Seal of Hezhuo Hailuan of the Mouke
Jin dynasty, 18th year of the Dading period(1178)
Height overall 6cm, Length 6.1cm, Width 6.1cm
This square official seal is made of bronze. The face of the seal features intaglio clerical script Chinese characters, which read “Seal of Hezhuo Hailuan of the Mouke“. The back of the seal is cast with a rectangular straight knob. The character shang is cast on top of the knob. The date:“ 8th month of the 18th year of Dading”is carved on the right and rear sections of the knob. “Cast by the Bureau of Rites” is carved on the left side of the knob. The left side of the seal face is carved with a column of Jurchen script.
This was the seal of the Mouke: the Mouke was both a Jin dynasty institution in which individuals were simultaneously civilians and soldiers, and the title of the official in charge of the institution. This seal is of great historical value, as there are very few Jin dynasty seals that feature inscriptions in Jurchen. It is an irreplaceable piece of historical evidence for research into the military systems and political grouping of China’s Jin dynasty.