Maggs Bros Ltd

China in Sign and Symbol.

CRANE Louise (1926.)

£3200.00  [First Edition]

Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.

First edition. Frontispiece, 38 colour lithograph plates, and 8 photographic plates. 4to. Original cloth (lacking dustwrapper), damage (repaired) to spine, light staining, still a very good copy. Together with an album of 18 leaves painted by Zhou Peichun (Beijing) in watercolour and gouache, all captioned in Chinese. [xx], 227pp. Shanghai, Kelly & Walsh, 

A spectacularly illustrated book of Chinese shop-signs and other symbols. The 20s possibly provided the last chance to record the highly intricate and varied nature of these traditional design-motives. Crane provides an interesting analysis and categorization of these unique symbols that go very much to the heart of Chinese culture. Crane's work used illustrations that were first conceived by Zhou Peichun, and the present copy includes a complete hand-painted album of shop-signs painted by the Beijing artist. Surprisingly little is known about Zhou Peichun. We have neither his dates nor any reliable about his background but the little red stamp indicates that he owned a shop just outside Shunzhimen gate, which became the name in the Republican period for the old Xuanwumen gate in the Southwest of the city. The fact that he uses the new name would lead us to conclude that he opened his shop after 1916. It was located in a hutong close to Dazi bridge and within walking distance of Nantang church. There he produced albums of Beijing customs and scenes catering mostly to foreign tastes.

Stock Code: 218488