Love Seeds": Ivory micro-engraving.: Shen Zhong-Xing, artist.

Love Seeds": Ivory micro-engraving.

Shen Zhong-Xing, artist.

Published by [ca. 1990?], China, 1990
From SessaBks (ABAA, ILAB) (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Classical Chinese poetry in calligraphed format: This tiny rectangle of ivory (only about 4mm tall) is impossibly delicately etched with both the Chinese original and Fletcher's English translation of Wang Wei's Tang Dynasty-era poem "Xiang Si" (given here as "Love Seeds"). The xiang si bean (Abrus precatorius) is a Chinese symbol of love and longing; its small, shiny, red seeds were used as tokens of love, hence the reference in this poem: "The red bean grows in southern lands / With spring its slender tendrils twine / Gather for me some more, I pray / Of fond remembrance 'tis the sign." Additionally, both the Chinese and English texts are presented on a folded slip of paper, with additional commentary in Chinese characters only. The ivory is mounted within a black frame affixed to a small square of gold paper, on red velvet, and contained in a beautiful, eminently displayable case covered in olive-green silk with a woven Asian-inspired knotwork pattern in bronze and blue, decorated with a Chinese-printed label on the front cover. The case closes with a fabric loop and white-painted wooden toggle. Small case (14.5 cm, 5.6"). Box as above, showing the faintest hint of rubbing to one corner, overall in excellent condition. Small compartment beneath presentation window seems to indicate a long slender item was at one point laid in, but it is difficult to say what that might have been. Bookseller Inventory # 30544

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Love Seeds": Ivory micro-engraving.

Publisher: [ca. 1990?], China

Publication Date: 1990

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