Chinese cube

Can any of you decipher the Chinese characters on this cube, which was bought in an antiques shop in Bucharest. The characters look like Small Seal Script to me.

Chinese cube

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This entry was posted in Chinese, Puzzles, Writing.

3 Responses to Chinese cube

  1. Hotball says:

    Four of them have “之印” (seal of someone) on the left column. The top center one looks like “廟里之印”. I’m not completely sure about others though.

  2. doviende says:

    i checked here for small seal script examples: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Seal_script

    top-left cube in its bottom-right square has a silk radical, possibly combined with 子 on the right, but i don’t know of such a character
    bottom-right cube in bottom-right square looks like 害, but i’m not sure.
    bottom-middle cube, bottom-right square looks like 析
    bottom-right cube, top-left square looks like 儿
    top-right, top-right has 聿, but i can’t figure out the radical

  3. bronz says:

    Cubes numbered this way:
    1 2 3
    4 5 6

    Cube 1
    君宜子孫, a very common old auspicious saying, basically “you will have lots of offspring” (well, not the past 30 years).
    You can find two images with this phrase on Google. I’m not sure why this side of the cube reads from left column to right, because the others are most certainly the other way around, which is more traditional (as Hotball points out with 廟里之印).

    Cube 3
    Top R — 將? Not many characters come with the 爿 radical that fit the bill.
    Bottom R — 舉?

    Cube 4
    Bottom R — Looks like 周

    Cube 5
    Top R — Definitely 張

    Cube 6
    Top R — Looks like 易

    http://www.zdic.net collects images of scripts ancient and modern for those who can use a Chinese-Chinese dictionary (under the 字源字形 tab). However, it only shows one version (presumably the most common/official/representative) from each script, if one is available.

    Could this cube have been a mold for making seals/stamps? They’re all showing they’re positive sides, and the 之印 makes it clear most sides of the cube are seals, but not sure if these are personal seals or what. Fun stuff!