Qing Dynasty Jade Seal For Auction

An exceptionally rare and important Imperial jade seal will be auctioned early next month in Hong Kong through auction house Bonhams.

The Imperial seal belonged to the fifth Emperor in the Qing dynasty, Jiaqing (reign 1796-1820) and will be offered in the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale, at Bonhams Hong Kong on 4 June.

It is estimated at HKD 2,000,000-3,000,000 but if recent auctions in both Hong Kong and New York are any guide the price parameters could well be pushed far above the estimate, especially given the history of the piece.

It belonged to a set of three Imperial seals, with the other two bearing the inscriptions Qinghuige and Yun ri xiang hui ying. The exceptional seal is recorded in the Imperial archives, published by the Palace Museum, Beijing.

Inscribed 'shui mu zhan qing hua' which translates as 'Tranquil water and luxuriant trees in the garden', the seal was made specifically to be stored in the Qinghuige, a special Imperial retreat, set in the western part of the Jiuzhouqingyan, a tranquil and scenic island within the celebrated Imperial palaces and gardens complex - the Yuanmingyuan.

Asaph Hyman, Director of Chinese Art commented: "This important Imperial jade seal is an exceptionally rare object and until it was brought to light at this sale had been kept in an English private collection, now recognized for its historical, cultural and aesthetic importance."

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