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Re: Re: Re: Can anyone please translate this Chinese seal?

Posted By: Sebastian B.
Posted Date: Jan 19, 2019 (12:20 AM)

Dear mikeoz,
My apologies for the bad picture. Here I've taken a better one, cropped it, and upped the contrast a little, which I hope may help. I cannot imagine that this is genuine. That said it is fun to engage with the history and pull at loose threads. One thing I will say is that the more I look at it, the more I am impressed by how the sculptor used the natural grain of the stone in the composition. It's very beautiful to me. I also love the detail that they achieved (specially all the small teeth and the tongue inside the mouth).
I've been doing a little research these last few days (you inspired me) and from what little I have seen so far seems to indicate it is stone, possibly Shoushan stone (soapstone). Reading online (and in "Chinese Seals" by Weizu Sun) indicates that Shoushou stone was "gradually used after mid-Ming" and during Qing (so mid 1500's through 1911 and into modern times). The theme seems to be guardian lions (a male (larger one) and female (smaller one)). I even found a few seals online that were quite similar. Some even had writing on the sides as well, but the script used was very different. My eyes are not the best so I may have missed it, but I haven't found one yet with a similar style of script.
I recently purchased it while travelling in South America from a antiques store owner who said he had owned it for 30 years and had bought it (and all his Chinese pieces) in London, from a Chinese gentleman who brought it out of China from Taiwan a long time ago (there were Taiwanese export seals (like very old stickers) on most of the handscrolls which I hope to post later this week). Like I said, I cannot possibly imagine that this (or any of the pieces I purchased) are genuine, but even if they are copies, it would be wonderful to know from when and of what.
Perhaps translating the side script may help in solving the mystery. Thank you so much for your thoughts and time. I hope to post my (very amateurish) research on the other seal later this week. Thanks again!

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