Chinese Rubbings Collection

Rubbing from pictorial relief carving depicting mythical animals, female figures, and procession of officers riding in horse-drawn vehicles. Scenes are from the shrine of Wu Rong at the Wu Family Shrines, Jiaxiang, Shandong from 1st year of Jianhe, Eastern Han Dynasty (147). Harvard Fine Arts Library Special Collections. B-33.


Comprised of nearly 2,000 rubbings that reproduce Buddhist and Daoist scriptures and historical and allegorical depictions incised on stone stelae, cave walls, bronze vessels, jade, ceramics, and roof tiles, this collection is a highly esteemed, accurate, and often unique source for scholars of Chinese history, epigraphy, and related disciplines. Created in the late 19th and early 20th century, the rubbings were made from objects that date from the Qin (221-207 BC) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). Presented to Harvard by the scholars and collectors Langdon Warner, Lawrence Sickman, Hamilton Bell, and Adrian Rübel, the rubbings range in size from six inches square to four-by-ten feet, and were digitized with support from the Weissman Preservation Center.

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