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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.

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seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,C.611

  • Description

    Small porcelain seal in form of an old woman seated on a stool. Underglaze blue colouring woman's cloak and details of her face and hair. Horizontal inscription on front side of stool. Carved characters on unglazed base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 16thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 30 millimetres
    • Width: 22 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on front
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        宣德年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Xuande nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Xuande reign
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Script

        seal script
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        長樂
      • Inscription Transliteration

        chang le
      • Inscription Translation

        Always happy
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF C611

    Blue-and-white seal


    The knob of this seal is modelled in the form of an old woman, wearing a cloak, seated on a stool and the base has two seal script characters. The apocryphal reign mark on the front reads 宣德年製 (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

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Pierson 2004 p.102, no.C611 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.75, no.C611 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case22/sh2

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,C.611

Small porcelain seal in form of an old woman seated on a stool. Underglaze blue colouring woman's cloak and details of her face and hair. Horizontal inscription on front side of stool. Carved characters on unglazed base.

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Object reference number: RRC40011

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