Looking at Seals: Sadness

Written by Lu

Han dynasty seal: Melancholy

This seal from two thousand years ago certainly tells a story, we just don’t know what it is. The single Chinese word bei (悲) can be translated into English as “melancholy” or “sadness.” The lower half of the character represents a heart and the outline of the seal is also in the shape of a heart, so we can assume the seal’s owner was grieving over the loss of a loved one. Where might it have been used?

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