An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Tianshui bingshan lu 天水冰山錄

Mar 27, 2024 © Ulrich Theobald

Tianshui bingshan lu 天水冰山錄 is a register of precious household belongings and landed property during the mid-Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Yan Song 嚴嵩 (1480-1567). The preface, written by Zhou Shilin 周石林, dates from 1728, when Zhou reconstructed the text on the base of a fragmentary manuscript.

The register presents a list of the property of the Yan family that was confiscated by the state. It includes drinking vessels, headdresses with precious adornments, vases, fans, zithers, maps, paintings, books, etc. The items are categorized. Under each item, numbers and amounts are listed, and the total number of items in each category is summarized, coming to a sum of more than 2 million tael of silver. At the end of the list, the names of the officials who were responsible for the confiscation are presented. An appendix compares the confiscation of the Yan's household with that of Zhang Juzheng's 張居正 (1525-1582) and Zhu Ning's 朱寧 (Qian Ning 錢寧; d. 1521), whose families were also deprived of their property after their political downfall.

The part that attracted the most attention by researcher is fol. 104a-155a. It lists silk products of the prefectures of Nanchang 南昌, Yuanzhou 袁州 (today part of Yichun 宜春) and the district of Fenyi 分宜, all located in the province of Jiangxi. The manufactories described were of private ownership. Yan's register is therefore of great value for the history of private entrepreneurship because the state-owned silk factories like those in Suzhou 蘇州 are much better documented. It mentions a large number of textiles and clothes of various weaving patterns and colours, like satins (duan 緞), tabbies (juan 絹), gauzes (luo 羅), muslins (sha 紗), pongees (chou 紬), "altered loom" fabric (gaiji 改機), velvets (rong 絨), various types of brocade (jin 錦), damasks (ling 綾), remnant fabric (suofu 瑣幅), kudzu cloth (ge 葛), and hemp cloth (bu 布) - all in bolts – followed by tailored costumes.

The book can thus be used as a reference for all types of products and as a hint to the level of craftsmanship during the Ming period.

The text is included in the series Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編. Both include an appendix called Qianshangtanghua ji 鈐山堂書畫記, a register of paintings and calligraphies of Yan Song's Qianshan Studio 鈐山堂.

Han Jin 韓進 (2013). "Cong jiguanpu dao shuhua jiancang mlu. Yan Song fuzi jimo shuhua mulu de wenben yanbian 從籍官簿到書畫鑑藏目錄——嚴嵩父子籍沒書畫目錄的文本演變", Tushuguan xuekan 圖書館學刊, 35 (8): 118-121.
Liu Aoxue 劉傲雪, Xu Qiujie 須秋潔 (2023). "Cong Zhongguo lishi shang shiyi lai kan Tianshui bingshan lu zhong ousi zhi yi 從中國歷史上釋義來看《天水冰山錄》中“藕絲”之義", Zhejiang Fangzhi Fuzhuang Zhiye Jishu Xueyuan xuebao 浙江紡織服裝職業技術學院學報, 22 (2): 58-62.
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Wang Kaijia 王凱佳,Li Meng 李甍 (2017). "Tianshui bingshan lu zhong de Mingdai fangzhi fushi xinxi jiexi 《天水冰山錄》中的明代紡織服飾信息解析", Sichou 絲綢, 54 (11): 83-88.
Wang Zhuangmu 王莊穆 (1996). Zhongguo sichou cidian 中國絲綢辭典 (Beijing: Zhongguo kexue jishu chubanshe), 637.
Xie Wei 謝瑋 (2022). "Zhong-wan-Ming yishihua qiwu zailu zhong de gongyi jishu yu wuzhi kongjian: Yi Tianshui bingshan lu wei li 中晚明儀式化器物載錄中的工藝技術與物質空間——以《天水冰山錄》為例", Chuangyi yu sheji 創意與設計, 2022 (4): 72-78.
Zhao Chengze 趙承澤 , Zhang Qiong 張瓊 (2001). "Gaiji ji qi xiangguan wenti tantao “改機” 及其相關問題探討", Gugong Bowuyuan yuankan 故宮博物院院刊, 2001 (2): 34-43.
蜀漢 (221-263)