If you are an admirer of Chinese calligraphy, or seen a piece of traditional Chinese painting, you may have wondered what created such beautiful works of art. The answer lies with the brush pen, and its uniqueness which remains a main fixture of Chinese culture.
As one of the oldest and most renowned antique shops in Beijing, Gu Yi Zhai in the Xuanwu District sells a large variety of brush pens. The brush pens range from the size of a small pen to the size of a mop. They can be used for both writing and drawing.
The owner, who spoke to me in short bursts of English, told me that their top quality brush pens were made from weasel hairs. Also of good quality were pens made from goat or rabbit hairs. However, for beginners he would recommend the mixed-hair pen, which is much easier to use. A normal size brush pen sold for RMB 30 to RMB 1000.
In addition to quality brush pens, the shop also offers a variety of Chinese seals all made on site. Each sold for around RMB 100.
The owner and other 2 shop assistants could speak some English, so communication was not be a problem.
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