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.

jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a little book, filled with what appears to be Chinese poetry.

Length: 15 cm
Width: 8cm
Depth: 2cm

The pages are of a very fine quality, each sheet of paper being quick thick. Perhaps because of this, the pages are not sewn together as such books often are, but instead, uses tight bronze rings as binding. The bronze is heavily tarnished. Results for dating are as yet inconclusive, but the way the book is bound makes it easy to scan and file into the electronic database.

The covers are a thick black material, almost plastic in hardness but cloth-like in texture. Embossed on the cover are three Chinese characters and a rendition of bamboo leaves. The characters are filled with gold, and the leaves filled with green.

Each page within the book contains Chinese characters, ranging from 10 to 50 characters a page, and with some pictures and further, much smaller characters, written in the margins, reminiscent of a child's textbook.

As I cannot read Chinese, I have since forwarded the files to the linguistics department, particularly [personal profile] yiduiqie, who may better confirm what I have speculated.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a little booklet. Cover is made from brown leather (and smells like cow); pages are so well-preserved, technicians and myself are tempted to believe it was printed only ~50 years ago, but print date (1793) says otherwise. Embossed and filled with black ink on the cover is the title. The pages are yellow, but still quite sturdy.

There is no credited authour. Full title is "Jahanam Francis Light: Riwayat Peristiwa Akibat Pertempuran Antara Negara Kedah & Briton Curang Pada Tahun 1780". The book is 10cm x 13cm, and weighs no more than 10 grams.

The booklet is a 10-page sajak (poem), written in Jawi and printed in a large font. Inside the cover, the name "Yusuf Jaksin" is scrawled in what appears to be a child's handwriting. The pages alternate from writing and illustrations of the scene being described. From these we infer that it was used as educational / propaganda material.

Possible origins are Kedah or Penang, although the printing and writing style point to a writer of Kelantanese descent, perhaps even Pattani, but I work with rudimentary knowledge.

Further actions taken: Sent to transcription department, and from there will be forwarded to the linguistics department for further analysis.
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