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Manuscript cover with Tangben style binding, consisting of four holes, sewn with silk thread. With printed text on bottom right corner.
AKM681, Record of the Pilgrimage (Chao jin tu ji)

© The Aga Khan Museum

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On Display
Record of the Pilgrimage (Chao jin tu ji)
  • Accession Number:AKM681
  • Creator:Author: Ma Fuchu, Hui Chinese, 1794 - 1874
  • Place:China
  • Dimensions:26.3 cm × 14.9 cm × 0.4 cm
  • Date:1861
  • Materials and Technique:Woodblock print on paper

This book about making the Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) from China to Mecca is printed on lightweight but strong Asian paper and bound using a style traditional to China and Japan. The simple and utilitarian binding (called "Tangben style") consists of four holes (or "four eyes") sewn with strong silk thread. This binding style creates intricate geometric designs. 
 
Stitched books have a long history, with examples dating back to the 7th century found in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang. By the end of the 19th century, however, Western-style bindings predominated.  
 
- Filiz Çakır Phillip and Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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