A brand-new book with the title Lasting Impressions: Seals from the Islamic World by Annabel Gallop and Venetia Porter, with contributions from Heba Nayel Barakat, Nurul Iman Rusli, Ros Mahwati Ahmad Zakaria, Fariba Roomi, Arif Naushahi and Jan van der Putten, highlights not only the importance of seal culture around the Islamic world over a span of 1300 years, but dedicates much attention to Southeast Asia. It has been published by the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in association with the British Library and the British Museum as a result of the exhibition with the same title, which travelled to various libraries and museums in the UK and Malaysia.

Presented in this book are over 300 Islamic seals, dating from the earliest days of Islam through to the modern era. They include both matrices made of precious stone and metal, and impressions stamped on manuscript documents and books, mainly from the collections of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, the British Library and the British Museum. Unlike European seals which are primarily pictorial, in Islamic seals the inscription takes centre stage. It is this focus on writing, in the sacred Arabic script, which links seals from all parts of the Muslim world, from Morocco to Malaysia, and from Iran to India and Indonesia.

Annabel Teh Gallop and Venetia Porter: Lasting Impressions: Seals from the Islamic World. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2012. – 199 pp., ill., maps. ISBN 978-983-44696-9-6 

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