the large oval seal surmounted by a lion resting its forepaws on a ball, the seal surface showing the characters in low-relief Neng shi xiangming man ren'er ('Filling Men's Ears with Scented Reputation'), each of the three further square seals adorned with a recumbent fu lion with its head turned and bushy tail curling along its haunch, the seal surface of the larger square seal carved in intaglio six characters Bamin duxue zhi zhang ('Seal of the Commissioner of Education for All Eight Prefectures of Min [Fujian Province]'), one seal of the smaller pair incised with four characters Zhu yin Lunhan ('Seal of Zhu Lunhan'), the other carved in low-relief two characters Yi San ('Three Tasks at Once')
Zhu Lunhan (1680-1760) was a prominent painter of landscapes, a finger painter, and a calligrapher of fine repute. Yi San 'Three Tasks at Once' is one of his sobriquet (hao) (The term originally refers to horsemanship—one has to handle saddle, stirrups, and reins in a single combined action.)
Neng shi xiangming man ren'er 'Filling Men's Ears with Scented Reputation' Is a line from a poem by the Tang poet Cen Shen (715-769), "Sending off Wei Shengqing who has passed his exam, been chosen for office, and is returning to the Eastern Capital [Luoyang]"
The fourth seal Bamin duxue zhi zhang means 'Seal of the Commissioner of Education for All Eight Prefectures of Min [Fujian Province]'.
Rock crystal was a popular material for the fabrication of seals during the 18th century. Seals were also carved in this material at the Imperial workshop. A record shows that on the 12th April 1724, the second year of the reign of Yongzheng, the Eunuch Supervisor-in chief Zhang Qiling sent six Si Age 'Fourth Elder Brother' seals to the Imperial Household Workshops to be engraved for the prince Hongli (who would become the Qianlong Emperor 12 years later), among them a seal made of rock crystal reading Cuncheng zhujing 'Maintain Sincerity and Make Reverence the Chief Goal'. See Guo Fuxiang, Imperial Qianlong Seals from the Estate of Emile Guimet, Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8th October 2008, catalogue intro. p. 23.
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