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Modern Chinese Scholars’ Rocks
A Guide for Collectors
by Kemin Hu
  • Chinese scholar’s rocks have been appreciated in China for more than a millennium, and collecting them is popular among people of all means and occupations in China
  • The continuing popularity of these wonderful objects has meant that many more exciting stone types have become available to the growing number of collectors in the west, and at much more modest prices

  • The qualities for which scholars’ rocks are valued are fully explained here, with all the information a would-be collector needs about types and characteristics, including mineral compositions, typical colours, hardness, and where they are found

Chinese scholar’s stones, variously called ‘viewing stones’, ‘spirit stones’, ‘respect stones’ (gongshi), and even ‘weird rocks’ (guaishi), have been appreciated and written about in China for more than a millennium. And although acquiring them in the west has become increasingly popular in recent times, most people perceive this hobby as limited to wealthy collectors. This need not be so: appreciating and collecting scholar’s stones is popular among people of all means and occupations in China, and should be in the west as well. The continuing popularity of these wonderful objects has in fact meant that many more exciting stone types have become available, and at much more modest prices. All the would-be collector needs is a good eye and the basic information about stone types and characteristics that this book provides.

Through descriptions and colour photographs, Modern Chinese Scholars’ Rocks introduces over 40 stone types, including their mineral compositions, typical colours, hardness on the Mohr scale, and where they are found or quarried. The qualities for which they are valued are explained, as are other features for the stone connoisseur to look for. Separate chapters explain how to display stones to their best advantage and how to make display stands. This modest, straightforward, and informative volume will engage readers in the exciting world of appreciating and collecting these brilliant natural art objects.

Published by Floating World Editions
Published 2006, 128 pp., 150 colour illustrations
ISBN 1 891640 34 8, paperback, £17.99