Personal ethics and aesthetics

Seals - identity and expression

Finally, seals are to hold. They are small - but relatively massive - weights to manipulate between fingers or to grip in a fist. While the mark of the seal may remain to fascinate later viewers, the body of it is also of great interest to the owner.

The stone out of which a seal is made may be veined and precious, a collectable in its own right, even without carving or inscription. The top of the seal may be sculpted to the extent that it becomes a minor artwork. And the primary text may be accompanied by additional inscriptions on the sides of the seal – which may also be 'imprint-able' and so reversed, or they may be readable when held (and so not reversed.)


 Modern seal and engraved stone
Collection of YU Peng