Measurements: Length 2.3 cm, Height 3.5 cm, Weight 50.9 g
Period: Eastern Han (25--220 CE)
Provenance: Unearthed from Zong Kang’s tomb of Eastern Han in Nanyang, 1953
The bronze seal stamp is a nested triplet, created with bronze gilding technique. The large seal is square in shape with a lion-formed knob with its head looking back, and it was adorned with gilding patterns on four sides, it bears four seal characters in relief “Zong Kang Zhi Yin” (lit. Zong Kong’s Seal) ; the medium has a smaller version of the knob on the large one, with two seal characters “Zong Kong”; the knob of the small is tubular, with “Huo (or Da) Yuan” (Lit. Fire or big Yuan) as the seal character. The triplet was ingeniously crafted, was likely the personal seal of “Zong Kong”.
“Seal is the identity”. In the Pre-Qin Period, seal stamp, as a necessity in the daily life for some people, was always taken along to indicate the identities. Whether it was official or personal, seal was a token and certificate for people to socialize at that time. The seal culture presents the early forms of Chinese characters, witnesses the evolution of Chinese writing scripts, and exhibits the infinite charm of Chinese culture and history within the compact space.