Apr. 15th, 2010

yifu: (// scremies @ lj)
[personal profile] yifu

Item is a piece of high quality but otherwise unexceptional Xuan paper. Judging from its lower edge, researchers believe it to be the top half of a longer piece. Discovered in Medan, North Sumatra, the paper has been confirmed to originate from China, early eighteenth century. It is preserved within a slim tube (20 centimeters in length, 300 grams in weight, made of gold) which bears the character for "spear" and no other distinguishing mark. Due to its age, extracting the paper from the tube was done with great care, and unfurling it required an even greater amount of concentration and caution.

Written on the paper were four lines of poetry - believed to be the first half of a complete poem - in the Li-shu calligraphy style. There is no title. The four lines describe, in a straightforward manner, an expedition to the northwest of China made with the blessing of "the all-seeing heaven." Said conquest might have taken place after the imperial army expelled Galdan from Outer Mongolia and Tibet, and crossed Kobdo toward areas that are part of modern Kazakhstan. The missing half of the poem is speculated to contain further details of this conquest. Both the writer of the poem and the original owner of the paper are unknown as yet.

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