The Antique Street
The history of Beijing as a capital city is over 850 years, while that of the Antique Street is mole than 780 years In the Liao (916-1125) and Jin Dynasty (1 115- 1234), the site of the street was a village called Haiwang Village. It was the imperial kin of the Yuan Dynasty and the cultural center during the late Ming to early Qing. “The eastern street wells antiques add the western street ancient Books.” In the middle period of the Qing Dynasty, the Antique Street was packed wire over a hundred shops sale metals and stones, potteries, tablets and curios, calligraphy and paintings, literary works, the four treasures of the study, seals, ink cases, and shops that offered painting mounting ana stone inscription rubbing. During Qing Guangxu’s reign, there were more man 200 bookstores on the street. A Qing’s Zuzhci poem eulogized the street this way: “Painting studios and bookstores lie in light rows; the visitors are confused by the great variety. It’s hard to differentiate the curios: the cooking vessel from the Shang Dynasty (C. 1600-C.1100. BC) and the ancient wine cup from the Zhou Dynasty. The Antique Street, with huge amount of books and numerous rare treasures, outshines the Foye Street of London, Seine Riverside Book Fair in Paris, the Book Street in St Petersburg, and the Book Sea in Tokyo, in terms of history or cultural content. The total humor of the books and calligraphy and paintings being sold during the past 300 years is hard to count. The contemporary painter Qi Baishi came to Peking to seek a better living in I 917. Most of his paintings were sold to a paper shop on are Antique Street. And it was here that Qi’s painting works were recognized by Chen Shizeng, a celebrity in the calligraphy and painting circle of Peking. Chen offered Bai a hand. He sent Bai’s painting works to France, and the works were displayed on the Paris Art Show.