This study compares the identifying characteristics between the impressions made with original Chinese seals and photopolymer replicate seals, and between the impressions made with two photopolymer replicate seals that originate from one single negative. Various seal materials common to the Chinese community such as cow's horns and ivory are employed. Other than the common factors such as different incident angle upon imprinting or different degree of inking that constitute the natural variation in impressions, the physical changes of the seal materials with temperature will be considered. This study concludes that photopolymer replicate seal impressions can be differentiated from the originals in respect to print density and stroke morphology, but it is very difficult to differentiate between two photopolymer replicate seal impressions with the same origin. This study also proposes a simple method for the examination of forged Chinese seal impressions.
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