Collection of Seals from the Chengqing Hall


Cheng qing guan yin pu (Collection of seals from the Chengqing Hall) is a Ming printed edition of Zhang Hao’s seal collection. Chengqing Hall was the name of the studio owned by Zhang. Also named Su, courtesy names Gumin and Yiling, style names Zhanggong and Pingling Jushi, Zhang was born in Taicang, Jiangsu. Early on he acquired by chance a prized collection of about 100 seals of metal and jade. He began to search for and acquire seals of famed contemporary seal engravers, had seal impressions made, and undertook the compilation of this work. In the 45th year (1617) of the Wanli reign he completed Cheng qing guan yin pu, consisting of the main part and a supplementary part, in four volumes. The main part includes 480 seal impressions by 22 seal makers, including Wen Peng, He Zhen, Su Yi, and Li Liufang. In addition to seals made of stone, seals of gold, silver, copper, amber, agate, jade, and crystal are presented. Under each seal impression in the book Zhang provided the seal text, the material in which the seal was made, and the name of the seal maker. This is the first Chinese seal collection that brought together the works of seal makers. It made possible the passing on of knowledge about the works of famed seal makers and preserved important material evidence for studying the seal-making styles of the Ming literati.

Last updated: June 7, 2017