Knife for woodcuts, round coir inking brush and double-sided original Qing dynasty textual woodblock for a traditional medical text. Huangdi neijing taisu (黃帝内經太素) (juan 12, folios 11 and 12),
Gift of Xia Wei and Soren Edgren.
Invented circa 700, woodblock printing was the dominant form of printing in China until the end of the 19th century. This double-sided woodblock was used to print a classic medical text: Huangdi neijing taisu, or The Grand Basis of the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon. Block-cutters made characters and images by hand with knives. Printers used round coir brushes to ink blocks for printing. They would then pull a piece of paper tightly over the block and use a rectangular brush, or print burnisher, to make an impression.
From the collection of Rare Book School