Beware the Box

Written by Lu

Not too long ago someone showed me a seal they had made for them from the prestigious Xiling Seal Society in Hangzhou, China. It had come in a custom-made box made to protect it from accidental scratches and such. The problem began after they had used the seal a few times. Each time, after they had stamped it into the red ink and pressed it onto paper, they had cleaned the ink from the stone and put it back in the box. But, no matter how well you clean off the stone, there is bound to be a little ink left behind. After a while the ink will transfer onto the box and, if you are not careful to place the stone back in the box the same way each time, you will eventually end up with ink on both ends of the box. The lion on the top of this person’s seal had unintentional red hair on it’s head—a result of rubbing up against the ink residue in the box. Since the ink is oil based it will probably never be able to be cleaned completely from the stone. The moral of the story is to remember which way you put the stone into the box and always put it back in the same way so you don’t ruin your valuable seal.

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