Category: Decorative Art & Handicrafts, Chinese Art
The East Asian Library's Collection The East Asian Library of the University of California, Berkeley has 2,700 Chinese rubbings, second in number among collections outside East Asia only to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The nucleus of the collection, over half of the items, was acquired in 1950 from the estate of Mitsui Soken, a wealthy Japanese bibliophile, and includes albums of rubbings once owned by noted Chinese connoisseurs of the nineteenth century. Other important acquisitions were made through purchases from Chinese scholars and dealers and through the bequest of Professor Woodbridge Bingham's collection. The library's holdings are especially rich in albums of models of calligraphy and bronze inscriptions.
The Fine Arts Library currently houses 2,602 individual East Asian rubbings, the majority of which are from China. The rubbings were made from ancient stone stelae, tomb tablets, Buddhist and Daoist scriptures on stelae and rocks, as well as inscriptions and designs copied from bronze vessels, jade objects, ceramics, tomb bricks, and roof tiles, objects dating from the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE).