One of the most distinctive royal seals used in the Malay world of Southeast Asia was the animal seal of the sultans of Jambi in east Sumatra. From the middle of the eighteenth century onwards all successive sovereigns of Jambi used an eight-petalled seal with animals pictured in four of the petals. This was an exceptionally unusual choice for an Islamic sultanate, and it suggests that this seal was probably created at a politically critical juncture in Jambi history, as a bold graphic endeavour to unite, symbolically, the two contesting factions at the Jambi court: the Javanese elite, represented on this new seal by the sultan’s Javanese title placed in the other four petals; and the Minangkabau power behind the throne, evoked by images of four legendary animals from the Minangkabau myth of origin.
Gallop, Annabel T.
"A Medieval Solution to an Early Modern Problem? The Royal Animal Seals of Jambi,"
The Medieval Globe: Vol. 4:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/tmg/vol4/iss1/5