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Tu Wan’s Stone Catalogue of Cloudy Forest
A Commentary and Synopsis
by Edward H. Schafer, University of California, Berkeley

Although Chinese sources as early as the first millennium B.C.E. had mentioned stones as objects of value or aesthetic merit, this 12th-century catalogue is the first whole work in Chinese literature entirely 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. 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’.

Published by Floating World Editions
Published 2005, 116 pp.
ISBN 1 891640 15 1, paperback, £24.99