Monday, January 7, 2008

punishments of china (1804)

i usually rely on european or american examples when teaching the history of punishment (e.g., discipline and punish). if you'd like to move beyond these familiar examples, boing and the digital gallery of the new york public library offer some 200-year-old materials on punishment in china.

i cannot vouch for their historical accuracy, but the punishments of china: illustrated by twenty-two engravings (published 1804) certainly offers grimly compelling images. the library catalog record lists george henry mason as author, but here is the full citation information for the hamstringing engraving shown above.

Creator: Dadley, J. -- Engraver
Image Caption: Hamstringing a malefactor.
In: The punishments of China : illustrated by twenty-two engravings : with explanations in English and French. (published 1804)
Library Division:Humanities and Social Sciences Library / Art and Architecture Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs
Description:[54] p., 22 leaves of plates : 22 col. ill. ; 38 cm.
Item/Page/Plate Number:Pl. 17
Specific Material Type:prints
Subject(s):Costumes -- Chinese
Punishment & torture -- China
Collection Guide:Customs and Costume: Surveys and Examples of National Studies, to 1900
Digital Image ID:1565324
Digital Record ID:1056437
Digital Record Published:3-29-2007; updated 10-5-2007
NYPL Call Number:3-MMR+ (Mason, G. H. Punishments of China)

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