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A SET OF THIRTY-TWO VOLUMNS OF THE SANXITANG FATIE
THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
A SET OF THIRTY-TWO VOLUMNS OF THE SANXITANG FATIE

QIANLONG-JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)

Details
A SET OF THIRTY-TWO VOLUMNS OF THE SANXITANG FATIE
QIANLONG-JIAQING PERIOD (1736-1820)
Various artists (Three Kingdoms period-Ming dynasty)
Set of four boxes, with eight volumes in each box, ink on paper
Each leaf: 9 in. (24.1 cm.) x 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)

Lot Essay

In the twelfth year of his reign (1747), the Qianlong Emperor instructed Minister Liang Shizheng (1697-1763) and others to amass and engrave 350 famous calligraphic works from the 3rd to 17th centuries kept in the Imperial Household Department into a collection that became known as the Sanxitang Fa Tie ('Rubbings from The Hall of Three Rarities'), which also included more than 200 inscriptions and 1600 seals. It was named after the three Eastern Jin dynasty calligraphic works most cherished by Qianlong, namely the Kuai xue shi qing Tie ('Timely Clearing after the Snowfall') by Wang Xizhi, Bo yuan Tie ('Letter to Boyuan') by Wang Xun (349-400), and Zhong qiu Tie ('Mid Autumn') by Wang Xianzhi (344-386), which were all included in this comprehensive collection.

The original lithographic stones are kept in the Tower of Reviewing the Old in North Lake in Beijing. The stones were allegedly damaged during the Daoguang period, and the rubbings made during and after the Daoguang period would exhibit scrolling ornamental elements on the edges of the rubbing to conceal the damage. The edges of the present set lack the ornamental elements, indicating that this set dates prior to the Daoguang period.

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