Rock Crystal Seal

c. 1900
W: 1.0" D: 1.0" H: 1.75"
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This small rock crystal carving is a personalized seal once used by a Qing-dynasty scholar-official to sign important documents. Also known as a chop, such stamps were widely used by anyone who regularly signed formal documents, such as scholar-officials, merchants, and doctors. The final addition to any document or calligraphy painting, seal marks conveyed the scholar's authority and affirmed the document's authenticity. Seals were one of the many treasured accessories of the scholars' studio and many were carved from fine materials such as jade or jasper. This crystal seal has a square form, carved with the artist's mark on one end and a domed top on the other.

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