Tu Wan’s Stone Catalogue of Cloudy Forest

A Commentary and Synopsis

by Edward H. Schafer

Although Chinese sources as early as the first millennium BCE had mentioned stones as objects of value or aesthetic merit, this 12th-century catalogue is the first whole work in Chinese literature devoted to the subject. By this date the appreciation of viewing stones in gardens and in the studios of scholars had ignited a craze, and Du Wan, a stone collector and descendent of the great T’ang poet Tu Fu, recorded his travels in search of interesting specimens and how and why he acquired them. Professor Schafer discusses the Chinese taste in stones, Tu Wan and the history and nature of his catalogue, and the technology and petrology of the 12th century. His synopsis of the Chinese text describes 144 types of stones with translated abstracts of each, material of great interest to modern collectors of "scholar’s rocks."

Edward H. Schafer, until his untimely death in 1991, was Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. His scholarship was devoted to the T'ang dynasty, from the 8th to the 10th centuries, which saw the greatest cultural flowering in Chinese history. Floating World Editions plans to reissue of all the out-of-print works of this great sinologist. When possible, the reprinted works will incorporate the corrigenda compiled by Professor Schafer, and the series will include a complete bibliography of his published work.

128 pp, 6 x 9, Soft
Chinese art / Collectibles
ISBN: 978-1-891640-15-5