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Antique Chinese chinoiserie flip top shaving or jewelry / vanity / cosmetics box with a mirror and drawer lined with paper depicting Maxims for the well Governed Household and Hundreds of Chinese Surnames.
Translation of inner lining:
1 治家格⾔ zhì jiā gé yán Title - Maxims for the Well-Governed Household
2 久必受其累 jiǔ bì shòu qí léi …eventually be implicated by…
3 屈志⽼成 qū zhì lǎo chéng to be humble before people who are older and
4 急則可相依 jí zé kě xiāng yī will serve in time of trouble
5 輕聽發⾔ qīng tīng fā yán words lightly heard
6 安知⾮⼈之譖訴 ān zhī fēi rén zhī zèn sù how is one know it is not others’ slander?
The original writer, which was not indicated in the picture, was 朱⽤纯 (Zhu Yongchun)
(from 1677 to 1698), a well respected scholar and educator. The picture shows part of Zhu’s article
of “Maxims for the Well-Governed Household”, a 17th century essay and also one of the most
influential educational articles about traditional Chinese culture and values. This essay contains 524
characters. It’s also a subject for calligraphic exercise so its very likely you will encounter it
somewhere again. The font here is regular script (楷体: Kai Ti).
If you keep bad company when
young, you will in the long run
suffer for it.
Associating with evil youths, one must
eventually be implicated [in their evil].
But if you keep on friendly terms
with the honest and reliable, then
you will have them to lean on in
time of crisis.
To be humble before the people who are
older and more experienced will serve in
time of trouble.
If you unthinkingly listen to
whatever is said, how will you be
able to identify slander?
How is one to know words lightly heard are
not other people’s slander?
1 百家姓 bǎi jiā xìng Hundreds of Chinese Surnames
2-1 印 葉 甯 祖
宿 幸 仇 武
yìn yè níng zǔ
sù xìng qiú wǔ
Yin Ye Ning Zu
Su Xing Qiu Wu (all family names)
2-2 松 封 翁 龔 洪 sōng fēng wēng gōng hóng Song Feng Weng Gong Hong
(all family names)
3 晋将索靖 jìn jiāng suǒ jìng Suojing (239-303), general officer and
famous calligrapher in Jin dynasty (266–420)
4 漢⾂卓茂 hàn chén zhuó mào Zhuomao (?-28), one of the founding
generals of Han Dynasty
5 貪嗜 tān shì covet; insatiably desire
6 ⼝ kǒu mouth
7 殺 shā kill
8 乖僻 guāi pì eccentric
9 悔懊 huǐ ào regret
(1) is the title for “Hundreds of Chinese Surnames”. Here is the Wiki page provides useful
(2-1)+(2-2) are all the surnames listed under the book
(3) and (4) are historical figures which are same as the traditional printed version:
In (2-2): the family name 龔 has the character dragon ⻰/⿓ in it. The original family name was
共, but the clan added ⿓ to it to flee from troubles (very serious ones). Personally I found this
family name pretty cool and the history behind it is quite fascinating. You know, not everyone
can just add a cool dragon character to their family names to stay out of trouble.
(5) to (9) are likely content from the book of "Hundreds of Chinese Surnames”.
Good overall condition, wear and distressing commensurate with age and use, chipping / marking to finish.
4.75" x 6.5" x 3.125"h