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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ink-cake. Dragon, phoenix and inscription. Made of ink.

  • Date

    • 1624
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 10 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        天啓甲子年製 (1624)
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Tian Qi Jia Zi Nian Zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the year of Jia Zi (1624) of Tian Qi reign (1601-1627)
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        feng you yi, long you lin, jun bu du xing, bi you liang chen
        gu le fu ge
        cheng jun fang zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        pheonix has wings, dragon has scales, a ruler needs the help of capable officials
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    21 April 2010

    Treatment proposal

    Remove mould. Assess for further work. Advise on strorage


    The object has suffered from being stored in an high RH% environment. Many objects in the store have developed mould on the surface.

    Treatment details

    The object was cleaned with a low suction vacuum cleaner and a soft brush.

    This object was included in the loan #1073 China: ancient and Modern. On the install in Coventry it was found a small chip had becoem detached from teh rim of the pot. This was reattached using HMG cellulose nitrate adhesive.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: RRC11324

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