An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jinshiwen kaolüe 金石文考略

Oct 6, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Jinshiwen kaolüe 金石文考略 "Concise research on bronze and stone inscriptions", full title Guanmiaozhai jinshiwen kaolüe 觀妙齋金石文考略, is a book on bronze and stone inscriptions compiled by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Li Guangying 李光暎 (d. 1736), courtesy name Zizhong 子中 or Zujiang 組江, style Die'an 叠庵 or Guanmiao Zhuren 觀妙主人.

Li hailed from Jiaxing 嘉興, Zhejiang, the same city where Zhu Yizun 朱彝尊 (1629-1709) lived who had written a similar book, Jijin zhenshi zhi 吉金貞石志. Zhu handed his own collection of inscriptions over to Li Guangying. The latter began collecting more information about these inscriptions and compiled his 16-juan long book that is dated 1729. It includes the descriptions of 40 bronze objects and stone slabs and quotes from 60 different sources, beginning with a kind of critical bibliography of relevant texts.

The whole book is very similar to Chen Si's 陳思 (1225-1264) Baoke congbian 寶刻叢編 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279) and comments on all objects described in his catalogue-like book. Concerning the bibliography, Li Guangyin was so free to qualify books on calligraphy. His favourites are Zheng Fu 鄭簠 (1622-1693) for Han-period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) chancery script (lishu 隸書) and Zhao Han 趙崡 for Tang-period 唐 (618-907) stone inscriptions.

The compilers of the imperial catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要 criticized him for omitting important writings, but nevertheless included the book in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1486.