The Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals


Attributed to the Han dynasty scholar Dong Zhongshu (circa 179−circa 104 BC), Chun Qiu fan lu (The luxuriant dew of the Spring and Autumn annals) was an elaboration on the Spring and Autumn Annals, which date from about the 720s to the 480s BC. Dong’s work focuses on the Gongyang Commentary (On the Annals) and its school, which predated his work by a century or more, with references to the five elements theory (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) and the interaction between heaven and mankind. Four different editions of the work by Dong with varying contents existed already during the Song dynasty. A later edition issued by the Southern Song poet and scholar Lou Yue (1137−1213) became the definitive work, even though it was missing chapters. None of the great Chinese book collectors owned copies with the complete text. This copy was printed from bronze movable type and is very valuable for the purpose of textual collation. Lu Xinyuan (1838−94), the famed Qing bibliophile, added missing parts and corrected errors of the Han Wei cong shu (Series of works from the Han and Wei), based on this work. Fu Zengxiang (1872−1950), a later bibliophile, deduced that Lu Xinyuan may have used a Song print. There are several seal impressions in the book, among them “Gusu Wu shi jia cang” (In the collection of the Wu family of Gusu), “Zhao Zongjian yin” (Seal of Zhao Zongjian, a book collector), and “Feixixuan” (the name of Zhao Zongjian’s studio). The copy was originally in the collection of the Ming collector Wu Xiu in his private library called Chenwaixuan. The book was later kept in Zhao Zongjian’s library, Jiushanlou. Because it was repeatedly collected by famous bibliophiles in sequence, its provenance can easily be traced. Both the paper and the ink used in the book appear shiny and lustrous, and the print seems to float smoothly on the paper. This is a fine work of Ming dynasty bronze movable-type printing. Shown here are the preface, table of contents, and four juan.

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Lanxuetang, Huajian, Xishan, Wuxi, Jiangsu


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Physical Description

4 volumes ; 16.3 x 12.7 centimeters

Last updated: November 25, 2014