The Glory of Chinese Printing

Printing in the Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. --- 1644 A.D.) is the prosperous period in the history of printing in China.

First : all the inventions of previous dynasties --- woodblock carving, wood movable type, metal movable type, whole metal plates, and techniques of multi colour printing --- were all used in the Ming Dynasty.

Secondly : paper, ink and woodblock carving techniques reached an unprecedented standard.

Third : the scope, variety and volume of printing reached the highest level in history. Besides printing traditional books, such as the classics, history, philosophy and belle-lettres in large quantities, the gazetteers, books on science and technology, books on craftsmanship, popular readers, primers, plays, and novels were also printed in great quantities.

Fourth : the style of characters used specially for printing, the Song style, became more refined and was widely used.

Fifth : with the invention of woodblock color printing, the printing craft got more perfected.

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Initiative Printed Color Writing Paper collection of the Luo Studio.
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Shi Zhu Zhai Book on the Art of Painting (Shi means ten, Zhu means Bamboo, Zhai means Studio.), printed with watercolor blocks by the HuZhengYan, in NanJing, Ming Dynasty.

The largest printing house operated by the Ming court was the factory run by the Directorate of Ceremonies. Construction of the factory began in the 19th year of Yongle Reign (1421 A.D.), and by the JiaJing years, it had around one thousand artisans working on woodblocks, printing, binding, ink making and brush making. It was the largest printing factory in Chinese history.

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The Ming Dynasty Encyclopedia of Rituals (engraved and printed by the Imperial Printer in the 9th year of the JiaJing Reign) Buddhist Scriptures of the Southern Dynasties (engraved and printed at Nanjing, in the 5th year of HongWu Reign.) The Luan Cheng Collection, engraved and printed in the 20th year of Jia Jing Reign by the SiChuan Commander's Office (Cheng means city or town.)
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Huan Lin Bei Lan (Directory of Officials), printed by workshops in Beijing, in Ming Dynasty. Cross Reference for Sun Zi, a duotone printing in 1620 A.D., 48th year of WanLi Reign, by Song Yun shop (Song means Pine, Yun means Bamboo.). Yu Pian, engraved by Jin De Printing House in JianYang County, in 1492 A.D., 5th year of HongZhi Reign (Yu means Jade, Pian means Book. It is a Dictionary.)
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Collected Writings of Monk Hong Xiu, engraved by the Ji Gu Pavilion Library of the Mao family,1643 A.D., in 16th year of ChongZhen Reign. History of Chang An (engraved and printed by Lin Yang Bookshop,ShanXi Province, in 1468 A.D., the 4th year of the Cheng Hua Reign.) A Story of Hong Fo (engraved and printed by Rong Yu Printing House in HangZhou)


The technological process of woodblock water color printing

The technological process of traditional thread binding

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