Seal Phrases: Of One Heart

Written by Lu

Han dynasty seal: Be Of One Heart

The Chinese phrase tongxin (同心) literally means “same heart,” with the implication of “to be of one heart” or, in a popular modern variation, a soulmate. This seal comes from the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and shows the two central characters arranged from top to bottom and flanked by two animals. They may be the dragon and phoenix which symbolize the emperor and empress and the balance of yin and yang. In the almost two thousand years since they were made the characters have worn so much that they are almost unreadable. This seal was cast in bronze and might have been given as a wedding gift.

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