Sheets from "10 Bamboo Studio Manual of Painting and Calligraphy" and "The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting"

Qing dynasty, 19th century. Color woodblock prints. One sheet from: Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Painting and Calligraphy, depicting rockformations and flowers, sheet size 33x26 cm.

Two from: "The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting", one with fruits, persimmon and two mandarin, image size 29x24, and the other with a vase, containing fruits inside, image size 31x27,5 cm. Both framed.

Not examined out of frame, moisture damages, stains, discolorations, yellowed, creases.

Droit de suite: No
Location: Västberga Allé 3, 126 30 Hägersten - V9

From the Collection of Erik Holmberg, thence by descent. Bankdirektör Erik Holmberg was born in 1888 (died 1972), married to Esther Holmberg (?-1955). Erik Holmberg made a career at Svenska Handelsbanken and worked there as a Bank Manager up until his pension. He grew up in Trysil, Norway which came to make an impact upon him and he continued to enjoy nature, skiing and hiking throughout his life. He and his beloved wife Ester lived in a villa at Lidingö, Stockholm where he also kept his wooden sailboat Albertina.

Erik early on became fascinated with Asian Art, and was a true academic collector who had a curiosity and strive to learn more about the subject all the time, this is clearly visible in his catalogue cards about his pieces, all his letters to museum directors, dealers and other collectors and members of the China club at the time.

Set a part from his attraction to the Asian art he also collected Swedish contemporary ceramics from Stig Lindberg, Wilhelm Kåge and Bertil Friberg.

He was an active member of the Östasiatiska Museets vänner and he donated several of his contemporary Chinese paintings to the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm.


In 1679, the playwright, author, and garden designer Li Yu published a primer for amateur painters called the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. The manual’s images and texts impart a sense of famous masters’ styles and how to reproduce them. The designs for the prints were prepared by Wang Gai, as he had the versatility required to paint in a range of manners. The manual was extremely successful and became the most widely used book of its type not only in China, but in Japan and Korea as well. Today, many painters still use it as a starting point. Very rare in early Chinese editions.

Related content

The book is represented in various Museums and Librarys usually in later editions, to mention some; The Metropolitan Museum, inventory no CP8.
The British Museum. Inventory no 1982,1011,0.1.

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Alexandra Xu
Alexandra Xu
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