large square green and grey jade seal with cross-shaped faceted handle; handle has hole through top for hanging/storage and character carved into top

Official Taoist Seal, 14th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Nephrite (jade)expand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.38.7

G201expand_more

This large square jade seal is carved with the characters dao de can bao meaning "treasure of the library of Daoist classics." The seal appears to have been designed for official use in a library applied to Daoist texts that had been part of a burgeoning canonical literature during Yuan and Ming times. The large size and particular form of this seal relate it to a long line of official seals beginning in the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE). By Sung (960-1279), the large seals were important symbols of official authority and were used to insure the authenticity of important documents, calligraphy, and paintings. The character shan (mountain) on top of the handle equates the seal with the cosmic pillar forming a link between heaven and the text it imprints.

Details
Title
Official Taoist Seal
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.38.7
Curator Approved

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large square green and grey jade seal with cross-shaped faceted handle; handle has hole through top for hanging/storage and character carved into top