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Culture Insider: The evolution of bookmark in ancient China

By Bi Nan | | Updated: 2016-11-24 14:27

Culture Insider: The evolution of bookmark in ancient China

An ivory bookmark [File photo]

Bamboo and ivory bookmark

During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), silk books gradually replaced bamboo chips. People wrote on the silk book or pasted the paper with written characters on the silk scroll, and then twined them on the wooden or bamboo roller. To make it easier for readers to find the book, people would tie a small plate at one end of the roller marked with the book name, the volume number or other information, making it a precursor to the current "bookmark".

The bookmark during that time was always made with bamboo, and engraved with orchid or flower patterns on the bamboo as decoration. Wealthy families used ivory as bookmark, and some families hanged the ivory bookmarks on the bookshelves.

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