The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page


Chinese Symmetrical Fold and Cut Designs

This page is being used to record information about the history of Chinese Symmetrical Fold and Cut Designs. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.


Tang Dynasty - 9th-10th Century

The British Museum possesses a number of fold and cut flowers found in Cave 17 at Dunhuang in China which are said to date from the 9th to 10th Century. According to the Curator's Comments: 'On the back it can be seen that each layer of paper started as a square of paper folded twice to make a smaller square. A symmetrical design was produced by cutting with scissors and unfolding again' and 'most of which have a dab of glue on the back where they must have once been attached to a wall or some other architectural feature.'

It is not clear whether these designs were purely decorative / recreational or whether they had some particular cultural / religious significance.