香港 (Hong Kong): 開發股份有限公司 (Cafa Company Limited), 1967. Hardcover. Elephant folio. 21.5x15". Blue cloth boards with gilt lettering on the front cover and spine. Decorative gold-speckled endpapers with dragon motifs. The five volumes of this set gather and reproduce a total of 200 masterpieces of Chinese painting and calligraphy from private collections, previously unseen by the public. Whereas many previous book have showcased many famous and widely seen works, this collection is unprecedented in its depiction of works in private hands, many of which would have been unknown to the general public at the time of its publication. Since then many of the included works have been on the private collectors market.
The production of the set took two years and was difficult and involved multiple international teams of researchers and collaborators. Starting in 1966, the paintings works were selected from private collections around the world and were reviewed to determine their authenticity. The following year, the paintings were photographed and the content of the book was organized and edited.
The contents of the set are as follows:
Vol.1: 36 works (including Ma Yuan, Xia Gui and Su Shi)
Vol.2: 41 works (including Qian Xuan, Huang Gongwnag)
Vol.3: 46 works (including Shen Zhou, Tang Yin)
Vol.4: 34 works (including Bada Shanren, Shitao)
Vol.5: 43 works (including Wuli, Wang Hui)
The reproductions are in color, with some larger (longer) works being split up over multiple plates. Text including the introductory editors notes, the table of contents, and the descriptive text accompanying the images, in Chinese and English.
Bindings with spines sunned and rubbed, small abrasions on some. Many of the covers with light rubbing and/or bumping to extremities, and sunning to the top and bottom edges. A few covers with light stains or smudges. Interiors with a some sporadic minor stains or smudges to the text of a few pages. Images unaffected. Bindings in g+ to vg-, interiors in very good+ to near fine condition overall. g+ to near fine. Item #43987
*Two addition volumes (#6 and #7) of calligraphy were published later.