THE largest seal ever used by Qianlong as Emperor Supreme will lead Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Autumn Sales 2016 in Hong Kong on October 5. The Imperial Khotan-green Jade ‘Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao’ Seal is estimated at US10-15 million. On February 9, 1796 the Qianlong Emperor abdicated after 60 years on the throne and thus became Emperor Supreme. This massive jade seal celebrates his long and outstanding reign. Other highlights include a unique Imperial Inscribed Documentary Cinnabar Laquered Wutong Qin not seen on the open market for over half a century, and an extremely rare pair of Pink-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Trompe L’oeil’ Jars and Covers. The series of six sales will offer close to 300 lots with a total estimate of approximately US$80 million.
Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, said: “This October we are proud to present a stunning array of material spanning from the dawn of Buddhist art in China in the 4th century to the culmination of material refinement at the Qing dynasty court in the 18th century. The selection includes private collections such as that of the celebrated Japanese connoisseur Sakamoto Gor? and Roger Keverne, one of the doyens of London’s art scene. Two extraordinary historical objects from the Qianlong period anchor the sale, one a superb zither made to his order in 1746, and the other a massive jade seal carved fifty years later marking his rise to the status of Emperor Supreme.”