Inscription Collection, Palace Museum

The Inscription Collection in the Huangji Hall of the Palace Museum is the largest of its kind in China. The earliest pieces in the collection are ancient bones and tortoise shells, as well as bronze objects from the Shang Dynasty and Warring States Period. Ten drum-shaped stones from that time, known as the"stone drums."are inscribed with a four-line poem each.

Stone carving developed rapidly after the Qin Dynasty. Tablets like the one about Zhang Qian (a Han Dynasty envoy to the Western Regions) are good examples of Eastern Han Dynasty work.

During the Sui and Tang dynasties, making tablets for famous calligraphers came into fashion. A number of these are collected in the museum as well.

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