of rectangular shape, set with a ferocious dragon standing above a raised radiating boss, its scaly back arched to form the handle, the base flanked by a pair of full-frontal dragons in relief, with two pairs of further dragons confronting 'flaming pearls', all reserved on a ground decorated with flying bats and clouds, the reverse cast with a poem dedicated to the Qianlong emperor, signed Liu Yong
Christie's Hong Kong, 27th April 1997, lot 39.
Compare a seal of slightly smaller proportions similarly composed and cast with writhing dragons, dated to the fourth month of the third year of Qianlong (1740), sold in our New York rooms, 5th December 1982, lot 206. The design of the present piece, with its surmounted dragon handle, is reminiscent of scroll weights; see an earlier iron and gilt bronze example cast with a chilong, from the Mary and George Bloch collection, sold in these rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 3; and a jade version depicting two crawling chilong, included in the exhibition Splendours of China's Forbidden City. The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, The Field Museum, Chicago, 2004, cat. no. 88.
Liu Yong (1720-1804), from Zhucheng, Shangong, was a high-ranking official and learned scholar who was recognised for his calligraphy in the Qianlong emperor's court.
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