small fantastic animal standing on pedestal with stamp carved on bottom; animal has flat bony head, small ears, long whiskers, large feet; carved with incised lines to indicate fur(?)

Personal Seal, 2nd century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Gilt bronzeexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.38.6

G215expand_more

A superbly modeled chimera comprises the handle of this tiny square seal whose legend, Chen Shang hsin yi, cast on the reverse in negative seal script, may be translated as the "personal seal of Chen Shang." Small undecorated seals are known from the Warring States (480-221 BCE) and Ch'in (221-206 BCE) dynasties while more elaborate animal-shaped knobs were popular during Han as the use of official and personal seals became widespread. Seals with tortoise, chimera, ram, and camel-shaped knobs were popular and have been excavated from Eastern Han tombs. In spite of its extremely small size, the chimera on this example is exceptionally detailed and animated.

Details
Title
Personal Seal
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.38.6
Curator Approved

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small fantastic animal standing on pedestal with stamp carved on bottom; animal has flat bony head, small ears, long whiskers, large feet; carved with incised lines to indicate fur(?)