The present lot is one seal from a set of three. The first seal in such sets, carved with the name of a building, would be impressed at the beginning of a work, and the other two, with phrases either elaborating on or giving the significance of that name, would be impressed at the end. Such sets are called Gong Dian Zu (Palace and Hall sets). The present lot bears the name of the Xianfu Gong (Palace of Complete Happiness). The Xianfu Gong is one of six palaces in the northwestern corner of the Forbidden City.
When Qianlong passed away in 1799, his successor to the throne, the Jiaqing emperor, first moved to the Shang Shufang (Prince's Study) to observe the mourning period. After twenty days, Jiaqing moved to the Xianfu Gong where he stayed for ten months. During that time, it was where he met court officials and conducted government business.
The present lot matches an impression in the Jiaqing bao sou (Jiaqing Treasures: A Catalogue of Impressions of the Jiaqing Emperor's Seals). According to that catalogue, the two other seals in that set were inscribed Hui qi you ji (Maintain One's Standards) and Xu yi shou ren (Encounter Others with an Open Mind). The seal reading Hui qi you ji was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 1910.
An English translation of the essay by Guo Fuxiang is available from the Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Department upon request.