Dates for Wang Junfu 王君甫

Recently, a map entitled Da Ming Jiubian Wanguo Renji Lucheng Quantu 大明九边万国人迹路程全图 “The Routes to Great Ming from All Nations”, ca. 120×120 cm., came to light.

Of interest is the fact that it is signed in upper left part and dated: Kangxi ernian guimao shangyuan jidan 康熙二年癸卯上元吉旦 and Gusu Wang Junfu faxing 姑蘇王君甫發行. Second year of Kangxi reign, ie 1663.

Date and signature

Date and signature

Wang Junfu was an artist/printer who has signed four other prints:

1) Wanguo Lai Chao 万国来朝 All Nations Coming to Court. 39,3×59,6 cm (paper sheet). British Museum, 1920,1216,0.1.

Wanguo Laichao - All Nations Coming to Court

Wanguo Laichao – All Nations Coming to Court

Same signature as on the map: Gusu Wang Junfu fa xing 故蘇王君甫發行

2) Ershiba Sunao Kunyang 二十八宿闹昆阳 Twenty-eight Generals at Kunyang. 37,7×58,9 cm. Private collection, Japan.

Ershiba Sunao Kunyang  - Twenty-eight Generals at Kunyang

Ershiba Sunao Kunyang – Twenty-eight Generals at Kunyang

Signed Wang Junfu fa xing 王君甫發行

3) Shen Wansan Jubaopen Tu 沈萬三聚寶盆圖 Shen Wansan’s Treasure Bowl. 37,8×58,8 cm. Tenri Library.

Shen Wan san Ju bao pen Tu 沈萬三聚寶盆圖

Shen Wan san Ju bao pen Tu 沈萬三聚寶盆圖

Signed Wang Junfu fa xing 王君甫發行

4) San Zang Xi Tian Qu Jing 三藏西天取經 Scenes from Monk San Zang’s Pilgrimage to the West. 39,2 x 59,8 cm. Dresden Kupferstichkabinett. This print was first inventoried in 1738.

Sān zàng xī tiān qǔ jīng 三藏西天取經

Sān zàng xī tiān qǔ jīng 三藏西天取經

Signed Wang Junfu fa ke  王君甫發客

The four signatures are different in style and position:

in 1) it is within a cartouche in the middle of the left inner margin and with Gusu mentioned;

in 2) within a cartouche in the lower left inner margin;

in 3) in the lower left inner margin, but without cartouche;

and in 4) boldly printed in the lower left part of the print.

Two of the prints have a printed black border (1 and 2). The title of the image is printed within a framed rectangle on the upper part of the print, two are centred close to the upper margin (1 and 2; same prints which have a printed border), the other two are placed left and right of centre, 4) is within the image. The printed image is roughly 38,5×59 cm, and with colours applied by printing blocks.

Among the extant prints, few carry Kangxi reign dates. Thanks to the 1663 dating on the map we are able to ascertain that Wang Junfu was active during this period. The style, format and subject of Wang’s prints are similar to prints by other artists, and, consequently, a Kangxi date can be attributed to those other prints.

About chiwoopri

Collector and researcher of old Chinese woodblock prints
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