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Weasel Hair Brushes
Wolf hair brushes do not exist. The legend comes from an unthinking translation of the real name: "langhao", which calls a wild weasel from Siberia. Its tail hair are yellow, terse and sharp but never very long so there are no large brushes in this material, and they don't keep large amounts of ink. Anyway that's the best tool for awkward beginners in calligraphy and there is nothing better for traditional drawaing and painting


Da lang tou : Important and rare pure langhao brush (weasel have rather short hair and make it impossible to ask for bigger than this). Handle of bamboo and horn, in a box, made in Anhui

If I had a spare 145 Euros, I would already have ordered one.  An important brush in a box, made in Anhui.  It sounds like a Le Guin artefact.

LANGHAO! Come, oh wild weasel from Siberia, with your sharp and terse tail hair!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
4th Feb, 2016 10:11 (UTC)
I may have just spent rather longer than was strictly necessary in looking at weasel hair brushes. And then wondering what the brushes were like if an English weasel had been used, rather than a Siberian one.
4th Feb, 2016 12:04 (UTC)
You are not alone :-D
4th Feb, 2016 12:18 (UTC)
Naturally, I uttered "langhao" as soon as I read that first sentence, and was disappointed that no Siberian weasels were called. But what if our callings ARE successful? After all, it doesn't specify where these weasels are being called to. One assumes it's to the location of the summoner, but what if it's elsewhere? What if, in some small office somewhere, a frazzled trainee on his first day at work is dealing with hundreds of Siberian weasels who keep magically popping into existence, and is riffling madly through the induction pack, trying to discover why it's happening and what is the correct procedure for dealing with it?
4th Feb, 2016 12:27 (UTC)
Me too, but perhaps we pronounced it wrong? It does warn that 'unthinking translation' can result in wolf-hair brushes. If you get a box of dodgy-looking wolf-hair brushes in the post tomorrow, you'll know why...

Surely the Great Calligraphy Catalog should be able to cope with unexpected weasels? It's probably part of the recruitment process, the Weasel Banishment test...
4th Feb, 2016 13:14 (UTC)
I'm sure I'm pronouncing it wrong, since I am led astray by the memory of land-hungry mariners, and declaim it as "Lang HO!", which doesn't sound much like a terse Siberian weasel (although it could be the war-cry of the Great Archweasel, may his tail remain forever unplucked.)

Come to think of it, it probably doesn't seem to be said aloud at all, but have its letters inscribed upon the air with mystic calligraphic symbols. By shaping the symbols correctly, you show yourself worthy of wielding the yellow brush of terseness.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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