Letter from J.W. Murphy to an unknown recipient, regarding porcelain seals researched by his late relative Mr Getty. Contains inserted drawings of the seal impressions.
12 Feb. 1864.
Mr. Getty, a relative of mine who took such an interest in the Chinese Porcelain Seals found in Ireland died in 1857. He published a small Quarto Volumes of 40 or 50 pages of letter-press and some 20 pages of plates, which contained, amongst other things, ocpies of about 60 of these seals with translations. Price 5/. I believe a few copies still remain unsold.
This little work, which, no doubt you have seen, called a good deal of attention to these curious seals.
[overleaf, left] Curious because so many had turned up in various parts of Ireland, and at that time believed to be found only in Ireland.
Curious because similar seals are not to be met with ones in China.
I lately saw, amongst some of Mr G's. paper, some notes of similar seals, said to have been found in England, and are trying to obtain information about these. Five or six of these were sold in London, by auction, as a sale of Irish Antiquities in 1842 & a gentleman in London had, about ten years ago, a dozen of them in this collection which
[overleaf, right] he said were found in Ireland. These by betting dispensed might again be turned up as English.
If you can give me any information on the subject I shall feel greatly obliged - or perhaps by showing this to some of the members of your Society information may be elicited and in return I shall gladly give you any information * can about them or send you impressions.
The little figure in the Book at the head of the first page of impressions
[back page] exactly represents any of those found in Ireland which I have seen. The monstrousity in the Title-page does not convey a [indec] idea of them, it more resembles the soap-stone seals or stamps so often to be seen.
The first written reference to a Chinese seal in Ireland comes from the 1793 edition of _Anthologia Hibernica_. In the 1830s Joseph William Murphy, together with Joseph Huband Smith, became involved in the investigation into the number of such seals that had come to light during the previous eighty years in Ireland.
No information available
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