Deng Sanmu

Deng Sanmu (1898-1963) 鄧散木 was born in Shanghai, but lived in Beijing in his later years. He was a distinguished scholar of the history of Chinese calligraphy as well as a calligrapher in his own right. He studied bronze inscriptions, the Stone Drum Inscriptions, Han stele inscriptions, and the Wang Xizhi tradition of calligraphy. His seal engraving was based on a lifetime study of inscriptions on sealing clay, pottery, and bricks. A follower of Zhao Shi in seal engraving, he paid much attention to the layout of the characters and united seal script and clerical script into his seals. His book on seal engraving, Zhuankexue 篆刻學, first published in 1979, is one of the most popular textbooks on the subject.

From: Lai, T.C. Chinese Seals. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, 1976. (p.84)

“[He] was noted for his idiosyncrasies. He called himself, ‘Man of Manure’ and engraved for himself a seal which reads, ‘Stinks for Ten Thousand Years’. By choosing these names he ensured that they would never be used by others.”

  • Pinyin: Dèng Sànmù
  • Wade-Giles: Teng San-mu

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