A book collector in Yangxin County in central China's Hubei Province recently displayed a wellpreserved imperial edition of the Kangxi Dictionary dating back 285 years to the Qing Dynasty.
The Kangxi Dictionary, 23.5 centimeters in length and 15.2 centimeters wide, is bound with thread and consists of 40 volumes.
Compiled from 1710 to 1716, the dictionary has been an important reference book and a milestone in Chinese culture; however, the imperial edition is rare since it could only be obtained by high officials at that time, experts said.
The dictionary differs from other editions in its paper, printing and design styles. The paper, specially made for the emperor, is still white and glossy and the printing plate featuresgraceful letter forms and rich decorative patterns.
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