Peking: Chinese Painting Association of Peking, 1931. Limited first edition. Hardcover. 1/100. Oblong quarto. 18pp. Half black buckram over multicolored decorative boards. Black lettering over a paper label on the front cover. String-tied binding. From a limited edition of 100 copies. This beautifully produced work contains a total of 101 hand-colored illustrations of traditional signs, flags and decorations for businesses and shops in Beijing (Peking), each representing a type of business or product for sale. Examples include pipe sellers, bellows, hemp sellers, barbers, shoe makers, portrait painters, rice sellers, candle makers and pawn shops.
The highly detailed painting work features bold colors including silver and gilt. Images includes such recurring motifs as flowers, dragons and feathers. As stated in the preface, the styles in the book are particular to the Beijing area, and would be different in other parts of China. It is interesting to note that the signs often do not include Chinese characters, nor are they always directly representational, but have evolved over the years, to be more abstract representations, most likely originating from a time when literacy rates where much lower among the general population. Text captions for each sign, in Chinese below and English above. Preface in English.
Binding with some rubbing to the corners and along edges, as well as sunning to the paper label on the front cover. Interior covers with same damp staining. Inscription to the previous owner in pen on the interior front cover. Title page and preface with some light damp staining as well. Pages with some sporadic minor smudges, and occasional minor water stains. Pages 12-18 with more pronounced water stains. Images mostly unaffected overall. Binding in good+, interior in very good- condition overall. g+ to vg-. Item #43431