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  • Posts Tagged ‘The Supreme Number One’

    A CHINESE FIREARM WITH IMPERIAL REIGN MARKS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, October 17th, 2016
    THE SUPREME NUMBER ONE

    THE SUPREME NUMBER ONE  UPDATE- IT SOLD FOR £2 MILLION.

    THE first Chinese firearm with an imperial reign mark to be offered at auction comes up at Sothebys in London on November 9.  Created for the Qianlong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty – arguably the greatest collector and patron of the arts in Chinese history – this exquisitely crafted musket is to be sold with an estimate of £1,000,000-1,500,000. Produced in the imperial workshops the musket bears the imperial reign mark on top of the barrel and four Chinese characters which denote the gun’s peerless ranking incised on the breech.   The exceptional grading te deng di yi, ‘Supreme Grade, Number One’ makes it unique amongst the known extant guns from the imperial workshops.

    The advent of Western firearm technology sparked the production of muskets in the imperial workshops, and this modern mode of weaponry had unquestionable advantages over the traditional bow and arrow for hunting. Using only the most luxurious materials, imperial muskets were created in very small numbers for the Qianlong Emperor. While the Emperor is unlikely ever to have held a gun in battle, he would regularly hunt with a musket. The Supreme Number One is closely related to six celebrated, named imperial Qianlong muskets in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.

    Robert Bradlow, Senior Director, Chinese Works of Art, Sotheby’s London, said: “This remarkable object epitomises the pinnacle of imperial craftsmanship during the Qing dynasty. The gun’s historical importance cannot be overstated – it ranks as one of the most significant Chinese treasures ever to come to auction.”

    UPDATE- IT SOLD FOR £2 MILLION.