Qing tian shi 青田石

Qingtian Stone is quarried in Shankou, Fangshan, and Zhoucun in Qingtian County, Zhejiang province [10 km outside Qingtian County town]. Mostly light green, but found in other colors, it’s one of the three most popular varieties of stone used to make seals and was the most common stone for seals made in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Used today by students at the China Academy of Art as a cheaply available stone. Mostly pyrophyllite, it is similar to Shoushan stone in structure and hardness.

From: Lai, T.C. Chinese Seals. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, 1976. (p.39-40)

“It was first mined in the Song dynasty for carving into small utensils. Wen Peng of the Ming Dynasty was the first to use lamplight jelly stone for cutting seals. Many men of letters and seal cutters followed suit, making it really popular.” … “Its main products include dengguangdon (lamplight jelly, as it is pure, fine and smooth, and with excellent tranparency against the lamplight), yunaodong (fish brain jelly), baiguodong (ginkgo jelly), jiangyoudong (soy sauce jelly and zitandong (sandalwood jelly).

Student quality qingtian seal carving stone.
Student quality Qingtian
Qingtian is also often used for sculpture

Although Qingtian stone is most often green, it can be found in a variety of colors. Here are a few examples …

  • Pinyin: qīng tián

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