WHAT THIS CATEGORY IS ABOUT
In the category of Seal Products you are going to find both - all types of Chinese seal stones and the necessary seal-carving equipment. When it comes to the stones we offer a very large selection of different types of traditional Chinese seal stones whose material is broken in all different regions in China resulting in us being offer to offer seal stones in many different colors, shapes and types. There are natural seal stones which are only processed by nature itself such as the Balin Pleasure stones, others feature a carved header in shape of a Chinese zodiac animal or a mythological creature and some of them even have the upper part transformed into an intricate 3D relief carving.
Each of the stones on display in our chop can be hand carve for you according to your specific needs and requirements be it your translated Chinese name, your Chinese or Western zodiac sign, a traditional Chinese symbol you can choose via our Chop Generator tool and we even allow you to upload an image with your own design. For most of the stones, if you want to get it hand carved by our uncle Liu who is a famous carving master in our province you can just click the "Carve It" button instead of the "Add to Cart" button. For other stones, such as the couple seal-stones you can just get in touch with us via our Contact Form or the live chat function and let us know in which way you want to have your seal stone individually carved so it becomes personalized and unique. If you have no idea what patterns are available or what a hand carved Chinese, Japanese Hanko (判子) or Korean Dojang (도장) seal stone looks like feel free to browse the "Carved Seals" section in the gallery of our blog or check out the "Carving Patterns" gallery.
If you would like to find out more about the history of Chinese seals and seal carving, please go to the Seal Products section of the "Tools and Materials" category of our Asian Brushpainting knowledge base. Here you can read about the "History and Usage of Chinese Seals" and learn about the different types of seals and their application.
Chinese seal stones have their origin more than three millenniums ago in the Shang Dynasty where they originated as photographic engravings on so-called oracle and deviation bones - mainly made of tortoise shell.
After that, Seals found their usage for administration purposes to authorize documents or even authority and social or official status of government officials which were distinguished by the official seal they were entitled to use - the most powerful one reserved for the Chinese emperor. Private seals on the other hand started to spread widely all over China during the so-called "Literati Period" where the arts where flourishing in China and finding their way from the courts to private homes. During this period, seal stones started to be used as the signature of artists signing off and decorating their artworks since a Chinese seal is an important style element in the composition of Chinese paintings.
To summarize, the carving of Chinese seals is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression in the world and considered as one of the Four Arts of the Chinese scholars (四藝 / siyi) together with either the mastery of the Guqin (a traditional Chinese string instrument), the mastery of Go - a Chinese strategy game and of Chinese calligraphy and Chinese brush painting.