Chinese Emperor’s Personal White Jade Dragon Seal Sells for £2.7 Million at Bonhams


LONDON.- A stunning piece of China’s Imperial history – a seal personally commissioned and used by the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) – sold for £2,708,000 at Bonhams Sale of Fine Chinese Art on November 11th in London. The perfect four centimetre square jade seal bearing the inscription `Zi Qiang Bu Xi’, (‘Self-Strengthening Never Ceases’) is closely linked to the Emperor’s 80th birthday celebration which coincided with the 55th year of his reign and is an iconic reminder of China’s golden age. Thanks to impeccable record keeping it is possible to date the commissioning and final delivery of this Imperial seal to 1793. Strangely enough the date 1793 coincides with the birth of Bonhams half a world away, also in 1793. Few would then have thought that Bonhams and the Qianlong Emperor’s story would meet in London over a small perfect piece of carved jade, some 217 years later. This icon