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HOME: China Stamps 2003: 2003-3
2003-3, Scott 3259-60 Seal Characters, An Ancient Style of Chinese Calligraphy
Duke Mao's Tripod of the Western Zhou Dynasty
(2-1), Duke Mao's Tripod of the Western Zhou Dynasty, 80 fen, 30*40 mm
Carvings of Mount Tai of the Qin Dynasty
(2-2), Carvings of Mount Tai of the Qin Dynasty, 80 fen, 30*40 mm
Seal Characters, An Ancient Style of Chinese Calligraphy
(1-1), Seal Characters, An Ancient Style of Chinese Calligraphy, 640 fen, 200*133 mm
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Technical details
Scott No: 3259-60
Serial number: 2003-3
Values in set: 2
Denomination: 1.60 yuan
Date of issue: 22th Jan. 2003
Designer: Wang Huming
Size of stamps: 30*40 mm
Perforation: 12
Sheet composition:
20 for sheet I; 8 for Sheet II (se-tenant)
Printing process: offset
Printer: Beijing Postage Stamp Printing House
Background
Seal Characters , a style of the Chinese calligraphy, are divided into two categories, the greater and the lesser seal characters. The former, deriving from oracle-bone inscriptions, first appeared during the Zhou Dynasty and paved the way for the square-shaped Chinese characters with neat and regular character patterns. According to legend, the Grand Astrologer Zhou during the reign of King Xuan of the Zhou Dynasty wrote 15 articles in greater seal characters, which therefore came to be also called Zhou characters. The lesser seal characters are more simplified and standardized compared with the greater. They moved away from pictography and developed inito a more balanced and standard style of characters. They are also called Qin-style seal characters due to being collected and pared down by the Prime Minister of Qin, Li Si and others when the State of Qin unified China. The spread of lesser seal characters consolidated Chinese characters and represented the first character simplification movement in history. Seal characters are still widely used in calligraphy due to its gracefulness of patterns.
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