Seal Paste Boxes

Seal Paste Boxes Qing dynasty

Seal Paste Boxes

Qing dynasty (1644-1912), Kangxi period (1661-1722)
Langyao ware (porcelain with peach-bloom glaze)
2 x 2.875 inches diam. each
1994.2.1, .2

Seal paste boxes adorned the scholar’s desk. They held vermillion (reddish-orange) paste derived from powdered cinnabar. The paste used in conjunction with a seal (or stamp) authenticated paintings as well as official documents. Unique stamps were made in jade and ivory. The pinkish-red glaze of this box takes its cue from blushing skin and ripening fruit. The effect is achieved by sandwiching dense metallic copper between layers of clear glaze. The result is a highly polished surface with a somewhat variegated and cloudy coloration.

Beurdeley, p. 151
Cleveland Museum of Art, object: 1942. 673
Kerr, p. 74
Rawson, p. 365


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