Manuscript on paper, 14 folding leaves.

56 (of 61) finely painted depictions in rich colors of lips & tongues pasted-in, text written in Chinese. 8vo (280 x 203 mm.), orig. wrappers (wrappers somewhat soiled), stitched. [Japan]: mid-Edo?

Tongue and lip diagnosis has been a vital tool used in traditional Chinese medicine for both assessing the current health of a patient and providing a basis for prognosis. This finely illustrated manuscript contains 39 finely and vividly painted illustrations of the tongue and 17 of the mouth and lips in various states of health.

The first illustration, which is missing, depicted a healthy pair of lips. Present are the surrounding manuscript annotations describing the 12 parts of the lips, their zodiac signs, and their relationships to the health of other parts of the body. The following 17 (of 18) paintings depict lips in various states of ill health and their connection with various organs of the body. Each illustration has been annotated in the margins with descriptions of the lips, their diagnoses, and related illnesses.

The second part of the manuscript deals with the tongue. Again, the first illustration of this part depicts a healthy tongue, and anatomical labels are provided according to the 12 zodiac signs. In traditional Chinese medicine, different areas of the tongue are believed to reflect the health of the different organ systems. Surrounding this illustration are annotations, which discuss how each part of the tongue is connected to a part of the body. The following 39 (of 41) paintings vividly depict the tongue in various states of ill health and, again, the annotations describe the related condition of the patient. The shape, color, and coating of the tongue are described. Many of the tongues and lips depicted are three-dimensional.

The final five tongue paintings, of which two are missing, depict “deadly” tongues.

Very good copy. Some staining and worming, carefully repaired.

Price: $4,500.00

Item ID: 7015