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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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seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.638

  • Description

    Small rectangular porcelain seal surmounted by a seated ram with head rearing up and mouth open. Details in underglaze blue. Face and side incised with inscriptions.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 43 millimetres
    • Width: 25 millimetres
    • Depth: 25 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        淡中有味
      • Inscription Transliteration

        'danzhong you wei'
      • Inscription Translation

        use salt sparingly and food will keep its natural flavour
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A638

    Blue-and-white seal


    The knob of this seal is modelled in the form of a ram and the base has four seal script characters. The apocryphal reign mark on the front reads 大明宣德年製 (Da Ming Xuande nian zhi ‘Made in the Xuande reign [AD 1426–35’). Seals were used in China from the 4th century BC but this one dates to the late sixteenth century. Seals were used for official and personal purposes instead of a signature or sometimes with a brush signature.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli period, AD 1573–1620

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1976 p.41, no.A638 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.60, no.A638 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case22/sh2

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.638

Small rectangular porcelain seal surmounted by a seated ram  with head rearing up and mouth open. Details in underglaze blue. Face and side incised with inscriptions.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39544

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