The carved design on the side of the Seal exploits dark natural veins in the stone to represent a landscape. We see the tiny boat carrying the early eleventh-century poet and calligrapher Su Shi past the Red Cliff. Su Shi's prose-poem recording his trip is one of the most famous in classical Chinese literature, and his original writing was considered a masterpiece of Chinese calligraphy. On the bottom of the seal Qian Song, one of the most influential scholar seal-carvers of the Qing Dynasty, engraved the name of a studio for one of his associates, a man named Chunru, who would have impressed this seal in red seal paste on paintings and calligraphy in his studio. The Seal is both a remarkable example of miniature carving and physical testimony to the relationship between one scholar and another.
A seal of rich reddish amber color, carved in the form of a mountain cliff, with Su Dong-po and his friend in a boat sailing beneath a waterfall, one side with a colophon. Seal inscription carved by Chien Song (1807-1860). Signed Shu Kai. Artist from Hangchou, Chekiang province, and is a specialist in seal carving as well as a calligrapher and painter. His reputation for seal carving was second only to Ting Chin (1695-1765) and Huang I (1744-1802) the two greatest seal carvers of the Ch'ing Dynasty. The subject of the carving is Su Dong-po's visit to the Red Cliff and the carver of the landscape scene is Ching chuan (who may also be known as Yang I, who was a calligrapher and seal carver of the Ch'ing Dynasty. This information was given by Er-lu Wu, Assistant to R.H. Ellsworth. Condition: Excellent