Rubbings of the Stone-drum Inscriptions on a Stone Ink Slab


This scroll contains rubbings of the inscriptions originally found on ancient stone drums. During the Jiajing reign of the Ming dynasty (1522−66) Gu Congyi (1523−88) carved the inscriptions on a stone ink slab, following the exact number, the same order of the characters, and shape as they appeared in a Song rubbing. He proportionally reduced the size to fit the surface of the ink slab but preserved the original features of the Song rubbing of the stone-drum inscriptions. Because the Song copies are all in collections now overseas, this rubbing in the collection of the National Library of China is of high value. Qing scholars attached great importance to these inscriptions; for example, Xu Shizhang, an art collector in Tianjin, paid a large sum of money in 1936 to acquire the rubbings. Later that year, Zhou Xiding (1891−1961), a skilled seal carver and rubbing maker, reproduced them as shown in this scroll. The rubbings contain both inscriptions on the ink slab and the inside and outside of its case. They also contain seal impressions of various copiers, the history of how these rubbings were collected, and studies on ink slabs. The information is thus comprehensive and the records are in great detail. The value and significance of the scroll lie in the extensive information it conveys for the study of stone-drum inscriptions and stone-drum inscriptions on ink slabs.

Last updated: November 25, 2014