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Menshikov L. An Album of Illustrations to the Famous Chinese Novels // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 3, No 3, November 1997. P. 54-68.

Among the Chinese manuscripts of the so-called Nova collection, preserved in the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, there is an Album (call number H-13) containing sixty miniatures. The first forty-five of them depict the characters of the famous Chinese novel Three Kingdoms Lo Guan-zhong (14th century A.D.). The last fifteen are illustrations to another famous novel — A Dream in the Red Chamber by Cao Xue-qin (1713—1764).

The Album represents a typical book produced in China. It contains sixty sheets of thick, dense, white paper, measuring 22.0 x 31.5 cm. The same type of paper is used for the front and back covers. The front and back covers are of patterned silk glued on paper. The sheets are folded in two and sewn so that the folds of the sheets face the outside, while the edges of the sheets are hidden in the back of the Album.

The Album bears no common title. There are the following records on the front cover:

кит. — an abbreviation written in black ink at the top right corner (a remainder of a former call number);

1) Инв. 365 — the 1937 call number, written in violet ink by К. K. Flug.

2) Инв. 1953, No. 339 — call number written in violet ink by M. P. Volkova.

There is also a stamp with the legend Институт Вост. АН СССР (The Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences).

The current call number of the Album (H-13) is placed on the back of the binding.


The entire paper


Chinese art
A Dream in the Red Chamber
Three Kingdoms

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