, of the level of refinement and erudition that proper training in connoisseurship and long experience can bring to particularly fraught subjects—fraught in this case because many latter-day nationalists cast rubbing histories as an index of Chinese identity. Starr's appendices alone are worth the modest price of this book." - Journal of the American Oriental Society

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