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Chinese Seals

The use of seals and the practice of seal carving in China have a history of over 3,000 years. It often comes as a surprise to foreigners and visiting tourists that the Chinese have a fondness or preference for seals when dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy. However, seals have a deep tradition in China, throughout the deep historic roots of calligraphy and engraving that meets in the delicate seals that are produced today. These arts have inspired generations to study, appreciate and collect different seals. They serve as a personal signature of their owner, but they were used to be the symbol of legitimacy for a ruler or an entire government. The receipt of the seal signifies the conferral of the Mandate of Heaven. He who has the seal possesses the Mandate of Heaven, in other words, he has been given the right to rule the empire. A noted seal engraver was He Zhen

from the late Ming dynasty. He was famous for the strength and vigor of his engraving, and the clarity of the curves in the seal. These were said to be clear and harmonious, and his work influenced the engravers of the Qing dynasty. The tradition of seals stems from a desire to mark your possessions to prevent theft. During the first dynasty, the king used seals to display lordly credit, both for himself and his favourites, and to empower his authority. Gradually, the local governments who succeeded him needed seals for the same reason, to display and underline their own authority. However, private seals were also carved, showing the largest variety in content, shape, size, material and calligraphy. Seals were designed to be distinctive from others, reflecting the

individuals character by the pressure exerted during engraving. Deft, buoyant strokes indicate a self assured personality, whereas careful and neat strokes reflect a sober personality in the engraver. Seals can be carved on a variety of surfaces, from Jade, bone, metal, animal teeth or horns, pottery, bamboo or even fruit-pits and stones. In deciding what material to use, the surface must be checked to be sure it is slippery and smooth, and cool unless handled. Favoured stones included the Qingtian stone, Tianhuang stones, the Balin stone and the Jixue shi, or 'chicken's blood stone'. What is important in the selection is a flexibility when the material is cut. Being widely used for thousands of years, the role of seals in the Chinese art and history can hardly be overestimated.

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Name:Chinese seals Reply

I will be Beijing on 27th next month,It is you provide my tour to China and i want to make a Chinese seal with my name,please arrange that in my duration in China .I will make 5 Chinese seals altogether for me and my family.By the way,iwona in your company has kept in touch with me .

Name:Re: Chinese seals

Chinese seal represants traditional Chinese culture.You can contact Iwona in case she give names of your family to artists in advance.Upon your arrival on Beijing,you just need choose the style of the Chracter and the material and you can get them when you leave for Xi’an.