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Name:Golden Seal of “Lord Wanqu”

Time:【Western Han dynasty】

Size:Height:2.1cm Length:2.3cm

Source:Excavated at tomb M3 at Bojishan in 1994


       This gold seal was found near the waist of the deceased Marquis. It was cast with an ornamental  turtle knob, with the details of the turtle incised afterwards. The base is square with a negative relief inscription, Wangqu Hou Yi, Liu YI was the sixth son of the first King of Chu, Liu Jiaoand was dinfeoffed with Wanqu in modern Heze country, Shandong province. He took part in the revolt against the central government in 154BC. After thr revolt the Wanqu March was dissovled.

       A Song dynasty  text, Hanjiuyu buyi (Addendum to the Ancient Rituals of the Han dynasty ), recorded  that the seal knob indicated social status: the emperor used a jade seal with a tiger knob; the Empress used a gold seal with a tiger knob; kings of vassal states used gold seal with a camel knob; marquises, prime ministers, Grand Commandant and great generals used gold seals with a turtle knob. The discovery of seals with the Marquis’s title matches the records in Sima Qian’ s Shiji. Most seals in the Han dynasty were qither carved with an offficial title or a personal name. This gold seal is the only example combined both title and personal name. It has been suggested by some scholars that it was probably produced for burial puroses.