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Silk calligraphy

A calligraphy written with brush on a silk cloth instead of paper. Calligraphy on silk, similarly to that on wooden slips, preceded calligraphy on paper by some 200 years. The oldest silk manuscript still intact today is 楚帛書 (Chinese: Chǔ bó shū), dated to 4th – 3rd century B.C., discovered in 1940’s. The document itself is an astrological reference to the lunar Chinese calendar, most likely created by a sorcerer or shaman, richly decorated with drawings of masked unnatural creatures, which scholars associate with the twelve gods of the months. Writing on silk is not an easy task, and it can be very expensive. Silk cloth absorbance and irregular blur patterns require a skillful hand, as well as knowledge of ink preparation. Lastly, silk cloth is much more expensive that paper, as once ink is applied to it, it cannot be removed.

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Page last modified on November 15, 2011, at 03:35 AM