Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ch'ien T'ang

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CH'IEN T'ang 錢塘 (T. 學淵, 禹美, H. 溉亭), 1735–1790, scholar, native of Chia-ting, Kiangsu, was a relative of Ch'ien Ta-hsin [q. v.]. He obtained his chü-jên degree in 1779 and his chin-shih degree in 1780 with appointment as director of schools of Chiang-ning (Nanking). His scholastic interests were wide and he produced studies in many fields, including the classics, history, philosophy, music and the Shuo-wên (for the last see under Tuan Yü-ts'ai). A collection of his prose writings, dealing principally with the Classics, and entitled 溉亭述古錄 Kai-t'ing shu-ku lu, 2 chüan, was printed in the Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan). His 律呂古義 Lü-lü ku-i, also known as Lü-lü k'ao-wên (考文), 6 chüan, a work on ancient music, is included in the Nan-ch'ing shu-yüan ts'ung-shu (see under Huang T'i-fang). He left about fifteen works of which some are apparently not extant.

A younger brother of Ch'ien T'ang, named Ch'ien Tien 錢坫 (T. 獻之, 篆秋, H. 泉坫, 十蘭, 1744–1806), was a scholar and calligrapher. He became a fu-hung or senior licentiate of the second class in 1774, and then was appointed a second class sub-prefect of Ch'ien-chou, Shensi. Later he officiated simultaneously as magistrate of several other districts in the same province. About 1783 he participated in the compilation of the local history of Han-ch'êng, Shensi, 韓城縣志 Han-ch'êng hsien-chih, which was printed in 1784. He was also a member of the staff which compiled the Hsü Tzŭ-chih t'ung-chien (see under Pi Yüan). His work on the Shuo-wên, entitled 說文解字斠詮 Shuo-wên chieh-tzŭ chiao-ch'üan, 14 chüan, was first printed in 1807. His notes on the geographical section of the Han-shu, 新斠注漢書地理志 Hsin chiao chu Han-shu ti-li chih, 16 chüan, was first printed in 1797 and was later annotated by Hsü Sung [q. v.]. Two of his antiquarian studies, entitled 車制考 Chü-chih k'ao and 爾雅釋地 Êr-ya shih-ti, are included in the Hsü Huang-Ch'ing ching-chieh (see under Juan Yüan).

Ch'ien Tien was an accomplished calligrapher, though it is said that after suffering a paralytic stroke he learned to write with his left hand. Sun Hsing-yen [q. v.] regarded him as the most skillful writer of lesser seal characters in the Ch'ing period.

Ch'ien T'ang and his brother, Ch'ien Ta-hsin and his two sons, and Ch'ien Ta-chao [q. v.] and his three sons—all being scholars of repute—came to be known collectively as the "Nine Ch'iens" (九錢).


[1/487/18a; 4/49/21b, 134/12b; 20/4/00 (portrait of Ch'ien Tien); 26/2/32a; 29/6/10a; Chia-ting hsien-chih (1880) 16/52b, 53b.]

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