Signed, Sealed and (presumably) Delivered

An eighteenth-century Chinese imperial seal sold at Drouot’s in Paris on Wednesday for a record €21m (AU$29,751,239) – more than twenty times its pre-auction estimate.

qianlong_seal_01aEighteenth-century Qianlong steatite seal. (Drouot)

The four-inch square seal, made of steatite, once belonged to Emperor Qianlong (1735-96) who had over 1,800 imperial seals made. Many have disappeared, but roughly a thousand are conserved in the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Emperor Qianlong was an avid art collector and an artist himself, and would use the seals to sign his own work.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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