21. Pre-Gutenberg Printing

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Created on: 09 March 2014

Blockprinting on paper started in China in the 7th c, but no examples survive. The oldest surviving printing was found in the Buddhist temple Pulguk-sa, Kyongju, Korea - a small dharani scroll printed 704-751, until then considered the oldest printing in the world. Fourteen examples (81 volumes) of blockprinting and movable type printing from the period 770 to 1442 are selected here out of 152 items.

Created on: 11 February 2014

Moveable type printing in Chinese on paper, Seoul, Korea, 1438, 43 ff. (complete), 35x19 cm, 15-17 columns, (26x17 cm), 18 characters in Chinese book script Kabin-Ja type.

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Beijing, China, 1442, 78 pp., 28x9 cm, 5 columns, (22x9 cm), 9 characters in Chinese book script, 73 half-page, one full-page and one 3-page illustrations. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Beijing, China, 1420, 114 pp., folded format, 30x11 cm, 5 columns, (24x11 cm), 17 characters in Chinese book script, 40 illustrations over 83 pp., 3 illustrated frontispieces depicting Buddha surrounded by disciples and guardian kings in the Ming Dynasty style. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

MS (8 pp.) and block-print in Sanskrit on paper, Beijing?, China, ca. 1400, 198 ff. (complete), 19x19 cm, single column, (18x18 cm), 17 lines in Tibeto-Nepalese book script in red ink, 84 full-page block-printed illustrations in red ink, the same illustration on each side of text, 1 illustration (4 pp.) hand-drawn. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Japan, 1383, 94 ff. (complete), 26x9 cm, 5 columns (20x9 cm), 17-18 characters in Chinese book script, frontispiece over 5 pp. depicting Sakyamuni, the Historical Buddha seated preaching. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Fujan, China, 1341, 16 vols. folded format, 25x15 cm, 12 columns, (19x12 cm), 21 characters in Chinese book script, MS annotations in red, 13 collectors' seals. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Fujian, China, 1264-1367, 10 vols. (complete), folded format, 24x15 cm, 13 columns, (20x13 cm), 23 characters in Chinese book script. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on paper, Fujian province?, China, 1307-1367, 13 vols., folded format, 18x12 cm, 3-15 columns, (15x10 cm), 24 characters in Chinese book script, 2 collector's seals belonging to the same person. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint and MS (493 ff.) in Chinese on paper, Fuqing, Fujian province, China, 1304-1334, and Japan (MS), 15th c., 32 vols., 2075 ff. (-14), 27x18 cm, 10 columns (22x15 cm), woodblock printed in Chinese book script, with commentaries and textual collation notes by Myochi(?), Japan 1522. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on white mulberry paper, Shanxi (Jianzhou) province, China, 1148-1173, 1 roll of 39 of originally 40 sheets, 30x1922 cm, (24x1918 cm), 26 columns, 20-26 characters in Chinese book script. 

Created on: 11 February 2014

Blockprint in Chinese on brown mulberry paper, Fuzhou, Fujian province, China, 1095, 75 pp. (complete), folded format, 29x11 cm, 6 columns, (24x11 cm), 17 characters in Chinese book script.