Sung Dynasty (960 - 1179)
Sung Dynasty inherited the Tang Dynasty’s custom to call seals as “Xi.” In
1064, the government had a new order to demolish all returned seals from the
officials. In 1196, a seal with script “The Seal of Zhang Tung” was made.
This was the earliest seal ever found to have scripts in Zuan
Shu at the side (“Bien Kuan.”)
The calligraphy of the inscription had changed a great deal over the long span of Chinese history. Approaching the Han Dynasty, the characters on the seal inscriptions tended to become thicker and more angular. From the Sui Dynasty, they became rounded and thinner, and during the Sung and Yuan Dynasties we can witness the spectacular nine-folded “Jio Dei” script. A Nine-Folded Script Seal can also be 5-, 6-, 7-, 10- or even more folded depending on the size of the seal. However, the characters were not based on the underlying principles of creating a character so they were not seriously regarded.
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