"Fine Arts of the Far East - Chinese Paintings"


Masterpieces Selected from the
Fine Arts of the Far East
, Volumes VIII-XII
Chinese Paintings, Volumes 1-5
Published by Shimbi Shoin, 1910-1918

Tables of Contents

Each volume (Volumes VIII-XII) has a table of contents listing each plate. This listing includes:

  • Number of Plate in the Volume
  • Subject- Descriptive Title
  • Artist
  • School
  • Period
  • Source (Location)

This page is a consolidation of the table of contents from the five volume of Chinese paintings.

Table of Contents

Volume VIII
Volume IX
Volume X
Volume XI
Volume XII


Book Set 1910100235

Index for Fine Arts of the Far East - Chinese Paintings, 5 Volume Set
Page #1
Page #2

Table of Contents Covers and Cases Statistics

Condition. The books and folding cases are in Very Good condition. The bindings are solid and covers free of faults. Internally, the books have light to moderate foxing in the margins of the plates and on some text pages. The first two volumes (Volumes VIII-IX) have very little foxing. The last three volumes (Volumes X-XII) have moderate foxing. The foxing on plates is confined almost entirely to the margins and backs. All folded text pages are sound and uncut/unbroken at the fold. The folding cases are sound with only light wear along the folds. The books have been carefully reviewed against the listings of plates for completeness. One plate (#158 - "Snowcapped peaks in a blast" - Volume X) is missing. I believe this was a black and white collotype plate. There is no evidence that it was removed and the absence appears to have been an error in the compilation/binding process. All other plates are present. The five volumes contain 306 plates (57 color woodblocks prints and 249 black and white collotypes).


Tajima Shiichi (Editor, Volumes VIII & IX)
Kubota, Kanroku (Editor, Volumes X - XII
Omura Seigai (Original Text):
Masterpieces Selected from the Fine Art of the Far East (Ty Bijutsu Taikwan), a 5 volume set, "Chinese Paintings, I-V," The Shimbi Shoin, Tokyo (13 Shinsakana-cho, Kyobashi-ku), 1909 (Volumes VIII & IX), 1918 (Second Edition, Volumes X-XII), folio (19 1/2 x 13 1/2 in - 50 x 34 cm), 5 volumes of art reproductions of Chinese art held in collections in Japan, 307 plates (57 are color woodblock prints and 250 are black and white collotypes), bound Japanese style, decorated cloth, purple silk threads, two edges gilt (top & bottom), 96 pages of text. Volumes X-XII are "Deluxe Edition" and contain more color plates than the regular edition and many of the color woodblock plates are executed on silk. They are, however, not designated "Deluxe" on the title page and that is determined by the number of color woodblock plates and the fact that several are on silk.

Summary of Plates (Color Woodblocks /Black & White Collotype).

These 5 volumes are part of a set of 16 volumes (8 volumes - Japanese paintings, 5 volumes - Chinese paintings and 3 volumes - sculptures). In a catalogue published before the publication of the set the Shimbi Shoin advertised the set (16 volumes) stating that it was limited to 500 sets in two grades.

The Shimbi Shoin advertised that this set (16 volumes) was limited to 500 sets in two grades. The ordinary edition (400 sets produced) with 130 color plates all on ordinary paper and the "edition de luxe" (100 sets produced) with 200 color plates and where the original was printed on silk, it is reproduced on silk in the deluxe edition. The deluxe edition is also characterized as having "rich brocade" covers. In a Shimbi Shion catalogue published ca 1910 the set was priced at 66 (deluxe) and 55 (regular). In a 1920 Shimbi Shoin catalogue the complete set was priced at 1,200 yen (deluxe) and 1,000 yen (regular). As of the 1920 catalogue the set is listed as 15 volumes ("or in folios"), not 16 volumes. In this catalogue the Japanese painting volumes were priced at 650 yen (deluxe) and at 525 yen (regular) and the Chinese paintings volumes were priced at 450 yen (deluxe) and 400 yen (regular). In the 1922 catalogue the complete set was priced at 1,300 yen (deluxe) and 1,000 yen (regular). The 1922 catalogue states the deluxe edition has 200 color plates and the regular edition has 130 color plates. My review of deluxe editions of volumes I-XII (Japanese and Chinese paintings) confirmed 202 color woodblock plates.


Summary of Volumes
Five Volumes of Chinese Paintings

  • Volume VIII (1910)- Chinese Paintings, Volume I, Comprising Productions of the Tang, the Five and the Sung Dynasties, plates 1-64, 28 pages of text.

  • Volume IX (1910) - Chinese Paintings, Volume II, Yuan Dynasty, plates 65-129, 8 pages of text.

  • Volume X (1918) - Chinese Paintings, Volume III, Comprising Productions of the Ming Dynasties, plates 130-193, 16 pages of text.

  • Volume XI (1918) - Chinese Paintings, Volume IV, Comprising Productions of the Ming and Ching Dynasties, plates 194-255, 22 pages of text.

  • Volume XII (1918) - Chinese Paintings, Volume V, Comprising Productions of the Ching Dynasties, plates 256-307, 22 pages of text.

Each volume has a full title page listing the volume number in the entire series of 16 volumes. This is followed by an illustrated title page giving the volume number in the "Chinese Pictures" set of 5 and stating the dynasties covered by the volume. Each volume has a single page "List of Plates" which gives, for each plate, the plate number, a general description (subject), the artist, the period (expressed in A.D. date), and the source. The text pages are printed on folded sheets of thin, high quality, paper. The woodblock plates are tipped to very thick high quality paper plates that have die sunk (recessed) areas for the woodblock print. The collotype plates are printed directly on medium thick high quality paper. Each plate (or unit of plates when similar plates were grouped together by the editor) is protected by a tissue guard with text in English and Japanese which describes the art and artist and the source/location of the relic. Each volume comes with a protective decorative cloth folding slipcase with ivory clasps.

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