Chinese Emperor’s Seal Expected to Make Millions at Bonhams

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LONDON.- A stunning piece of China’s Imperial history – a seal personally commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) – will be the highlight of Bonhams Sale of Fine Chinese Art on November 11th in London. The perfect four centimeter 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. The history and provenance of this artefact speaks both of a simple and elegant personal aesthetic as well as the stamp of Imperial power. In his article on the seal, Guo Fuxiang, a curator at the world famous Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, a world authority on Imperial history, writes: “The reason this inscription was chosen for the seal is revealed in the Emperor’s personal comme