A superbly carved yellow soapstone seal in the form of a boulder. The legend on the base seems to read: Hua pa chou shang yin, or "Huapa (Flowery Loquat) seal of congratulation". On one side is a design of archaic dragons sporting around a traditional emblem of wealth, the copper cash with a square hole. Three inscriptions are carved on the faces of the boulder, much as ancient inscriptions were carved on suitable rock faces in the mountains. They appear to be seven-character poems containing phrases such as "water rising in spring" "as light as a feather" "seeking new fire" "lamp for book reading" "snowy pine" etc.
Condition - excellent. The seal has been used and the characters are encrusted with old seal paste. We have been reliably informed that this item probably dates to the first half of the 19th Century c1800-1850.
3.5 inches (9cm) High.