Shang Dynasty Jade Seal-set with 4 Beast Totem Seals and a Bird-shaped Base


This set of jade seals is well-preserved, beautiful in color and well-made. It is a rare, delicate, classic Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.) jade carving collection.

Size and Weight:
Base: Length 127mm (5″) Width 68mm (2.68″) Height 24mm (0.95″) Weight 334g (0.74lb)
Dragon seal: 24mm*23mm*42mm weight 48g
Tiger seal: 23mm*23mm*48mm weight 52g
Bear seal: 21mm*23mm*47mm weight 50g
Owl seal: 22mm*22mm*46mm weight 49g

1 in stock


This set of jade seal is composed of four jade beast seals on a bird-shaped base. Each jade seal is carved with a beast worshipped in the Shang Dynasty. They are dragons, tigers, bears, and owls. They represent kingship, force, wisdom and spirit.

The monarchs of the Shang Dynasty believed that their power was given by the mysterious bird, and they were descendants of the mysterious bird. Therefore, the bird totem was a symbol of the supreme divine power in the Shang Dynasty. The four beasts represented the emperor, civilian, military and wizard. It can be seen that the owner of this set of jade seals must be an emperor.

This set of jade seals are made of green jade, with partial soak-induced colors, weathered patterns, and slight jade texture changes. The patina is thick. The overall carving is meticulous, the decoration is gorgeous. And extremely difficult relief and hollow carving technique at that time was used.

The forms, carvings and decorations of this seal-set are typical of the Shang Dynasty.

The bird base is lying. Its the feet are abducted on the side of the face. Hook-shaped beak, thick eyebrows, giant eyes with raised eyeballs. Ear-shaped crowns. Double wings are attached to the sides of the body, and the wings are decorated with hook-shape, moiré patterns. The tail is crotched with neat inscribed lines to depict the tail feathers. There is a square groove on the back for placing four jade seals. The abdomen is flat and a 13-character inscription is engraved on it.

The four jade seal buttons are:

Tail-curling dragon: “臣” shaped eyes, mushroom horns, open mouth and show the teeth. The whole body is decorated with double-line diamond-shaped dragon scales, shield-shaped dragon gills, and even the dragon spine and dragon claws are carefully carved.

Tiger, Bear: “臣” shaped eyes, the ears stand up, the tiger opens its teeth, the bear opens its mouth and grinning, and the body is decorated with double-line shield patterns and curling moiré patterns. They are all sitting on heels, with their hands on their knees.

Owl: “臣” shaped eyes, standing ears, hook-shaped beak, wings closed, and the body is decorated with double-line hook-shaped patterns. In sitting position.


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