Paper Horses: Traditional Woodblock Prints of Gods from Northern China

Blacksmith Books

Regular price $288.00

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- Size: 21.6 (L) x 21.6 (W) cm

- Binding: Hardcover, 192 pages

- Language: English

- Author: David Leffman

- Publisher: Blacksmith Books, 2022

In 2020 a large album of “paper horses” – prayer prints of Chinese gods – appeared for sale. How had these fragile things, cheaply printed in the 1940s and meant to be ritually burned soon after purchase, survived intact for so long? And how come there were at least three other identical sets in collections around the world?

In answering this mystery, author David Leffman explores the history and techniques behind traditional Chinese woodblock printing, which dates back to at least the Tang dynasty (618-907). All 93 “paper horses” in the original album are reproduced alongside biographies of the gods, spirits and demons depicted, providing an illustrated introduction to the complex and fascinating world of Chinese folk religion.