Archives for posts with tag: seal

W70xL100xH60, China

This blue and white porcelain box, now displayed as a toothpick holder, was used as an “ink pad” for the Chines. It is a container for the red paste used with the Chinese seal. The ink paste has been used since the Qin dynasty and at that time using clay, the clay is made into small balls and soften with water when use, it is used as a seal for a document, similar to the wax seal in the West (only that the document is of bamboo, text written in lacquer, the envelope being as string which is then sealed). By the Tang dynasty, as paper is developed the ink paste is also refined, cinnabar replaced clay as the seal paste which is closer to today’s paste. Also see our previous post “A Seal Case“.

W70xL140xH50mm, China

Dont be mislead by the tabloid title, this is in fact a piece of stationary, a copper box for keeping seals and seal paste.  In China seal was the form of  identification, a bit like the rubber stamp which is officially recognized.  The seal of the Emperor would represent the Emperor himself.  In the old days, most people will at least own a set of personal seal, but for artist and intellectuals they will own also a leisure set and a studio set, for each set there will be a collection of a seals.  There are a long culture for seals; the stone, the text, the design and the craftsmanship are all  refined and specialized.

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